Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Power of Prayer

I know I haven't been very good at keeping up with this blog lately. My life has been hectic academically and emotionally as well as with my family. I went into a short depression, but I am slowly but surely getting out of it.

I wanted to discuss the power of prayer. In BCF, we have been doing an activity at the end of each meeting where you take an index card and write down a prayer request. Each card goes into a pile and you blindly pick one up. That card will have the name and request of someone else, and you are reminded to pray not just once, but all week for that person and their request.
Usually I have been praying for other people, and my requests were for friends or family members. I thought asking someone to pray for me would be considered selfish. However, I really needed some hope at the time of my depression, and so I finally wrote down for three weeks asking the recipiant to please pray for me and my troubles. To be honest, I doubted anything would happen, I thought I needed my own power to turn myself around. Not-so-surprisingly though, God worked in many mysterious ways, and he did in fact answer my prayers.
Starting with last Tuesday (April 27th) I became really positive. I got my paper back and a quiz, both really good grades for a class I wasn't doing well in. God was giving me a day to relax and have fun, and I took full advantage of it. To start it off, I did a walk for civility around campus, and since it was a beautiful day that left me in a good mood. Next I screenprinted my first t-shirt with a nice music quote and got free ice cream later. I had a delicious lunch, went to accounting class, left with a good feeling, and met my friends for dinner. It was a simple day but I loved how I was happy and in a positive mood. The rest of the week, though not as excellent, didn't get my mood down. I went through spring weekend free and happy. Crunch time was this week. I went to ACE for pretty much the first time to get help on my assignments, as suggested by a specialist. Despite my reluctance, I actually think it helped. They told me there was nobody to help me in global anthropology, but they redirected me to a writing specialist, thinking that was the best option. This is where the prayer answer comes out: the writing specialist turned out to be an anthropology major in college, so she knew exactly where I was going with my paper and gave much insight on my topic. I told my mom about this after the appointment and her response: "the power of prayer"

Wow. The Power of Prayer. It's amazing how saying or thinking just a few simple words can result in so much.
The power of prayer.
I was extremely pessemistic, thinking that there was no way I would be able to come back to university in the fall, but now I am optomistic, finishing with a bang.
The power of prayer.

Steven Curtis Chapman knows exactly how this works.

I hear you say your heart is aching
You've got trouble in the making
And you ask if I'll be praying for you please
And in keeping with conviction
I'll say yes with good intentions
To pray later making mention of your needs
But since we have this moment here at heaven's door
We should start knocking now, what are we waiting for?

Let us pray, let us pray, everywhere in every way
Every moment of the day it is the right time
For the Father above, He is listening with love
And He wants to answer us, so let us pray

And just because we say the word "Amen"
It doesn't mean this conversation needs to end

The power of prayer. Yeah. I'm liking it
"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him." -- 1 John 5:14-15

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Don't Stop Believin'

Since I have not written an entry in a while, I am combining two entries into one. The first is quite simply my take on a gospel reading I heard in church last week. The second is a short analogy of mine I thought of while praying and not being able to have myself to pray aloud. So without further ado...


"Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wild. For forty wilderness days and nights he was tested by the Devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when the time was up he was hungry.

The Devil, playing on his hunger, gave the first test: "Since you're God's son, command this stone to turn into a loaf of bread."

Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: "It takes more than bread to really live."

For the second test he led him up and spread out all the kingdoms of the earth on display at once. Then the Devil said, "They're yours in all their splendor to serve your pleasure. I'm in charge of them all and can turn them over to whomever I wish. Worship me and they're yours, the whole works."

Jesus refused, again backing his refusal with Deuteronomy: "Worship the Lord your God and only the Lord your God. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness."

For the third test the Devil took him to Jerusalem and put him on top of the Temple. He said, "If you are God's son, jump. It is written, isn't it, that 'he has placed you in the care of angels to protect you; they will catch you; you won't so much as stub your toe on a stone'?"

"Yes," said Jesus, "and it's also written, 'Don't you dare tempt the Lord your God."

That completed the testing. The Devil retreated temporarily, lying in wait for another opportunity." -- Luke 4:1-13

My first reaction: Devil got served!
I read this passage as if the Devil was thinking "two can play that game!" Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy to justify why he did not have to prove himself. The Devil was getting tired of being rejected so he attempted to do just as Jesus did and quote the Bible as well.
Devil: "What NOW, Jesus? What NOW?"
Yet in the end, Jesus wins. He escaped the temptation of the Devil despite the Devil's best efforts. The Devil knew he wasn't winning this battle, so he gave up, hence being "served."

Going back to the meaning of the passage: "Don't you dare tempt the Lord your God."
Some people say they cannot believe in God because they have no proof that he exists. Isn't that what faith is? The definition of faith according to is "belief that is not based on proof." I guess this could sound like I am going back on my word, but really I am just trying to prove a point. "Seeing is believing" but believing is not necessarily seeing. Don't go around testing God's power and goodness. He is there but he is not going to perform magic tricks for you so you can get your way. Just keep that in mind.


God, you're like a large e-mail inbox for my prayers. I know you have sent out many responses, but sometimes they get lost in cyberspace. Sometimes I can't download the file, but I know I received it. Help me free up the space, to get rid of the SPAM and junk mail, but keep what matters.


