Prayers Around the World

By Rev. Ellen Debenport
Prayers Around the World, November/December 2021, Unity Magazine Issue

The November/December 2021 issue of Unity Magazine is woven with the theme of prayer—prayers of global traditions, mysticism, even the use of Eastern concepts, plus a spate of lively columns and interviews. You’ll find ideas for talks, teaching, and study groups.

Prayers Around the World, November/December 2021, Unity Magazine IssueUnity Magazine—November/December 2021

Here’s some of what you will find in this issue of Unity Magazine, with suggestions on how to use the research and writing in your ministry.

Listening in with … Gregg Braden: The Science Behind Affirmative Prayer by Katy Koontz

Gregg Braden’s new book, The Wisdom Codes (Hay House, 2020), is a collection of prayers, chants, mantras, and hymns from the traditions of the global family. In this Q&A interview, he says our language determines the way we see the world, our words carry emotional vibrations, and our prayers are actually feelings, not words. This interview is full of ideas that could become a talk about prayer.

Lost in Translation by Philip Goldberg

We know Charles Fillmore drew from Hinduism as he created Unity. Now Eastern religions are incredibly popular in the West. But do we really understand them? In this eye-opening article, Goldberg clarifies the true meaning of concepts like karma, maya, and desire. He suggests that a shallow understanding of these terms can lead to its own form of metaphysical malpractice.

This Is How You Pray by Karen Brailsford

When this author met her childhood hero, gospel musician Andraé Crouch, he asked where she went to church. She told him about Agape International Spiritual Center and a bit about New Thought, only to be met with skepticism and disapproval. She’d had the same response from her mother, who quoted scripture from her ever-handy Bible. How do you help those in your ministry comfortably explain New Thought when friends or family hold different beliefs?

Sage & Savvy Voices: Return to Whistle Stop by Fannie Flagg

The author of Fried Green Tomatoes (Random House, 1987) talks about her new sequel to the story and how the pandemic reinforced the importance of community. She also believes firmly that people are good and life is full of humor. Flagg grew up in an atheist home until she found Daily Word, which remains her spiritual anchor. This excerpt is from an interview with Rev. Dr. Temple Hayes on Unity Online Radio.

Keeping Mysticism at Bay by Anne Bernard Becker

At age 8, this author read the story of Joan of Arc and decided she emphatically did not want to be chosen for any missions from God. But throughout her lifetime, she has gradually opened the door to mystical experiences. This will prompt you to think about how or even whether we can invite a direct knowing of the Divine.

Let Go and Let God by Rev. Maggy Whitehouse

Have you ever prayed with someone only to hear them immediately take back the problem and resume their worry? Maggy Whitehouse uses the biblical story of Hannah, the mother of Samuel, to illustrate how consciousness must change before circumstances can. What are we holding on to that prevents our joy? This is a ready-made Sunday talk.

Quit the Blame Game by Rev. Linda Martella-Whitsett and Alicia Whitsett

Why do bad things happen? It’s an age-old question tackled by Linda Martella-Whitsett, who heads the Unity Prayer Ministry, along with her daughter Alicia in this excerpt from their new book about healing, This Life Is Yours (Hampton Roads, 2021). When we suffer, is God testing us, have we sinned, are our bodily humors out of whack? They settle on the Law of Attraction, but what does that mean for people who seem to be victims of racism and homophobia? This article (and their book) will give you lots of ideas for a Sunday series or book study.

From the Columns

  • Don’t Mess with Fillmore—In “Faith Matters,” Rev. Ellen Debenport, vice president of publishing for Unity World Headquarters, argues against trying to update Charles and Myrtle Fillmore’s language. (She has also written an online article about what people new to Unity might read before they tackle Fillmore.)
  • The Christmas Story Is Our Story—Rev. Jacquie Fernández in “The Spirit of Scripture” notes the deep resonance of the Christmas story—even beyond Christianity—to all humanity.
  • On Wisdom and Aging—A new study on epigenetics shows once again how consciousness influences health and can even help us age more slowly. Dawson Church, Ph.D., interprets the science in “Health, Science, and Spirituality.”
  • Good News. Great Joy. All People—When the angels said they were bringing “good news of great joy for all people,” they were giving us a to-do list, writes Rev. Kelly Isola in “Classic and Contemporary View.” What is our good news? How do we live in great joy? And how do we show up for all the people on our path?

The complete Unity Magazine digital issue is included with your print subscription.

Questions or feedback? Let me know your thoughts below.—Rev. Ellen

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