Tag Archives: Prayers

Remembering the blog

It has been so long since I posted to this blog that I had forgotten how to do it. My apologies to those of you who have been checking regularly for updates.

Thank you all very much indeed for saying prayers two months ago, I was very touched by the response. Ladan has remained stable, and there is slightly increased activity toward getting Ladan and I into a bungalow together so that I can be the one primarily looking after her (which I am to some extent anyway, but not at home).

I have been trying to start up a small business offering some web, internet and multimedia services, I’m still working out how I can best use the gaps of time between the interruptions that come from being with and caring for Ladan, this will become easier when we live together properly but even now I am optimistic that I am getting there slowly.

I have had Ladan back to the flat I currently sleep in a few times, and then we had quite a few trips to the local park, Jesmond Dene, where Ladan took me for a walk the first time I came to visit her in Newcastle. With summer looming, albeit the cooler Newcastle version of summer, it was decided that Ladan should have a daily tablet to prevent against hay fever, unfortunately this knocked Ladan for six and made her much sleepier, since then we have not been out, Ladan has stopped taking the tablets as a daily medicine, there have been a couple of other medicines that Ladan has had over the last few weeks too and I am hoping that soon we can be back to our normal regime and I will be taking Ladan out again a few times over the “summer”. When we go out we do not take any nurses or special equipment with us, so I prefer to have Ladan a state of medical fitness and awareness that I am familiar with. We have yet to have the first non-family member come to visit us and spend time in the flat with us, which will feel like a big step toward normality.

Call for Prayers

Firstly, there is nothing wrong that impels me to write this.

Thursday 10th April, please may I request that all our friends, indeed anybody who is willing to, says special prayers for Ladan, or thinks positively for her if they are not the praying kind.

This is more by way of experiment then necessity, Ladan has been very stable for the last few months and, as usual, has her very bright days as well as her tired days. I have noticed that, on a couple of occasions, the brighter days have coincided with several people claiming to have had Ladan in their prayers. While we are waiting to hear the doctors views on the use of another medication which, in a very small number of similar cases, has had amazing results I thought it might be nice to focus prayers on Ladan for one day with close to the same kind of intensity that she was receiving them when she first had her stroke. Those who are familiar with Ladan’s case will know that Ladan was showing good signs of consciousness until an incident in hospital, one and a half months later, knocked Ladan into an even lower state of consciousness.

If an experiment isn’t reason enough for you, then 10th April is also our fourth wedding anniversary.

On two recent occasions, the first being Ladan’s birthday on 10th February, I have been able to take Ladan back to the ground floor flat I sleep in near to the nursing home. The flat is full of items that were Ladan’s before we married and therefore hopefully a mini treasure trove of memories. Furthermore it is a quiet and comfortable place to spend time, which is also great for me. The second occasion was on the visit of a friend from the south, it seemed a much more natural place for Ladan to be receiving a guest. I am hoping that the next occasion will be this Thursday afternoon. There are several things that can happen on the day which may prevent this from happening, but that is the hope.

I have uploaded a few video clips from our wedding to my Facebook page, I will upload them elsewhere soon for those who are not on Facebook. I also hope to put up a short video in the next couple of days showing a few shots of where Ladan currently is and the flat in Heaton.

Thank you in advance for your participation on Thursday, there is no particular time and no particular prayer, just as much as you feel able and willing to offer on that day will be most appreciated.

Here come the updates…

You wait ages for an update then three come along at once! Actually its one big long update split into three parts, probably full of typing and grammatical errors as I have hurried it a little.

I know that many of you who check this blog for updates think of Ladan and pray for her and for her family regularly, I truly appreciate this and am touched that so many of you continue to do this after such a long time, I remain convinced that your prayers do have a positive influence upon Ladan and whilst remaining much the same may not sound like progress stability is very important and instability quite common for patients in Ladan’s condition.

Let the updates begin…

One and a half years

Ladan and James dancing

An eighteen month anniversary may not sound like anything special to write about, but when doctors feared that Ladan wouldn’t live for our seventh, the tenth day of each month became an even more special occasion for me. Ladan and I had a fairly joyful evening in which I read our wedding programme over the sound of a jazzed up Pachelbel’s Canon and some instrumentals by Kenny G before listening to some other slushy favourites.

Nine flat months

The night of the 24th/25th September marks 9 months since the siezure that started in the early hours of Christmas day last year, a siezure which caused such a sharp deterioration less than 2 months into Ladan’s recovery. Extra prayers for Ladan would be appreciated on this occasion.

I would like to give an inadequate mention here of Mr. Alaeinia who was in Newcastle when Ladan fell into a coma and visited her, and whose wife and son (Arash) have continued to visit Ladan and to give support to the family while Mr. Alaenia has been back in Iran.

Last week I heard that Mr. Alaenia had a short heart attack as he left a shop in Iran and as a result he fell into a coma, this week the even sadder news has reached me that he has passed away and there is a memorial meeting for him in Newcastle tonight (Saturday 24th) which I intend, of course, to attend.

