Those of you who have read my past blog posts know of my experiences exploring religion. It all started when I made the decision to attend church in middle school. In the years that followed, a complete stranger gave me a rosary, and I even attended LEAP, a Christian retreat, one year ago.
The LEAP experience got me thinking a lot about faith, which I connect to praying, something I thought I’d never do.
See, back when 13-year-old me went to Mass with my friend and her family, I didn’t understand praying, why people prayed for others, or even how to pray.
I always thought there was a specific way a person was expected to pray. I thought it was something you had to be taught, and something proper that needed to be taken seriously.
It wasn’t until a year ago that I discovered prayers are just a conversation with God.
I had always thought that since I wasn’t brought up with a strong faith, my “prayers” somehow wouldn’t be authentic — as if religious people could directly call God’s extension to pray, and everyone else (non-religious people like me) got sent straight to voicemail.
I can’t remember the first time I prayed, but for the first time, I feel comfortable praying.
None of this was possible until I experienced praying with others. My friend Greg prayed with me before I gave my talk on LEAP, and during finals week last semester. Actually hearing someone else’s prayers gave me a better idea of how others pray, which made me feel confident in saying my own prayers.
Now, I pray for myself and my family, but also for others. I have friends going through hard times, and I pray for them. Most importantly, I tell them that I’m sending prayers their way.
Never in my life would I have imagined myself saying and doing these things. That is the power of prayer.
For example, two days ago at work, a co-worker who I see only once or twice a month asked how my job search is going. At the end of our conversation, she said she was praying for me. I was touched by her comment. I never thought that someone I see so infrequently would ask God to help me with my career.
The power of prayer is more than we’ll ever know. Praying is a way to keep others in our thoughts, and to stay positive even in difficult situations.
Since this weekend is the LEAP retreat, I’m sending my prayers to the Team and Candidates for a great weekend filled with peace, love and warm fuzz!