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One of the things I love about the Baha’i Faith is that it not only gives us advice on how we ourselves can transform, but it also suggests how we can help others.  This shouldn’t be so surprising since we are all one; and we’ve been told to walk in each other’s shoes.

Advice:

The National Assembly should neither feel embarrassed nor ashamed in turning to the friends, continuously appealing to them to exemplify their faith and devotion to the Cause by sacrificing for it, and pointing out to them that they will grow spiritually through their acts of self-abnegation, that the fear of poverty should not deter them from sacrificing for the Fund, and that the assistance and bounty of the Source of all good and of all wealth are unfailing and assured.  (Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 258-259)

Consultation:

By consulting together, fears, misgivings and any sense of inadequacy can be cast aside, the group can set their own goals and then, together or each one alone, work for achievement of the goals.  (International Teaching Centre, 1989 Jul 05, Encouraging the Formation of Teaching Groups)

Devotional Gatherings:

The mere act of your gathering together is enough to scatter the forces of these vain and worthless people.  (Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 84)

Groups:

In a learning environment fear of failure is eliminated, and the friends are helped to focus on achievements and the new capacity for progress that learning creates.  (International Teaching Centre, 1992, Building Visions of Growth)

Love and encouragement: 

Looking back upon those sullen days of my retirement, bitter with feelings of anxiety and gloom, I can recall with appreciation and gratitude those unmistakable evidences of your affection and steadfast zeal which I have received from time to time, and which have served to relieve in no small measure the burden that weighed so heavily upon my heart.  (Shoghi Effendi, Baha’i Administration, p. 66)

Protection:

. . . shelter those who are overshadowed by fear.  (Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 453)

Specific Prayers you can say:

Thou hast written concerning the Tablet of Baka Ya Ali — Baka Ya Vafi (Tablet of Protection). This Tablet is for the healing of ailments. Whenever one is anxious about the recovery of an ill one, he may read this prayer with a melodious voice while in a state of the utmost attention and concentration.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 469)

It has recently (July/August 1996) been translated into English from Arabic at the Bahá’í World Centre.

In His Name, the Exalted, the All-Highest, the Most Sublime!

Glorified art Thou, O Lord my God! O Thou Who art my God, and my Master, and my Lord, and my Support, and my Hope, and my Refuge, and my Light. I ask of Thee, by Thine Hidden and Treasured Name, that none knoweth save Thine own Self, to protect the bearer of this Tablet from every calamity and pestilence, and from every wicked man and woman; from the evil of the evil-doers, and from the scheming of the unbelievers. Preserve him, moreover, O my God, from every pain and vexation, O Thou Who holdest in Thy hand the empire of all things. Thou, truly, art powerful over all things. Thou doest as Thou willest, and ordainest as Thou pleasest. O Thou King of Kings! O Thou kind Lord! O Thou Source of ancient bounty, of grace, of generosity and bestowal! O Thou Healer of sicknesses! O Thou Sufficer of needs! O Thou Light of Light! O Thou Light above all Lights! O Thou Revealer of every Manifestation! O Thou the Compassionate! O Thou the Merciful! Do Thou have mercy upon the bearer of this Tablet, through Thy most great mercy and Thine abundant grace, O Thou the Gracious, Thou the Bounteous. Guard him, moreover, through Thy protection, from whatsoever his heart and mind may find repugnant. Of those endued with power, Thou, verily, art the most powerful. The Glory of God rest upon thee, O thou rising sun! Do thou testify unto that which God hath testified of His own Self, that there is none other God besides Him, the Almighty, the Best-Beloved.”  Bahá’u’lláh

 Understand their condition is not permanent:

It’s important to remember that nothing stays the same and tomorrow is another day.  Just because someone seems anxious today doesn’t mean they will always be that way, particularly if they are doing what the Writings ask us to do:

People who looked anxious yesterday, today have faces shining with gladness.  (Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 74)

Here’s a story of how ‘Abdu’l-Bahá dealt with people’s fears:

Soon after the outbreak [of the war], Haifa, which was still under Turkish rule, was panic-stricken. Most of the inhabitants fled inland, fearing bombardment by the Allies.  Those Baha’i friends who were merchants suffered great losses, for all their stores of tea, sugar, etc., were commandeered by the Government, without payment.  The friends, in spite of the reassurances of the Master that no guns would be turned on Haifa, were living in constant fear, and the children, having heard terrible stories which were being told everywhere, grew quite ill, always looking round and about with frightened eyes.

At this time, the Master decided that it would be well to accept an invitation of the Shaykh of Abz’uSinz’an to remove the Baha’is and their children to that peaceful, healthy village, out of reach of the dreaded bombarding. In this village also, the very limited resources of the friends would, with strictest economy, be sufficient for their daily needs, with the help of the corn from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s storing.  Shaykh Salih placed his house at the disposal of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and His family, Who received the most cordial welcome from this gracious and courteous chief of the Druze village of Abu-Sinan.  The other Persian friends were gladly taken into various houses of the village, where they found themselves in most happy surroundings.  Their food was of the simplest: lentils, dried beans, delicious olives and their oil, and sometimes milk, eggs, and even some goat’s meat. The fresh pure air was, of course, wonderfully good for their health, and they quickly recovered calm nerves and strength of body.   (Lady Blomfield, The Chosen Highway)

 

For More in this Series:

What is Fear? 

What are we Afraid Of?

Reactions to Fear 

Fight, Flight or Freeze

Doubt and Fear  

What is the Purpose of Fear?

What about the Fear of God? 

What Makes us Susceptible to Fear?

Understanding the Link Between Fear and Sin 

Overcoming Fear – Introduction 

Overcoming Fear By Turning to God

Overcoming Fear with Prayer

Overcoming Fear By Reading the Writings

Overcoming Fear By Focusing on the Virtues 

Overcoming Fear Through Love

Overcoming Fear with Faith

Overcoming Fear with Patience

Overcoming Fear through Courage

Overcoming Fear through Teaching and Service

Overcoming Fear By Changing your Thoughts

Overcoming Fear through Forgiveness

Overcoming Fear through Using Role Models

Overcoming Fear through Tests and Difficulties

 Prayers to Eliminate Fear

 

How has this given you new ideas?  What’s been your experience?  Post your comments here: