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A Prayer to The One Who Can Do What He Wills

Lead Article
Once again, with renewed determination and hope, we turn to You. Bowing our heads in prostration, we eagerly await the fulfillment of our many expectations.
| M. Fethullah Gulen | Issue 157 (Jan - Feb 2024)

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A Prayer to The One Who Can Do What He Wills

In This Article

  • O Lord! Hold us by the hand and turn towards us with mercy as You look upon Your companions with mercy. Illuminate our hearts with Your presence and save us from the gloom and dungeons of being distant from You.
  • O Lord! Never abandon us to the obstacles of our own thoughts and perceptions on the long and tough journey of life that lies ahead of us. Grant us protection from the deviations and stumbles of our minds, from the corporeal oppression of our egos, and from the fatal arrows of the whims and desires of our hearts.
  • O Lord, never leave us alone without the light of Your guidance! Standing before You, we are empty-handed, our hearts desolate, and our book of good deeds completely bare. Yet, we possess a magical potion to fill this emptiness: our positive opinion about You, O Lord. Our sins loom like mountains; yet our hopes surpass imagination.

O Lord! You are by no means obliged to accept our supplications; however, we are in need of this more than we truly realize. I ask You to accept our supplications and pleas and convey their acceptance into our hearts.Our hearts tremble with hunger and loneliness; saturate our hearts with faith and contentment. We cannot claim to have come a long distance, yet we have been journeying on this path continuously for many years. Our horizon is overshadowed by gloom and sorrow. The obstacles ahead of us appear to be beyond human endurance. Believers are in a state of confusion, misery, and anguish; faith is imprisoned in the narrowness offolklore; worship and obedience to God are performed like a cultural activity; emotions and thoughts are entrusted to fantasies; people fight for nothing, but with self-interest or racist motives. Many on this path die for nothing, and their killers consider their murder a true struggle.

O Lord! Hold us by the hand and turn towards us with mercy as You look upon Your companions with mercy. Illuminate our hearts with Your presence and save us from the gloom and dungeons of being distant from You; grant us salvation and do not abandon us, Your loyal servants, our heads at Your doorstep. We ask You to illuminate our hearts, strengthen our willpower, guide our thoughts, and purify our intentions. Reconstruct our inner worlds and convey the mystery of being human as the “perfect pattern of creation” [1] into our souls. “O Lord, O Lord! What would you lose, O Lord?” as M.Lutfi said. Compassion is one of Your attributes, favoris Your way, and forgiveness is Your glory. We are Your servants, dependent upon Your compassion, favor, and forgiveness. “Grant us benevolence, O Lord! Never deprive Your benevolence from these pitiful servants /Would it ever befitthe Granter of benevolence to withhold His benevolence from these destitute servants?” (M.Lutfi). The expansiveness of Your gates of mercy eliminates the need to seek any other form of refuge. We enter as deep as we possibly can through those gates, regulate our voices with respect and caution, and ask You to grant us strength and determination in worship and obedience, a strong willpower that will not falter before the enticement of sin, and a perception and foresight in the face of tribulations. Grant us what we ask of You and we pray that You do not condemn us to our own narrowness and dismay.

We belong to You; we praise and glorify You with the physical body You gave to us. We worship You with servitude, for it is a requirement of the leash of weakness and destitution we bear around our necks. Yet, these are simple toils, as inconsistent as we are, and far from worthy of Your glory.Indeed, how can there possibly be any comparison between Your magnificence and glory, and our servitude? How can we compare Your favors and benevolence to our state of desperation?

O Lord! Never abandon us to the obstacles of our own thoughts and perceptions on the long and tough journey of life that lies ahead of us.Grant us protection from the deviations and stumbles of our minds, from the corporeal oppression of our egos, and from the fatal arrows of the whims and desires of our hearts. Guard Your devoted servants from pride in knowledge, from hypocrisy and heedlessness in worship, and from habituation which dull our spiritual agility. It is such a pitiful state to appear to be on Your path but actually move away, to experience separation from You while so close, and constantly speak of Your pleasure but in realitypursue Your wrath! Protect us from consuming our lives in these valleys of destruction which we assume to be of our benefit. 

Our Lord! You give us protection, hold by our hands and raise us when we fall, frequently purify our polluted hearts, and accept us among those You favor –doing these are no imperfection on Your side; yet they mean everything to us. It is undeniable that a sin is a sin, which deserves disciplining, and by which we are fettered with. Indeed, while there may be many individuals deserving of punishment, we cannot find anyone who forgives as you do, O Lord. Your compassion surpasses your wrath. We implore you not to subject us to torment and suffering by abandoning us to the unknown. If, at one point, we distanced ourselves from You, attempting to evade the inevitable, and committed unimaginable crimes and sins, if we underwent a transformation in our character, displayed arrogance, rebelled against You, pursued our whims and desires, and polluted ourselves, we now stand before You in a state of desperation. However, we are fully aware of our true needs and deprivation. With the leash of Your sovereignty around our necks, the fetters of desperation around our ankles, and our hands placed upon our chests, we confess our sins. As Your servants, we earnestly plead for mercy and await treatment in accordance with Your greatness and compassion.

