Germany: Inspiration in Interreligious Prayer Group
By UPF Germany, Anja Brina
We hold a group discussion on June 6, 2016 in Düsseldorf. Some time ago, Mr. Hyo-Man Noguchi watched a video of an interview with Chancellor Angela Merkel, in which she was answering questions in Bonn University about the ‘Islamisation’ of Europe.
Amongst other things, she said that many Christians have no idea about Christianity. They often do not know what Pentecost means. This statement inspired Mr. Noguchi to reflect about Pentecost. He too had no clear idea about what had happened then and decided to read about it in the bible. He shared his thoughts with our interreligious prayer group in our meeting on the topic ‘inspiration’. In his opinion, inspiration comes on the foundation of investment and action or long- term engagement with a topic. He explained this by using some examples from the Bible.
At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down to Jesus’ disciples, giving them new strength and inspiration to carry Jesus’ message out to the world. The miracle of Pentecost took place on the successful foundation of Jesus and his disciples’ faith in Him.
Inspiration can be experienced in all areas of life, when one engages with something for long enough. And thus one can experience the phenomenon of inspiration for example, in art, science or spirituality. The length and intensity of inspiration is temporary. There are examples in the bible where the inspiration was short lived. For example, John the Baptist was told by God that Jesus was the messiah, and initially he was convinced and inspired. But his inspiration faded with time and he began to have doubts.
The Jews were prepared to leave Egypt and to travel over the desert towards the Promised Land, but they lost their inspiration and faith in Moses many times. We thanked Hyo-Man for his stimulating ideas.
Further contributions were also forthcoming. For example, inspiration can be found in books. Also spiritual practices such as meditation, prayer, or song. People who have inspired the world are those such as Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, or Gandhi.
Furthermore, in the prayer group several current books from inspiring people were introduced: Hope in my Heart, Freedom on my Mind. Four Years of Fleeing to Germany (Zekarias Kebraeb) I am Malala (Malala Yousafzai) Untouchable (Stella Deetjen)
To close, we read from the autobiography of Rev. Moon. When he was 16 years old, Jesus appeared to him, changing his life and inspiring him to invest himself for world peace. Such people were and are important for human development because they inspire our consciousness and guide us in a new direction.
In our quiet prayer time, each one found a partner with whom to pray. We asked the other what he needed prayer for. The prayer partners then held hands and prayed for their respective needs. In discussion afterwards, we affirmed that this had been for most people a good experience. Back in a circle, Michael Jackson’s song ‘We are the World’ was read out in German and then an instrumental version played. Thus each one could pray and meditate and send out positive energy to the world.
There were then lively discussions over refreshments.