"He is indeed pleased to know that the Book of Prayers and Meditations by Bahá'u'lláh has been out in time to enable the friends to read it during the Fast, and he has every hope that the perusal of such a precious volume will help to deepen more than any other publication, the spirit of devotion and faith in the friends, and thus charge them with all the spiritual power they require for the accomplishment of their tremendous duties towards the Cause..." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p. 59)
A “diamond-mine of communion with God, unsurpassed in any religious literature of the world …” (Hand of the Cause Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 219)
"It contains nearly two hundred selections – prayers which reveal the infinite bounty of God’s purpose for man – spiritual understanding, steadfastness, unity, immortality, capacity for human service, awareness for the providential nature of this age when all things are made new." (Hand of the Cause Horace Holley)
“ … a companion volume [to Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah], comparable in richness and complementary in material, namely, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá'u'lláh. Again we find the Guardian's former professor, Bayard Dodge, writing to him with a shrewd appraisal of what such a work involves: "The translation of deep and poetic thoughts, such as those in the Prayers and Meditations , requires an enormous amount of hard work...I have told you before how much I marvel when I see the quality of English that you use." "When he had received the Gleanings Professor Dodge had written to the Guardian: "You have mastered English in such a remarkable way that I am sure the sayings do not lose their meaning and charm because of translation." And when Shoghi Effendi's translation of The Hidden Words reached him he had written, again with singular insight into what such a work signifies "I realize how exceedingly difficult it is to translate beautiful Oriental thoughts into English and I congratulate you for the quality of the language which you have used." (Hand of the Cause Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 219)
This collection of Bahau’llah’s prayers was translated by Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith, during the years 1936-7. We feel so grateful to him for providing us with such an inestimable selection of prayers revealed by Baha’u’llah, especially when we remind ourselves that as the Head of the Faith Shoghi Effendi had numerous responsibilities.
As we read these beautiful prayers in the Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, let’s remember the following explanation from the beloved Guardian concerning the whole concept of “meditation and prayer”:
"For the core of religious faith is that mystical feeling which unites man with God. This state of spiritual communion can be brought about and maintained by means of meditation and prayer. And this is the reason why Bahá'u'lláh has so much stressed the importance of worship. It is not sufficient for a believer merely to accept and observe the teachings. He should, in addition, cultivate the sense of spirituality which he can acquire chiefly be means of prayer." (From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, December 8, 1935: Bahá'í News, No. 102, August 1936, p. 2; Lights of Guidance, p. 506)