Often a sickly child, I grew into an adult with frequent auto-immune disease-related illnesses. My doctors have helped me—and prayer has, too.
A bout with Hepatitis A, probably contracted during visits to Mapuche Indians in Argentina in the mid-1970’s, led to complete bed rest for thirty days, followed by a stringent diet that eliminated fats, fried foods, chocolate, onions, and garlic for a period of two years.
Baha’u’llah exhorts Baha’is to seek competent medical advice. But Baha’is also pray for healing, and the Baha’i teachings contain many beautiful prayers for our assistance. I did both—and I healed. Here are some prayers that I used.
- The most celebrated general short healing prayer was revealed by Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, during his imprisonment in Akka, Palestine:
Thy name is my healing, O my God, and remembrance of Thee is my remedy. Nearness to Thee is my hope, and love for Thee is my companion. Thy mercy to me is my healing and my succor in both this world and the world to come. Thou, verily, art the All-Bountiful, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. – Baha’i Prayers, p. 86.
- Another healing prayer revealed by Baha’u’llah is for women:
Glory be to Thee, O Lord my God! I beg of Thee by Thy Name through which He Who is Thy Beauty hath been stablished upon the throne of Thy Cause, and by Thy Name through which Thou changest all things, and gatherest together all things, and callest to account all things, and rewardest all things, and preservest all things, and sustainest all things—I beg of Thee to guard this handmaiden who hath fled for refuge to Thee, and hath sought the shelter of Him in Whom Thou Thyself art manifest, and hath put her whole trust and confidence in Thee.
She is sick, O my God, and hath entered beneath the shadow of the Tree of Thy healing; afflicted, and hath fled to the City of Thy protection; diseased, and hath sought the Fountain-Head of Thy favors; sorely vexed, and hath hasted to attain the Well-Spring of Thy tranquillity; burdened with sin, and hath set her face toward the court of Thy forgiveness.
Attire her, by Thy sovereignty and Thy loving-kindness, O my God and my Beloved, with the raiment of Thy balm and Thy healing, and make her quaff of the cup of Thy mercy and Thy favors. Protect her, moreover, from every affliction and ailment, from all pain and sickness, and from whatsoever may be abhorrent unto Thee.
Thou, in truth, art immensely exalted above all else except Thyself. Thou art, verily, the Healer, the All-Sufficing, the Preserver, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. – Baha’u’llah, Prayers and Meditations, p. 234.
- For infants, Baha’u’llah revealed this prayer:
Thou art He, O my God, through Whose names the sick are healed and the ailing are restored, and the thirsty are given drink, and the sore-vexed are tranquillized, and the wayward are guided, and the abased are exalted, and the poor are enriched, and the ignorant are enlightened, and the gloomy are illumined, and the sorrowful are cheered, and the chilled are warmed, and the downtrodden are raised up. Through Thy name, O my God, all created things were stirred up, and the heavens were spread, and the earth was established, and the clouds were raised and made to rain upon the earth. This, verily, is a token of Thy grace unto all Thy creatures.
I implore Thee, therefore, by Thy name through which Thou didst manifest Thy Godhead, and didst exalt Thy Cause above all creation, and by each of Thy most excellent titles and most august attributes, and by all the virtues wherewith Thy transcendent and most exalted Being is extolled, to send down this night from the clouds of Thy mercy the rains of Thy healing upon this suckling, whom Thou hast related unto Thine all-glorious Self in the kingdom of Thy creation. Clothe him, then, O my God, by Thy grace, with the robe of well-being and health, and guard him, O my Beloved, from every affliction and disorder, and from whatever is obnoxious unto Thee. Thy might, verily, is equal to all things. Thou, in truth, art the Most Powerful, the Self-Subsisting. Send down, moreover, upon him, O my God, the good of this world and of the next, and the good of the former and latter generations. Thy might and Thy wisdom are, verily, equal unto this. – Ibid., p. 236.
- One healing prayer not generally found in most Baha’i prayer books is one that Baha’u’llah also revealed during his imprisonment in Akka. This “barracks’ prayer” was for the very ill believers who were with him. As a result, fatalities ceased:
In the Name of God, the Forgiver! Although this evil state in which I am, O my God, maketh me deserving of Thy wrath and punishment, Thy good-pleasure and Thy bounties demand Thy forgiveness to encompass Thy servants and Thy good favour to reach them. I ask Thee by Thy Name which Thou hast made the King of all names to protect me by Thy power and Thine Omnipotence from all calamity and all that is repugnant to Thee and all that is contrary to Thy Will. Thou art Supreme over all things. – cited by Hasan Balyuzi in King of Glory, p. 287.
- The beautiful Baha’i “Long Healing Prayer” is very powerful. It was also revealed in Arabic by Baha’u’llah in the Akka prison. The English translation was realized by Habib Taherzadeh and a committee, and published by the Universal House of Justice in 1980. Its talismanic nature is very comforting, while imploring God to heal “every sick, diseased, and poor one.” It begins, “He is the Healer, the Sufficer, the Helper, the All-Forgiving, the All-Merciful.” The complete version in English may be read here. My favorite musical version is by Christina Frith and is entitled “He is the Healer,” available on iTunes.
If you or a loved one is ill, saying these beautiful Baha’i healing prayers may help you as much as they helped me.