2014-09-25 Service

25 09 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014

6:30PM SL Time (Pacific Standard Time)

Leading the service: Peter Newtone




Prayer is one of the essential aspects that the world’s diverse faith traditions share in common, albeit in diverse forms.

Even some non-faith approaches use a form of prayer — positive affirmation — to enhance well-being. Science has shown its positive effects, regardless of one’s religion or lack thereof.

When we stand in awe at the beauty and power of nature, our heart is actually singing a prayer of praise. When we feel empathy and compassion for the suffering of others,

our soul is really praying for their relief. When we feel ill, our whole being is praying for wellness. Even when a plant thirsts, it is as if it were praying for water.

There is a growing realization that all prayer ultimately connects us with the same Source and Center of all existence, no matter how we name or understand that transcendent Reality.

As Krishna said: “The altar flowers are of many hues, but all worship is one.”

Interfaith prayer brings people of all faiths and no faith together in harmony to share something we all have in common: the ability to attune our hearts and minds in communion with the transcendent.

This realization has sparked an upsurge of interfaith prayer gatherings in homes, neighborhood centers, parks, auditoriums, and temples around the world.

Some of these gatherings are held to address specific issues, and others are open to any and all needs of the moment.

Sometimes prayers are shared in written form or read out loud, sung, chanted, spoken in the silence of each heart, or even expressed corporally.

Whatever the form used, the purpose is the same, to awaken spiritual sensitivities and to seek and transmit strength, healing, inspiration, etc.

There are several ways in which interfaith prayer supports and contributes to the seven UU principles:

  1. Interfaith prayer, while promoting mutual acceptance and forgiveness of our human flaws, opens hearts and minds to see the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
  2. Its affirmation of our potential for good fosters a sense of ethical responsibility to uphold the principles of justice, equity and compassion in our relations relations with others.
  3. By emphasizing the beauty of our rich spiritual diversity, it promotes an acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth through the “dynamic force of example”.
  4. Interfaith prayer fosters a free and responsible search for truth and meaning, by enabling participants to appreciate what others have found and to intensify their own search.
  5. It can be a guide for individual conscience and bring an atmosphere of sincere reflection and synergistic dialogue to the democratic process.
  6. Through it, people of all creeds, races, ethnic groups and nationalities can come together to pray for the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.
  7. And finally, interfaith prayers often emphasize our part in and respect for the interdependent web of all existence, realizing that hurting other beings ultimately hurts ourselves.


The Interfaith Prayer Network extends a cordial invitation to all who would like to join in an effort to bring more diverse interfaith prayer to Second Life.

Some groups and regions already host single-faith prayer events, but they are often small events, limited primarily to their own members.

We believe that expanding a network of interfaith prayer circles available to the multi-faith community of SL will increase the number and diversity of participants in each such event, thereby enriching the experience for all.

One example of such an event, of course, is the Interfaith Prayer Circle held on Fridays at 5pm SLT at the Lotus Temple, which several of you have already participated in.


  1. The simplest way is to join the Interfaith Prayer Network group to receive notices and the tag “Prays well w/ others”, and to encourage others to join.
  2. Then you can attend and participate in the events announced by the group to experience interfaith prayer for yourself, and invite friends to go with you.
  3. Finally, please talk to your group and/or region about the possibility of organizing its own Interfaith Prayer events. Hosts can post to the Interfaith Prayer Network, and experienced hosts will be happy to offer advice.

I would like to end with a beautiful UU prayer called *How Shall We Pray?:

Let us join our hearts and minds in the quiet of meditation and prayer. How shall we pray?

First, let us be open to the silence. Let us hear the sounds in this room, the noises outside, and the comfortable murmur from the children downstairs.

Let us begin to hear the soft beating of our hearts. And let us listen intently for messages from within.

Next, let us feel gratitude for our lives and for our beautiful earth. As hard as life gets, as sad or lonely as we sometimes feel, let us always be warmed by the gifts of this life.

Next, let us hold in our hearts all those, known or unknown who are in need. May we find in ourselves the energy and knowledge to bring care to the world.

And finally, let us be aware of the blessing that it is not ours alone to do the work of the world. Love and community work wonders that we by ourselves could never manage.

In this time of silence let us form our own prayers out of the concerns of our hearts. Amen. (Judith L. Quarles)

** Discussion **

I would appreciate it if we could discuss the possibility of someone hosting a weekly Interfaith Prayer Circle, either here, at the Library of World Religions, or wherever you prefer.