O God, my God! Lowly, suppliant and fallen upon my face, I beseech Thee with all the ardor of my invocation to pardon whosoever hath hurt me, forgive him that hath conspired against me and offended me, and wash away the misdeeds of them that have wrought injustice upon me. Vouchsafe unto them Thy goodly gifts, give them joy, relieve them from sorrow, grant them peace and prosperity, give them Thy bliss and pour upon them Thy bounty. Thou art the Powerful, the Gracious, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting! (Abdu’l-Bahá, The Will and Testament, p. 19)
‘Abdu’l-Bahá teaches “If someone commits an error and wrong toward you, you must instantly forgive him.” (Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 453) For a long time I harbored a LOT of anger and resentment and bitterness to those who abused me as a child and stole my adulthood. I couldn’t “instantly forgive”. I wasn’t ready to let them off the hook. I wanted justice. I wanted revenge! Slowly, I learned about the importance of forgiveness, not for the other person, but for ourselves. I wanted peace in my heart. I wanted to be obedient to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s injunction. For a long time, the most I could do was to ask God to forgive them for me, because I couldn’t (or wouldn’t). I was happy to find this prayer when I needed it.
I love that it asks God to forgive but then goes an important step further – that He give them 6 things:
- His goodly gifts
- To be relieved from sorrow
- peace and prosperity
- His bliss
- His bounty
Then He reminds us that He has the power and is gracious enough to use it for me. He’s the one I turn to when my soul and heart are in peril and He’s all I need. I love the endings to these prayers too. They help me draw closer to God as I think that if He’s willing to give His enemies these gifts, please God, may He give them to me too.
Knowing how to pray for those who hurt me, I am grateful!
What jumped out for you as you read through today’s meditation? I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Learning How to Forgive