Turning to God can help remove our afflictions—the Baha’i teachings encourage practicing both the physical and spiritual means of healing sickness.
In fact, we should not separate them, for they work together, and both are important.
The Baha’i writings urge everyone to take advantage of the expertise of competent physicians who will endeavor to find the cause of our ailments and not merely treat the symptoms; yet we should also turn to God in prayer as we seek to be cured. The following prayer from Baha’i writings can be very helpful when healing is needed:
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’u’llah, Baha’i Prayers, p. 87.
Research has shown that physical and mental health are closely related to spiritual well-being. Our mental responses to life move through a spectrum of emotions that deeply affect our physical being, just as a physical ailment affects the functioning and clarity of our minds. Refreshing the spirit helps to remove the tarnish that sometimes clouds the mirror of our souls.
That kind of spiritual refreshment can help us through the hardest times of life—conflicts with those we love, health crises or financial difficulties.
The circumstances of most lives will often pose financial difficulties—but our attitudes toward such problems can either assist or hinder their resolution.
The Baha’i teachings advise us to learn detachment from the physical realities of life; and increasing attachment to the spiritual realities:
Cast away that which ye possess, and, on the wings of detachment, soar beyond all created things. Thus biddeth you the Lord of creation, the movement of Whose Pen hath revolutionized the soul of mankind. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 139.
But Baha’is are not ascetics, people who rid themselves of all possessions—in this passage from Baha’u’llah, he advises his followers to detach spiritually from their material possessions, rather than letting any love for them possess their souls:
Look not, O people, at the things ye possess. Look rather at the things God hath sent down unto you. This, surely, will be better for you than the whole of creation, could ye but perceive it. – Ibid., p. 146.
In this regard, Baha’is are advised to be generous in times of personal prosperity and thankful during times of adversity, for both conditions are temporary, and one follows the other through life. When we find ourselves struggling with adversity, it may help to remember those whose lives are full of difficulties and whose trials are continual. If we can find a way to be of service to others, it will be a great benefit to ourselves, for it will allow us to see the circumstances of others’ lives and will put our own situation in perspective.
Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 285.
Let not the happenings of the world sadden you. – Baha’u’llah, quoted by Shoghi Effendi in The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 82.
All the sorrow and the grief that exist come from the world of matter—the spiritual world bestows only the joy! – Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 110.
Several Baha’i prayers focus on this spiritual theme, but this one, from Baha’u’llah, asks God to:
Dispel my grief by Thy bounty and Thy generosity, O God, my God, and banish mine anguish through Thy sovereignty and Thy might. Thou seest me, O my God, with my face set towards Thee at a time when sorrows have compassed me on every side. I implore Thee, O Thou Who art the Lord of all being, and overshadowest all things visible and invisible, by Thy Name whereby Thou hast subdued the hearts and the souls of men, and by the billows of the Ocean of Thy mercy and the splendors of the Daystar of Thy bounty, to number me with them whom nothing whatsoever hath deterred from setting their faces toward Thee, O Thou Lord of all names and Maker of the heavens!
Thou beholdest, O my Lord, the things which have befallen me in Thy days. I entreat Thee, by Him Who is the Dayspring of Thy names and the Dawning-Place of Thine attributes, to ordain for me what will enable me to arise to serve Thee and to extol Thy virtues. Thou art, verily, the Almighty, the Most Powerful, Who art wont to answer the prayers of all men!
And, finally, I beg of Thee by the light of Thy countenance to bless my affairs, and redeem my debts, and satisfy my needs. Thou art He to Whose power and to Whose dominion every tongue hath testified, and Whose majesty and Whose sovereignty every understanding heart hath acknowledged. No God is there but Thee, Who hearest and art ready to answer. – Baha’u’llah, Baha’i Prayers, pp. 26-27.