"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." -- Deuteronomy 31:8

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thou Shalt Have Great Friends

Sometimes I think my friends don't realize how much they mean to me. Sometimes I take them for granted. Sometimes I need to take time to thank them. And that is what this post is about (no names). Thank you, friends! Without you my life would have been very different.

Thank you to those who have stood by me growing up. You are the ones who truly know what I have gone through, I tell you everything because I trust you and I know you will always be there for me as a shoulder to cry on or to give advice. Thank you to those who I have recently met. You are the ones who have made transitions easier for me. I take comfort in you, kind of like the "home away from home" concept but for friends. Thank you to those who took me under your wings to welcome me into your world. I found love and guidance with you, and I appreciate that very much so. Thank you to those who consider me their enemy. I have learned what not to do, to fix my mistakes, and to think twice before acting. Thank you to those who I have cried over. It is because of you I have learned to not fall for anyone who is not there to catch me. Thank you to those who have shaped my life. It is because of you that I am where I am today, and I hope to be in your shoes one day.

Thank you to the Lord our God. It is because of you I was blessed with these friends, enemies, relatives, aquaintences, and everyone else in my life. It is because of you I have a life to begin with. It is because of you I continue growing with you and loving you and living through your word.

Thank you all!

"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:18

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Friend Request: Jesus. Ignore? Confirm!

Every story needs an introduction, so here is mine. Want to know why I am a Catholic? Well, I'll tell you!

On April 18th of 1991 I was born, and on June 30th of that year I was baptized as a Catholic baby. In May of 1999 I recieved my first communion, and in April of 2008 I was confirmed as a member of the Catholic Church. My family and I went to church every Sunday or Saturday (with the exception of a few weeks, we are only human afterall) and we attended all holy days of obligation. I myself attended every religious education class offered for 12 years, I sang in the choir for 6 years, played the guitar in the choir for 2 years, helped teach CCD for 5 years, joined the youth group for 6 years, helped lead the youth group for 2 years, and assisted in all the church functions as often as I could for as long as I could. I guess you could call me an active member of the church.

I thought I was religious. I thought being so involved in church activities automatically made me religious. I was wrong. One day my friend invited me to her Baptist church to hear her boyfriend (now husband) speak at a service. I am very glad I went, he was an amazing speaker! If only I had caught it on tape... After that service, I realized that I was not getting everything I could out of Catholicism, I began freaking out that I was on the wrong path. I immediately began going overboard, listening to only Christian songs, searching for Bible verses that I would find inspirational, and taking any free literature that they gave out at concerts sponsored by the local church. I was so scared of losing my faith in God that I almost actually considered throwing away my Catholic background and starting somewhere else entirely new. My father didn't like this new plan, and my mother and grandmother both supported me in making my own decisions, but prayed I made the right ones. I thought this was the way to go, again I was wrong.

It wasn't until a good friend of mine told me this over a text-message conversation that I finally understood what to do:
"I respect your choices, but I think you read too much into the faith stuff and get caught up in looking for a bigger picture when you are in the "here and now," smaller picture stuff with your regular life. It's like your purpose in life rather than seek it out day by day, let it come find you."

When I got to college, I had the liberty of practicing my faith on my own. This was just the opportunity I needed to figure things out. I immediately went to mass every week, not only because it was my duty as a Catholic, but because I wanted to. I wanted to listen and hear God's voice. He was calling out to me, but I was not listening close enough, which is how I got to my panicking stage. My neighbor in my dorm I believe was put here for me by God. I was listening to one of the songs I acquired during my all-Christian-all-the-time music stage. She walked by the door and immediately recognized it as "Better Is One Day" by Kutless, so she offered me her ticket to go to a concert (one that I had been wanting to go to for months now) and see them play live. It was with a campus group called Bryant Christian Fellowship, a group that I meant to join, but missed out on the first meeting so felt awkward. On the day of the concert, I stood at the meeting place, watching the new faces walk towards me, introducing themselves, welcoming me more warmly than I could have ever imagined. I met so many new friends at this concert, and for some reason, I was not the shy person I normally am. They were talking to me and I was talking back as if we had been friends for years. They told me about BCF and this organization called Intervarsity, it sounded really cool so I told them I was definitely coming to future meetings. That was the best night of my first month at college.

Yet I was still not completely satisfied. Eventually I joined a Bible study with the campus's Catholic priest and a few other students. I had always wanted a Bible study, but it was never offered at my other church, so this definitely helped. With BCF, weekly Catholic masses, Bible study, and a new prayer group on Mondays, I had set my foundation for my second shot at strengthening my faith.

Now that you are all caught up in my background, we can move forward in my journey as a Catholic girl.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6

In the Beginning...

...there was a girl who wanted to tell her story, but didn't know how. She was afraid to tell her friends because they might not care, not be interested, get bored or annoyed easily, or judge her. She found that a few of her friends had blogs of their own, so she checked them out. That's when she got this brilliant idea to start a blog of her own. It would be like an online diary of what she wanted to tell, and nobody had to read it, only if they wanted to. It seemed like the perfect solution. And so we begin...


"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6