Unity observes World Day of Prayer with 24 hours of activities

When one bows their head, kneels, folds their hands, taking the universally known prayer position, we understand a prayer is about to be said. Some people take this pose only when they are steeped in desperation, in deep, dark trouble. Others, like the Franciscan Poor Clares or Tibetan Monks, strike the prayer pose continually, praying hours on end. Other people pray only on Sunday. Still others are somewhere in between, not praying as often as the Monks, but praying more than only in troubled times. Others simply close their eyes and listen. 

What is prayer? Many definitions follow. In "Illuminata: A Return to Prayer," Mary Anne Williamson writes, "The highest level of prayer is not a prayer for anything. It is a deep and profound silence, in which we allow ourselves to be still and know Him. In that silence we are changed. We are calmed. We are illumined. Prayer is meant to dissolve the worldly focus, to dissolve our sense of a separate self, to help us detach from an insane world order." 

Unity uses “affirmative prayer," and focuses on connecting with the spirit of God within. Affirmative prayer is the method of praying that Jesus taught, saying, “So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24)

We can pray about everything and anything. All prayers are precious to the ears of God.

Sept. 10 is Unity's World Day of Prayer, with Sept. 9 marking the opening ceremony, and starting a 24-hour prayer vigil. This year's theme for the event is "Pray Up Your Life, Pray Up the World." The affirmation is, "As I pray, I connect my highest thoughts with my deepest faith."

Unity World Day of Prayer is a global event; this year also celebrates 125 years of Silent Unity. Founded in 1889, Unity helps people apply positive spiritual principles to their personal lives. 

Locally, Unity Spiritual Center of Westlake celebrates World Day of Prayer in our own unique way. Starting on Wednesday, Sept. 9, there will be 24 hours plus of prayerful, powerful activities. Registration and camping setup begin at 5 p.m. The Prayer Power Hour is at 7 p.m., followed by a live streaming of the Opening Ceremony from Unity Village Missouri at 8 p.m. Next is an outdoor, candlelit labyrinth walk, then there's drumming, yoga, meditation, mantras, prayer stations, and marshmallow madness through the night and the next day. See the complete schedule at unityspiritualcenter.com or call 440-835-0400. USC is located at 23855 Detroit Road in Westlake. 

Stay overnight, or dedicate a few precious hours to yourself and your relationship with your Higher Power within. All faiths are welcome. Pray up your life!

Sharon Fedor

I am Secretary on the Board of Trustees of Unity Spiritual Center. I enjoy writing about USC's event. Everyone is welcome at Sunday services, or our numerous classes, and worshops!

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Volume 7, Issue 17, Posted 8:48 AM, 09.01.2015