O Lord, forgive us! We were born into such a world and live in such an environment that we are surrounded by traps.Everywhere we go, the ego, andSatan and his accomplices,lie in wait, ready to catch their prey in these traps.Throughout our journey, sparks of discord and a cloud of gloom embed themselves in our hearts. Our need for Your mercy is evident in every action we take.Only You can guide us safely and restore our spiritual world, which has succumbed to destruction many times before. We pour our hearts out to You alone, revealing our mistakes and shortcomings to You alone, seeking Your guidance to regain our humanity. 

Once again, with renewed determination and hope, we turn to You. Bowing our heads in prostration, we eagerly await the fulfillment of our many expectations. I implore You not to let us down in our pleas and hopes! Shower us with an abundance of Your love and mercy, filling our hearts with inspiration.With our heads prostrated at Your sacred gate of mercy, may our pulses quicken with the excitement of perceiving Your presence, our hearts beat with the yearning to meet the Beloved, and our cries make the heavens tremble.

So, starting from this moment, we commit to remembering You at all times. We will attribute everything to You, appreciating and enjoying the gifts You bestow upon us. May our lives be infused with the vision of Divine union, and may our hearts continue to surge with yearning for You. May we stand and kneel for You alone, recognizing Your presence in everything we see. Let us strive to tread the paths that lead us to You through every creation and object on this earth.

Until the present moment, we have grown weary of ceaselessly chasing after various delusions. Living without You has become tiresome. Truly, when considerations are deprived of You, even the widest paths appear to be narrow and unsurpassable; even the widest, grandest avenues become unattractive footpaths…

O Lord, never make us endure such a separation again; never leave us alone without the light of Your guidance! Though we tread on Your path of truth, our spiritual sustenance is lacking.The capital of life we were givenhave been squandered on unknown delusions and false dreams.Standing before You, we are empty-handed, our hearts desolate, and our book of good deeds completely bare.Yet, we possess a magical potion to fill this emptiness: our positive opinion about You, O Lord. Our sins loom like mountains;yet our hopes surpass imagination.

On life’s journey, many adversaries akin to Pharaohs, Nimrods, andcountless Abu Jahls wait in ambush; let them do so, so long as there is You who will overpower and defeat each and every one of them! We are not afraid,though our weakness is apparent, our deprivation evident, and our needs boundless. You have already given so much without us asking, so we sincerely believe You will grant our pleas and meet our needs.

Those who know You acknowledge that You have granted the requests of all those who have asked fromYou – of course within the scope of Your wisdom– and You have never disappointed those who have been devoted to You. You have honored those who took a single step towards You by approaching them ten stepscloser. You have even purified those who slipped and deviated from the path leading to You and rewarded them as if they were Your devoted servants. No soul has been Your guestand been denied a lavish banquet. No one has knocked on Your door and left without a response.

We have traveled a great distance until the present in a state of destitution and difficulty.We approached many doors for assistance, but in the end, we arrived and set up our tent on the grounds of Your mercy.You granted us a body, life, awareness, and conscience in a world in which we were unfamiliar with needs and demands, in which we did not perceive desperation. Now, once they have been fulfilled, we truly recognize these requirements, the necessities in life, and await the propitious moment when You will look at us, not our sins, and say, “Come! Enter among My distinguished servants and share My favors and blessings.”

We are disregardingour polluted body and spirit as we seek refuge in the protection of Your mercy and await the surprise favors of Your benevolence. We have the audacity of coming before You and expect the kind of sacred pleasure and joy You would show to someone who, after having strayed or displayed disrespect to the etiquette of Your path, but eventually recovered and returned to You.

You promise that You will not reject anyone who has returned in repentance – indeed we have never heard of Your rejection. You consistently extend the invitation to those who turn to You, declaring, "Come to Me!" O Lord, if You accept those who approach You in a state of repentance, allow us to declare, "We have come too!" We have come to You, expressing our grievances about the harshness and difficulties of life's journey, the callousness, and unfaithfulness of the ego, the temptations of the devil and his desires, and our own vulnerabilities. Specifically, we complain to You about our rebellious egos, which are prone to error, inclined to sin, and consistently display disregard for Your greatness.The masses are maimed and weary due to the ego’s poisonous daggers and are constantly pursuing its enticing paths.Their sole aim is pleasure and deceit; their aspirations lead to blindness and deviation from the path of truth. Pursuing fame, glory, pleasure, comfort, and various interests, they continuously chase after these fleeting desires. These maladies, which we regard as potentially fatal, havedefeatedcountlessgood-looking people and glorious rulers along with their kingdoms.

If You abandon us, it will be impossible for us to stand alone against these deceivers, these cruel enemies. Under Your protection, however, we will not fear anything. Protect us from the snares of Satan, from falling into ruin. Safeguard our hearts from being lured by Satan and from becoming among those who succumb to him.Grant us a new “resurrection.” We stand before You, our heads bowing,and our hearts broken.We stand bearing the shame of straying from You, but nevertheless, we are extremely hopeful and have great trust in You. We hope that You will never abandon us. With passion in our hearts and tears in our eyes, we entrust our regrets to You, asking for a renewal of our souls, hearts, and confidence. If You accept, it is a testament to Your glory and mercy. If, however, our pleas are rejected, it would be a profound disappointment for us. How fortunate we would be if You grace us with Your mercy! Conversely, how tragic it would be if You were to treat us based on what we truly deserve!

Note

  1. “Surely We have created human of the best stature, as the perfect pattern of creation” (Qur’an 95:4).


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