Inspiration, rejuvenation, motivation, purpose, meaning – all are essential ingredients to one’s sense that his or her life is on track, is worth living.
Yet, day to day, one is hard-pressed to find or feel them and is challenged to maintain a positive, hopeful outlook.
The Word of God, say the Bahá’í writings, provides inspiration, rejuvenates souls, gladdens hearts, and renews one’s sense of purpose.
Thus, Bahá’ís host devotional gatherings in homes and public locations to take advantage of such benefits through prayer and the reading together of the Bahá’í writings and other scriptures and to create an environment of unity and harmony. Prayer is a central element in all religious traditions and these meetings stress its universal nature.
Prayer offers us an opportunity to commune with our Creator, draw on the revitalizing power of the Word of God, and to contemplate and more deeply appreciate our lives.
The meetings, often simple, have a variety of elements to accommodate participants regardless of their religious background. Music, food, and discussion are often present, though the primary purpose is to use prayer’s power to transform, unify, and revitalise.
For many, these gatherings become a refreshing refuge from the discordant and grinding aspects of everyday life. Participants are able to meditate on spiritual principles and gain some perspective on how these principles can be applied to their day-to-day affairs. The devotional gatherings in Switzerland, held mostly in private homes, are characteristically very inviting, intimate and friendly.