Prayer MinistryUnity of Sarasota's Dedicated Prayer Chaplains
Prayer Chaplains are a dedicated group of congregants committed to holding the high watch for our community. To qualify to serve as a Prayer Chaplain, they must have completed the chaplain course and attend an annual weekend retreat where they review how to pray and support those in need of prayer. After completing the weekend retreat, they commit themselves to serving their spiritual community for one year by being available to provide prayer support on a rotating basis on Sunday mornings and through phone or e-mail support.
What is a Prayer Chaplain?
A Prayer Chaplain is someone who can pray with you. Jesus said, “Whenever two or more are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” When two people come together in prayer, a “third” presence is there, that is, the presence of the Holy Spirit or the active principle of God. This is where the consciousness of possibility exists.
A Prayer Chaplain is someone who can create and hold sacred space with you. To hold sacred space means to embrace a consciousness of possibility. God is greater than any outward situation or condition we may experience. A Prayer Chaplain helps one to open this space through prayer.
A Prayer Chaplain is someone who can listen to you and hold what is heard in confidence. Rest assured that whatever is said to a prayer chaplain, stays with a prayer chaplain.
“Practice the Presence of God as you would practice music.”
– Emilie Cady
How do Prayer Chaplains serve?
On Sunday – Prayer Chaplains are available to pray with you following the Sunday services in the sanctuary or at any time. You can fill out a prayer request at the church and know that our chaplains will hold you and your request in prayer and loving kindness.
At the Hospital – Prayer Chaplains make hospital visits. If you are in the hospital or know you are going to be hospitalized, please contact the church office and a chaplain or minister will be happy to offer prayer support through a call or visit.
Over the Phone – Prayer Chaplains make prayer calls. All members have the option of having a personal chaplain. Your prayer chaplain will phone you once a month to offer prayer support. Of course, if you need prayer at other times, you may contact the church office and a prayer chaplain will contact you.
How to Contact a Prayer Chaplain
Unity of Sarasota currently offers four different ways in which you can access prayer support. A minister or prayer chaplain will contact you.
- Contact the church office at 941-955-3301, Extension 23 or 22.
- Email the church. A minister or prayer chaplain will return your call or email.
- Fill out a prayer request form and place it in the box located in the Narthex or drop it in the offering basket or submit a prayer request online.
- Meet a prayer chaplain in the front of the sanctuary or in the healing room after the Sunday service.
(attributed to Karen Lindvig)
Unity was founded on affirmative prayer – not the begging, let’s-make-a-deal-with-God type prayer, but affirmative, life-giving prayer.
The use of affirmative prayer goes all the way back to Unity’s co-founder, Myrtle Fillmore, in the late 1800’s. Myrtle was the mother of three young boys when she was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Like any mother, she was not ready to go. This was in the days when using leeches was considered a cure for some illnesses. She sought another way.
Myrtle began studying “mind science” and attended a lecture by E. B. Weeks. He said, “You are a child of God and you cannot inherit sickness.” She took these words to heart and sequestered herself for many months, speaking words of praise to every part of her body. It didn’t happen overnight, but eventually she was healed.
Myrtle was so excited by her new relationship with prayer that she began to pray for other people. Eventually she was holding prayer circles in her home and this small group grew into the Unity movement and Silent Unity. Silent Unity has the longest-running prayer ministry in the world. Prayer is still available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Charles Fillmore, our co-founder, referred to Unity as “practical Christianity.” That is, we take the teachings of Jesus and seek to apply them to our lives. Affirmative prayer follows the example of Jesus, who spoke Aramaic. Aramaic is a present-tense language.
Listen to this passage from the Lord’s Prayer: “Give us this day our daily bread.” Can you hear the command in these words? Jesus is not saying, “Please God, give us this day our daily bread” or “If we are good, give us this day our daily bread.” He is not begging or bargaining. He is making a positive, affirmative statement.
The definition of affirmative prayers is “to state the Truth, even in the face of contrary evidence.” This means if you are sick, you affirm health. If you are poor, you affirm prosperity; if you are confused, guidance, etc. The idea is to affirm capital “T” Truth vs. small “t” truth.
Let God Speak
The second and equally important step in affirmative prayer is to invite the presence of God within you to speak the Word. It isn’t you who is doing the praying – it is the spirit of God within you who prays. It’s surrendering to your higher Self and giving it Voice. Besides, if you think it is you who is doing the praying and a healing takes place, there will be no containing the ego. On the other hand, if you think it is you who is praying and a healing doesn’t take place, the ego will deem you a failure.
Pray affirmatively and let go. Only God can see around the corner and up ahead. Give your prayers over without attachment.
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy,
I awoke and saw that life was service,
I acted and behold service was joy.”