Five Steps to Problem Solving Using
Prayer and Meditation
Some of you have heard the saying, "One hour’s reflection is preferable to seventy years of pious worship." For me, this quote speaks to the sheer and awesome power of meditation when used alone. So it only follows that when this ancient art of meditation is used in combination with prayer, the effects can be phenomenal, possibly even life changing.
What problems are you experiencing that seem insurmountable? Would it help if I reminded you that "our afflictions, tests and trials are sometimes blessings in disguise, as they teach us to have more faith and confidence in God, and bring us nearer to Him."11 Yes, we all need to be reminded of this from time to time.
"O Thou Whose tests are a healing medicine to such as are nigh unto Thee…"12
Included below are the steps that Shoghi Effendi Rabbani, 1897-1957, reportedly gave to a follower of the Bahá'í Faith, Ruth Moffat, who visited him in the Holy Land. His injunction speaks to us all about the dynamics of prayer and how we can use it to find solutions to even our most challenging problems.
Here are the five steps he suggests for solving problems*:
First Step: Pray and meditate about it. Use the prayers of the Manifestations (Prophets of God) as they have the greatest power. Then remain in the silence of contemplation for a few minutes.
Second Step: Arrive at a decision and hold this. This decision is usually born during the contemplation. It may seem almost impossible of accomplishment but if it seems to be an answer to a prayer or a way of solving the problem, then immediately take the next step.
Third Step: Have determination to carry the decision through. Many fail here. The decision, budding into determination, is blighted and instead becomes a wish or a vague longing. When determination is born, immediately take the next step.
Fourth Step: Have faith and confidence that the power will flow through you, the right way will appear, the door will open, the right thought, the right message, the right principle or the right book will be given you. Have confidence, and the right thing will come to your need. Then, as you rise from prayer, take at once the fifth step.
Fifth Step: Then, lastly, ACT. Act as though it had all been answered. Then act with tireless, ceaseless energy. And as you act, you, yourself, will become a magnet, which will attract more power to your being, until you become an unobstructed channel for the Divine power to flow through you.
Many pray but do not remain for the last half of the first step. Some who meditate arrive at a decision, but fail to hold it. Few have the determination to carry the decision through, still fewer have the confidence that the right thing will come to their need. But how many remember to act as though it had all been answered? How true are those words - 'Greater than the prayer is the spirit in which it is uttered' and greater than the way it is uttered is the spirit in which it is carried out."9
Why not give these five steps a try the next time you have a problem to solve. And do let me know how it works out for you.
*Note: These steps have been extracted from Prayer: A Bahá'í Approach by William & Madeline Hellaby. You can order this title from Barnes and Noble by clicking or order from Amazon by clicking below.
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