This month, the "Friends" (Yaran), a group of informal national Bahá'í leaders in Iran, began their third year in prison. The charges against them are specious, e.g. "corruption on earth", and the Iranian government will not even give them the dignity of holding a trial. I know that the Iranian people are better than this. I pray that their government will come to recognize their duty to respect the freedom to worship, and release this group. Last weekend I attend a devotional gathering in honor of this group, and others, who are imprisoned in Iran. I opened a particular Bahá'í prayer book with which I am not familiar, and this was the first prayer I encountered:
I beseech Thee, O Thou Who art the Lord of all names, to guard Thy loved ones against Thine enemies, and to strengthen them in their love for Thee and in fulfilling Thy pleasure. Do Thou protect them, that their footsteps may slip not, that their hearts may not be shut out as by a veil from Thee, and that their eyes may be restrained from beholding anything that is not of Thee. Cause them to be so enraptured by the sweetness of Thy divine melodies that they will rid themselves of all attachment to any one except Thee, and will turn wholly towards Thee, and extol Thee under all conditions, saying: “Praised be Thou, O Lord our God, inasmuch as Thou hast enabled us to recognize Thy most exalted and all-glorious Self. We will, by Thy mercy, cleave to Thee, and will detach ourselves from any one but Thee. We have realized that Thou art the Beloved of the worlds and the Creator of earth and heaven!”
Glorified be God, the Lord of all creation!
~ Bahá'u'lláh, Prayers and Meditations, LXI