«Praise be to God, thy heart is engaged in the commemoration of God, thy soul is gladdened by the glad tidings of God and thou art absorbed in prayer. The state of prayer is the best of conditions».
Service and worship are at the heart of the pattern of community life that Bahá’ís around the world are trying to create. They are two distinct but inseparable elements that propel the life of the community forward. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá writes: “Success and prosperity depend on the service and worship of God.”
Prayer is an integral part of Bahá’í life, whether at the level of the individual, the community or institutions. Bahá’ís turn their hearts in prayer to God at various times throughout the day — imploring His help, beseeching Him on behalf of loved ones, offering praise and gratitude, and seeking divine confirmations and guidance. In addition, consultation meetings and other gatherings where friends congregate to accomplish one project or another usually begin and end with prayers.
Baha’is also organise meetings where they and other friends join together in prayer, often in their homes. These devotional gatherings serve to awaken spiritual susceptibilities in the participants, and together with the acts of service they perform, give rise to a pattern of community life that is infused with the spirit of devotion and focused on the attainment of spiritual and material prosperity.
The integration of devotion and service is expressed in the institution of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár. This structure consists of a central building that constitutes the focal point of worship in a geographical area in addition to other facilities dedicated to the provision of education, health and other services related to the social and economic advancement of the community. Although at present there are still few Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, the seeds for their eventual establishment are being planted in a growing number of communities, with the hope that in the future every locality will benefit from this physical structure.