Ladan Update

Just a short update, more because I prefer to keep Ladan at the top of this blog than that there is anything major to report!

Ladan with a wallaby on the Isle of Wight

Ladan is seeming to become a little more stable again and her eyes are showing more movement but are still a long way from where they were two weeks ago, in other words they are still divergent and often have a slightly distant look, rather than a present look. This look to which I refer is something which Ladan went through twice before when she started opening her eyes after the initial bleed in November and again after she opened her eyes following the serious seizure in December. For a short time (just a couple of days in each case) Ladan was opening her eyes and you could look into Ladan’s eyes but not feel like Ladan was aware of you and/or looking back at you. Since two weeks ago Ladan’s eyes have often been more like this as well ass being very divergent and restricted in movement, doctors have blamed it on infection or rogue red blood cells causing post-surgical irritation, we have not been given a time-frame for it to improve though it does seem to improve very gradually. A good friend of mine suggested it should take several weeks for improvement to occur if blood cells are causing the problem.

Ladan seems to be suffering from something too, possibly stomach pain, which I am sure is not helping, she is not getting any help with that at the moment, in fact it feels like she has been a bit neglected over the last few days while something is clearly still troubling her. Ladan’s father is currently over from Australia and we were due to meet with Ladan’s consultant yesterday morning but the consultant was held up and Ladan’s father, who has not been at his best, needed to go and get some rest after waiting for several hours. The meeting is rescheduled for Monday and on Tuesday we have arranged to visit the rehabilitation centre, Hunters Moor, where Ladan is expected to go to next.

I have been managing to slightly intensify my own prayers of late, encouraged by a very sweet iranian lady who had a short stay in the cubicle next to Ladan’s last week. She had survived multiple stabbings and was herself, along with many of her visitors, a great believer in the power of prayer. She and most of her visitors popped in to see Ladan quite often, it was touching, but as soon as it was found that Ladan had a couple of infections they were asked not to come any closer than the doorway. Prayer is a great source of strength, but I find the height to which it elevates my faith and submission to the Will of God also lends itself to some pretty hard bumps down to ground, particularly when Ladan appears to be suffering a lot. I should blog about tests, faith, and prayer again some time soon, I’ve had a lot of experience lately!

From the Universal House of Justice

On Friday I received a copy of this very beautiful letter sent to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the UK from the Department of the Secretariat of the Universal House of Justice, the international legislative authority of the Baha’i Faith based on Mount Carmel in Israel and in the vicinity of the Holy Shrines of Baha’u’llah, The Bab and ‘Abdu’l-Baha.


10 May 2005

The National Spiritual Assembly of
the Bahá’ís of the United Kingdom

Dear Bahá’í Friends,

The Universal House of Justice received your email letter dated 5 May 2005. You are assured of its prayers in the Holy Shrines on behalf of Mrs. Ladan Herbert that Bahá’u’lláh may enfold her in His tender mercy and healing grace. Prayers will also be offered for the strength and well-being of her husband and family.

With loving Bahá’í greetings,Department of the Secretariat

The Long Healing Prayer Revised

In the Baha’i Faith we have the blessing of many prayers having been penned by the Prophet Founder of the Faith, Baha’u’llah and by His forerunner The Bab and His son ‘Abdu’l-Baha. Among these prayers are a few invested with a special power and potency, one of which is the Long Healing Prayer.

If you say the Long Healing Prayer quite often then it may interest you to know that the latest editions of Baha’i Prayers to be printed in the United States include a correction over most Baha’i prayer books in circulation, both printed and online.

In the uncorrected version of the prayer the refrain “Thou the Sufficing, Thou the Healing, Thou the Abiding, O Thou Abiding One!” appears 40 times, including once after “I call on Thee O Thou Who slayest the Lovers, O God of Grace to the wicked!”, near the end of the prayer. In the corrected version the refrain appears 39 times and its final repetition is in the verse “I call on Thee O Manifest yet Hidden, O Unseen yet Renowned, O Onlooker sought by all! Thou the Sufficing, Thou the Healing, Thou the Abiding, O Thou Abiding One!”

The corrected section of the prayer, therefore, looks like this:


I call on Thee O Manifest yet Hidden, O Unseen yet Renowned, O Onlooker sought by all! Thou the Sufficing, Thou the Healing, Thou the Abiding, O Thou Abiding One!

I call on Thee O Thou Who slayest the Lovers, O God of Grace to the wicked!

O Sufficer, I call on Thee, O Sufficer!
O Healer, I call on Thee, O Healer!
O Abider, I call on Thee, O Abider!
Thou the Ever-Abiding, O Thou Abiding One!

Sanctified art Thou, O my God! …”

My thanks go to Terry J. Cassiday of the U.S. Baha’i Publishing Trust for confirming this for me.

Project Melody, Baha’i prayers set to music

Link: http://www.projectmelody.com

A Bahá’í Composer, Allen Tyrone Johnson, is sharing his music free of charge to “help individuals worldwide grow closer to God”.

