At my house, for half a year we’ve been watching the evening news daily. We’ve discovered that doing so fosters an underlying sense of agitation, which makes it harder to retain a calm, clear connection to God’s love and guiding presence. Our alarming moment in time asks us to make a more deliberate effort to connect with the divine reality, through prayer, worship, meditation, walks in nature, honest and loving conversations, service, and in other ways. In my Quaker community a couple weeks ago, we experienced an online meeting for worship that was silent for an hour (a rare occurrence for us). Afterwards, many who participated spoke of a sense of inward healing, release, restoration, and peace. We felt strengthened by the Spirit to bring our best efforts to the work and witness we are called to in the world. At home, we’ve decided to spend less time watching news of the world on tv, and more time attending to the Source of life, which can make all things new.
A group from Swarthmore and Chester Meetings has been convening a “meeting for prayer and healing” once a month for several years. In mid-March of 2020, we started holding the meeting online, twice a month, on the second and fourth Thursdays. In the silence, everybody turns their attention to the healing power of the divine Light, centering in the eternal oneness in which all is already whole, healed, and in harmony. In the silent prayer, we open ourselves to participate in the always ongoing universal flow of divine healing energy. When we find ourselves moved to pray for a particular person or situation, we may speak or pray out loud and invite others to join us in our prayer.
Usually in these meetings for prayer and healing, there are requests to hold several particular people in the Light, as well as situations that are on our hearts. We alternate between silent prayer and vocal prayer. Usually by the end of the hour, I have a clear feeling that the Spirit has been at work among us, using us for divine purposes.
Those of us who convene these meetings for prayer and healing are feeling led at this time to focus the upcoming sessions–on the second and fourth Thursdays of September and October–to prayers for the healing of the nation and for wisdom for the people of the U.S.A. as we chose our President. The Nov 3rd election will have significant repercussions for the whole world, and we invite prayers from all. We request that the prayers be focused on bringing in God’s love, truth, justice, and peace, and that no particular individuals, candidates, or political parties be named. Our hope is to strengthen the connection to the divine Reality in which the best choice can by made and not to engage in partisan politics during the meeting for healing. Our expectation is that during this time of prayer, many of us may find spiritual strength to support our urgent work in support of particular candidates and issues during the months before the election.
To take time together to focus on the Spirit rather than politics is to strengthen the spiritual bonds necessary for the best outcome for the whole world. Keeping our focus on God during our time of prayer opens us to a wisdom and guidance more true than anything being said on tv or in the media.
We take inspiration from words written by a Friend at the very beginning of the Quaker movement, during a time of great political and spiritual unrest in England:
To the present distracted and broken nation: We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government, nor are we for this party nor against the other . . . but we are for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom, that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness, righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace, and unity with God and with one another, that these things may abound.
— Edward Burrough, 1659
Below is a prayer written for our time by a contemporary Friend, Ken Jacobsen:
Oh America, Blessed Communityoh America, blessed community,we see that our civil warnever quite ended;dear God of our healing,teach us to end the civil war in our hearts,to make a just and loving peace within and among us,to keep growing and growing our more perfect union,one nation under God,amen.kpj 7/5/20
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© 2020 Marcelle Martin
The next online meetings for prayer and healing will be on Thursday evenings November 26, and December 10 and 24. We will continue to pray for our nation in this time of transition, and will also welcome other prayer requests. We meet 7:15 to 8:15 Eastern time on Zoom. To receive a link to join us online, please fill out this form. It’s important to answer the questions.
The Pendle Hill pamphlet #382, Holding One Another in the Light, by Marcelle Martin (2006) can be ordered HERE.