Q: Silent Unity has provided free prayer services for people around the world for more than 100 years. To begin, tell us why Unity founders Charles and Myrtle Fillmore used prayer as the foundation for the Unity movement.
Prayer was central to their own transformation. The beginning of our Unity movement was the result of healings they experienced in their lives, and they shared about these experiences in their writings. As they shared spiritual principles and practices with individuals, prayer was core. It was central to their very life experience and to their transformation.
It continues to be that today, Mindy, as we have an opportunity to serve thousands of people a day by providing affirmative prayer support. Prayer makes a difference. It changes lives and in lasting ways.
Q: It's true. There is so much healing, whether it's in an economic sense or in terms of relationships, pain, suffering, health—all the different things that draw us into prayer. Of course, we know that it doesn't need to be a response to suffering. How can we use prayer as a tool in every area of our life?
Moving through this human life experience, we can find situations that create maybe small, minor or major hiccups in our daily lives.
We need to be reminded that while we're in this human experience, we are spiritual beings. We need to take the opportunity to pause—a very sacred pause in the activity of prayer—to recenter ourselves, to refocus, and to realign our thoughts with the Divine. Love this life journey in every way, but do so in an awareness of the Divine Presence within. We nurture this awareness and bring it into expression through the sacred practice of affirmative prayer.
Q: Tell us a little bit about what is unique about Unity's style of prayer.
It's powerful and it's effective. It's essentially a practice, a method, an approach to prayer that our founders found to be very effective. Affirmative prayer, as it states, is affirmative. It's positive. My comments are not intended to judge the way others pray, but affirmative prayer is not a method of beseeching or begging. In Unity, we're not praying as a means of influencing God or persuading God to do more. We believe that God is All. As spiritual beings, we are one with God. We live, move and have our being in the presence of God. We pray with the intention of being open and receptive to divine goodness everywhere present and at the very center of our being. Affirmative prayer is positive, recognizing the good, claiming it and demonstrating it as spiritual qualities in our daily lives. …
Q: To reach in, know, feel and experience peace is truly where peace on a global scale begins. Lynne, what is the image of peace that you hold?
I see it every day. Children so beautifully express love and peace. I see it in the eyes of children. Not to say that we adults don't express peace, but maybe not quite as freely as a child.
We can learn from children, and we can let that be our invitation to express the peace that is our natural state. Nature itself, for me, is an expression of and an invitation to live in peace, beauty and order, and not to get caught up in the temporary situations and circumstances of everyday life. There's a natural beauty and order that is always present.
When we can remember to see the beauty and to align with the flow of Spirit, peace is our experience—it is our natural state. It's what we feel. It's what we express. Prayer invites us to reconnect with the divine essence of our being.
Q: I agree. Lynne, how do we use that awareness and that clarity that we experience in prayer so we can identify our gifts and reach out in service to the world?
The beauty of prayer is that peace is constant and wisdom is instantly accessible. We become still and allow ourselves to move to that centered place within.
As we quietly pause, focus our thoughts, prayerfully reflect and truly listen, we hear the still small voice. For some, it can be audible. For most of us, it is an intuitive knowing. Divine ideas come to our awareness in the silence of prayer. We realize divine ideas and then we take action to put feet on our prayers. In prayer, we know what to do, there is clarity, and we are moved to put the ideas into motion.