Setting Baha’i prayers to music in their translated english form is a considerable challenge, some shorter prayers are very well known in a musical form such as:

“Is there any Remover of difficulties save God? Say:
Praised be God! He is God! All are His servants, and all abide by His bidding.”


“O God, guide me, protect me, illumine the lamp of my heart and make me a brilliant star. Thou art the Mighty and the Powerful.”

Doug Cameron did a particularly good job with the prayer:

“O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.
O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord. ”

On the whole, however, longer prayers are difficult to set to music and Allen Tyrone Johnson has taken on the challenge with some much longer prayers, including the Long Healing Prayer. There is another version of the Long Healing Prayer set to music in which the last paragraph is spoken, in Allen Tyrone Johnson’s version the entire prayer is sung. The style of the singing is quite well removed from other prayers I have heard sung, sounding somewhere closer to a young Michael Jackson singing a ballad.

Of the six prayers available on the web site I listened to four of them and quite liked some of them, most particularly the marriage prayer. The Long Healing Prayer, which rarely takes more than ten to fifteen minutes to read, lasts for thirty five minutes which may be a little long to focus on as an individual prayer but would probably make for a meaningful meditation on the names and attributes that are called upon in the prayer, in fact Allen Tyrone Johnson went travelling with his rendition of this prayer calling it the “Long Healing Prayer Musical Devotional Experience.”

Setting prayers to music is a great service to offer the world, I will always remember “O God” Refresh and gladden my spirit…” thanks to Doug Cameron’s lively musical version of it. Making the fruits of these labours available free for everyone to download on the Internet ensures that almost anybody may have the chance to hear this music and benefit from it.

Thanks to the person who posted a comment elsewhere on my site to bring this to my attention.

Ladan’s Progress

Firstly, thank you to all of you who have sent messages of support and said prayers for my dear wife Ladan. This update is just to let you know the latest on her situation.

Until a few weeks ago Ladan was showing some very encouraging signs, she was looking around and focusing on people and text. A few days before Christmas her mother and grandmother were communicating with her, getting yes and no answers from the nodding and shaking of her head, and having smiles in response to promises of the meals that would be cooked for her when she was out of hospital. While this was encouraging Ladan was still experiencing moments of high heart rate and blood pressure, often accampanied by high fever, which were generally kept calm by administering a certain drug.

On Christmas Eve Ladan was getting very agitated and her heart rate and blood pressure again started to rise, the nurse was ordered, for no reason that we are aware of or were consulted on, by the doctors on duty not to administer the drug that calms her down and she developed an increasingly high fever. In the early hours of Christmas Day Ladan started having violent seizures (fits), these remained violent for about two and a half hours and continued at a lower level until midnight (nearly 24 hours). It is unusual to suddenly develop seizure activity 7 weeks after a bleed in the brain and so a CT scan was taken to see if there was any new damage or bleeding to explain the activity. We were told that the scan had shown no bleeds or other damage that could explain the activity.

Immediately following this Ladan has taken a major step backwards in terms of clinical responses. The seizures sent her back into a much deeper coma and a subsequent EEG (scan of electrical activity of the brain) showed very little activity. We have officially complained about the actions taken that night and that complaint is still being dealt with.

A few days ago we had a meeting with a consultant in which we were informed that the CT Scan taken early on Christmas morning shows that Ladan suffered another bleed in her cerebellum, though probably not of sufficient size to warrant an operation. It is believed that the underlying condition ( the vascular disease Churg-Strauss) which caused the first bleeds is well under control and it was conceded that the high blood pressure that was allowed to get out of control that night may have been the cause of this new bleed. On Friday an MRI scan was taken which confirms that the effects of the newer bleed are lessening but also shows some swelling around the all outer ridges of the brain, the radiologist who took the scan said that this pattern can be consistent with having had seizure activity.

As yet we have had no explanation or apology for what happened on Christmas Eve, but what is most important and most encouraging is that Ladan is showing continued signs of recovery from this new low point. Ladan is again responding to pain and more recently opening her eyes, though with less movement than before, and has moments, with increasing frequency, of seeming to understand what is said to her by way of trying to open eyes on request or a change of expression or breathing according to the subject being spoken about.

Below are some links to popular prayers which I recommend for use either fore Ladan or for other loved ones in need:

Link: Baha’i Short Healing Prayer

Link: Baha’i healing prayer for women

Link: Baha’i Long Healing Prayer

I also often find myself saying marriage prayers for Ladan and I as a prayer for a healthy and fruitful marriage in this world encompass the hope that Ladan should make a full recovery in order that we may go on to have children and a united future.

Link: A Baha’i marriage prayer

Ladan is a very sweet soul who has never really done anything wrong in her life, we can only hope that there may be a wisdom to this suffering she is undergoing and that her bright personality will be polished by it to shine even more radiantly than before.

Many thanks, James.