In this episode of “Moments of Meaning,” Sean Hinton speaks to Rocky Moncho, a technology and healthcare entrepreneur and lives in Oklahoma City, USA. Rocky’s spiritual journey began with the many evenings he spent with his grandparents growing up in Botswana.
“I was five or six years old. We were sitting in the living room at a farm. You know, there wasn’t much — there was no television as a matter of fact, and we had some shortwave radio, and by eight o’clock, all systems were down, and we’d be sitting at the fire, listening to stories that had been passed down from generation to generation.” After the stories, before bed every night, Rocky would say prayers with his grandfather. This was his favorite prayer:
O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life. O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord.
Rocky’s grandfather was a Baha’i, and this prayer was revealed by Abdu’l-Baha, the son and designated successor of the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, Baha’u’llah. The power of prayer is a central theme in the Baha’i teachings, which explain that prayer is food for the soul; it deepens the love of God in our hearts and draws us closer to Him.
Even at a very young age, Rocky felt the intensity of this prayer said by his grandfather. “What a powerful statement,” he says. “To be able to empty oneself such that there is a recognition of a power that is more friend to you than you are or can be to yourself.”
He became attached to this prayer, just like his grandfather was, and it is his favorite to this day. It accompanied him and his family throughout his childhood and through adulthood, as he faced new challenges, such as fatherhood, and tragedies, such as losing his father and brother to alcoholism. Rocky says that along with his grandfather’s guidance, prayer was instrumental in helping him move through grief and make good decisions in life.
It helped him understand, he says, that if one follows God’s ordinances and allows oneself to be guided by love for Him, nothing was impossible. We are all endowed with protection and strength that can help us face anything. “I recall that very vividly as being a centrepiece… how it made me feel that I have a right to be happy.” In his journey, he has learned that “to make a conscious effort to say that I will not let trouble harass me or I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life is to acknowledge that I’ve been empowered to charter my own path.”
“Moments of Meaning” is a podcast where Sean Hinton speaks to people from all walks of life whose lives have been profoundly affected by the writings of the Baha’i Faith. They share the quotes that inspired them and delve into the story of that moment of meaning and the powerful changes it caused.
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