Supporting Others through Prayer
What is a Prayer Chaplain? A Prayer Chaplain Holds Spiritual Space, Lovingly Listens, Prays, and Holds in Confidence what is shared.
Back some 15 years ago, a group of Unity Palm Harbor leaders decided to join a few other Unity Churches in the area and have Rev. Lai Lani Burk hold a training seminar based on a Prayer Chaplaincy program she had developed. I was privileged to attend that seminar- held at a wonderful retreat center in north Florida.
That weekend solidified my faith in the power of prayer. Some of the training was led by various ministers, our Rev. Fortner and Rev. Geri Gelinski among them. We discussed what prayer means to us as Unity students and how beneficial prayer is, not only to those we pray for and with but for ourselves.
After the retreat, we were excited to form our own group based on Lai Lani’s program to serve the congregants here at Unity Palm Harbor. There were 10 of us at the start- over the years there has been an ebb and flow of Prayer Chaplains but the training and mission to serve as Prayer Chaplains has remained steadfast.
I was asked to take further training to be the Trainer/Coordinator of the Prayer Chaplains and have found it to be one of the most rewarding and sometimes challenging volunteer services of my Church life.
The training to become a Prayer Chaplain consists of not only the previously mentioned (Holding Spiritual Space, Listening, Prayer and Confidentiality) but many more lessons seldom thought of, Warning Signs, Human Conditions, Change and Grief, Commitment, Life’s Passages, Self Care, and lots and lots of prayer practice.
When we have our yearly training sessions, we delve into what prayer means to us. As we know, Prayer is the foundation of Unity. From the living room of Charles and Myrtle Fillmore to the sanctuary we enjoy today, Prayer is speaking with God. If we can remember to pray in times of stress and discord we will always have an awareness that God is All in All and Peace will prevail. Prayer Chaplains are taught and encouraged to pray anytime, anyplace with whoever needs it.
Being a Prayer Chaplain Trainer/Coordinator has enriched my life in so many ways and the experience has led to fulfilling my goal in 2016 of becoming a Licensed Unity Teacher. Without the background and training in Prayer, I would not have had the faith and confidence to pursue that extensive training.
I’ve been blessed in so many ways and I attribute much of that to the training and benefits I’ve received through supporting others through the Prayer Chaplain program. Prayer is truly the answer – I remind students to always go to God in prayer FIRST! Don’t use prayer as your last resort. If you stay prayed-up- your entire life unfolds in magnificent ways.
If you’ve thought of becoming a Prayer Chaplain candidate, I invite you to contact me to discuss your potential involvement. We will hold our yearly training program later in the year.
Pray on it! Blessings, Virginia Spraker Isaacs, LUT