THIS is the spreading out of our necessities at the Court of God, and seeking the fulfilment of our wishes from His endless bounty and abundance. And every potentate who holds the key of prayer, doubtless, according to the promise, “Pray to me, and I will give ear unto you,”— the gate of acceptance shall be opened to him. Now Prayer is either for attaining some advantage, or getting rid of some evil; and princes have no exemption from either of these two forms of prayer. The first, or the gaining of things profitable, such as the good order of his dominions, and the stability of his power, is what he should beg for, with cries and supplication, from the Majesty of Him who is abundant and performeth all things; that he may be established in tranquillity on the throne of power.

That man may sit on the throne of pleasure according to his desire,
Who hath opened for his heart a path of supplication.

And the second, or the removal of difficulties and evils, such as the sudden assault of a foe, or the superior force of an enemy, or any other misfortune, as bodily pains and diseases; which things are not to be got rid-of without lamentation, and weeping, and crying, and prayer: As the eminent Mūlavī Rūmī (His hidden state be sanctified!) has expressed it in his Masnawī:

O thou who thinkest to redeem thy life from evil;
Bring down thy soul to lamentation;
Go on lamenting, that thou mayest become joyful;
Weep, that at length thou mayst be of a smiling countenance:
For this lamentation hath great value with God;
And the value which sorrow hath there, where else hath it such?
Happy the eye that weeps for him;
Noble the heart that burns for him:
In the end, all our weeping shall be turned to smiles:
The man who considers the end is a blessed servant.

It is said in Histories of the Prophet, that the prayer of a just King is accepted; and that each arrow of prayer which a Prince, whose emblem is justice, places on the bow of possibility, and shoots with the right aim of sin­cerity, shall, without doubt, reach the target of consent, and the mark of acceptance.

They say that in a certain city, within the Territories of the Faith, the rain fell for several days and nights together, in such quantity that the common concerns of life were made difficult, and the usual roads of communi­cation were stopped up. Their habitations looked deso­late, and dread fell upon the hearts of high and low. Many of the astrologers said, that “it is easy to foretell, from the heavenly aspects, that the whole city will be laid waste by an excess of water.” Men lost all attach­ment to home, and grief and consternation fell upon their hearts. When matters were come to this extremity, and the power of endurance was bowed down, they had recourse to the king, who was a just man, and of unsullied conduct. He consoled the people; and retiring into a private place, bent his face to the earth in supplication, and said: “O Lord God! all the people are of one mind as to the destruction of this city: but Thou art able to shew the folly of their thoughts, and to shew forth the signs of Thy power by disappointing their imaginations.” And at that moment the rain ceased, and the sun broke forth: which is a clear proof, that when a king is sincere in his reliance upon God, and has right feelings towards his people, every prayer that he puts up, in his own behalf or theirs, is endued with the glory of divine favour.

That King who, from motives of kindness,
Placed the crown of sovereignty on thy head;
Whatever thou desirest, ask of Him,
For he shall give thee all that thou dost ask of Him.