USA: Reset with God, UPF Hosts Weekly Interfaith Prayer During Covid

Prepared by FFWPU USA

Faith leaders of different religions have come together to pray for global unity and healing from the coronavirus, including leaders of Universal Peace Federation (UPF). For the past several weeks, the organization has hosted a live interfaith prayer online through Zoom and Facebook, bringing together hundreds of people of all religious backgrounds. “These interfaith prayers are lifting up so much attendance and faith in God,” said UPF International President Dr. Michael Jenkins during the recent interfaith prayer. “Love from God, and His word, is the greatest healing power.”

UPF, which was founded in 2005 by the late Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and his wife Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, is a network of global peacebuilders working toward unifying humanity. More than 500 people tuned in to the interfaith prayer on June 18, moderated by Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, Jr., founder of the Imani Temple African-American Catholic Congregations (AACC). Three faith leaders of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam offered heartfelt prayers for healing and unity in America and the world.

“The coronavirus is a test from God,” said one speaker representing the Jewish faith, a noted scholar from Bolivia currently serving as a rabbi in Queens, New York. “We have to ask ourselves what we are going to do with it. There is destruction right now, but when we emerge we are going to be closer to God and to scripture. We must come out of this with a new heart and new mind, and ask God to show us how to manifest His will for the generations to come.”

The rabbi called this trial period a time of rest for us to connect with God and deeply reflect, offering God a sincere desire to transform ourselves into better people. An ordained pastor and lawyer representing the Christian faith then offered an inspiring prayer, referencing passages from the Bible to denote God’s time of change:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? (Isaiah 43:18)

The minister said she believes the quarantine is a time of beauty, likening it to a caterpillar in a cocoon before it emerges as a butterfly. “This is a time of reset, looking at how we relate with our families, how we do business, and it’s an opportunity to transform how we relate to each other through our race relations,” she said. “God is requiring change and transformation in the Body of Christ and in the world. He is calling leaders of faith to take their place; we have a call and a charge to unite this nation and the world.”

The hour-long call also included prayer from a well respected professor and imam. He shared that he previously studied electrical engineering and worked many years in the telecommunications field before he felt divinely inspired to become a spiritual leader. “The Quran continually informs us that this life is full of trials and tribulations,” he said. “This life is also temporary, and the results of our test will be delivered to us in the next life where absolute justice will be established for everyone. The coronavirus crisis is a testing period and we need to pay close attention to our behavior and attend our Creator.”

The speakers encouraged unity and unwavering faith in God, praying for forgiveness, humility, wisdom, and strength moving forward. “We have realized our weaknesses and vulnerability in the face of this coronavirus, as we humble ourselves before God,” said the imam. “We pray for healing. Let us stand against injustices happening in America and around the world, and we pray for God to help us to stand for peace and work for peace. We implore peace from God as He is the source of our peace, and may we honor one another and thank and glorify God together to make this world better.”

As advocates of world peace, Rev. and Dr. Moon championed numerous peacebuilding initiatives and long spoke of uniting the world as one family under God. Dr. Moon, also known as the Mother of Peace, continues her work as a peacemaker, inspiring people to transcend national, racial, and ideological boundaries. Dr. Jenkins and UPF USA Senior Vice President Tomiko Duggan said the organization aims to help unite humanity through avenues of dialogue and prayer, expressing their gratitude toward the speakers and the ongoing efforts of faith leaders. “We need the voice of God to end the division among humanity,” said Dr. Jenkins. “God is sending us during this time to bring this nation and the world together in love.”

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