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More about the Power of Prayer

Wonderful Christian Prayers

The Power of Prayer: a personal testimony

Power…REAL POWER!

Throughout the existence of mankind on earth, wars of been fought and countless lives lost over the pursuit of power. Throughout written history it has been one of the single greatest motivating forces behind mankind’s actions…yet nothing has been so elusive a concept. We live in a world where weapons exist that are capable of turning Mother Earth into a lifeless ball of rock spinning in space. Yet even that…even THAT cannot compare to the true source of power…real power…capable of changing the course of history and even staying the hand of GOD Himself when He wishes to strike out at mankind as Just Judge. It is the power to save countless lives from endless suffering. It can change destinies. IT alone can bring us a life that is richer and more wondrous than anything else is capable of doing…this one single key to peace, happiness and eternal bliss is so blessedly simple…prayer.

We live in an era when GOD HIMSELF speaks to mankind. Yet humans have done everything they possibly can to deny His infinite mercy and explain away His miracles. Miracles did not stop occurring when Charlton Heston parted the red jello. The faith of a mustard seed may be able to move a mountain but that is nothing...NOTHING…compared to the power to move a heart of stone, hardened by a materialistic society that swallows lives whole into its yawning, chasm-like maw. THAT, my dear friends and fellow humans, is the OLYMPICS of prayer.

I will admit it…mia culpa…I am a bit of a klutz. As my dear sister Fran has said, I would long ago have inadvertently killed myself it where not for her intervention. Similarly, we live in a world where it has become necessary for God, Mother Mary and the Angels to speak to us directly to prevent us from destroying ourselves in a fit or genocidal fury. Am I exaggerating? How many of us have seen people DIE, lives ENDED, so someone can get an extra car length ahead in traffic and arrive at their destination SIXTY SECONDS sooner? When God speaks, my dear friends, even EF Hutton listens. That being said, who with an intellect as least as great has a box of hammers would not avail themselves of the opportunity to listen to what GOD, my Dear Sweet Spouse, has to say on the subject of prayer….

“I will enwrap your soul and keep you thus, in perfect union with Me; and by grace I shall draw from you greater sacrifices, greater amendments; I shall draw you into a greater interior life and higher forms of prayer... and, just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, I will teach you too, to do the same and you, little child, bear My Cross of Unity, together with Me and allow yourself to be guided by My Spirit, He will be the Sign for you and your guarantee, that you come from Me; My favor rests upon you.

I still have many favors in store for you, generation, favors that will lead you into sanctity and into My Kingdom; so I tell you, you who would be ready to judge, do not start judging according to appearances, prematurely, let your judgment mature and be according to what is good and right; - today I cry out as I once did in Jerusalem: "if anyone is thirsty, come! let him come to Me! come and drink, you who believe in Me! for from My Sacred Heart flows fountains of living water! come and refresh yourselves, come and revive! then, the light of your eyes will become the light of My Spirit; - many of you have made out of My Kingdom a Kingdom of words alone; I tell you: My Kingdom is power I will visit anyone who thirsts for Me in one way or another, and with great power I will restore My Kingdom.”
God to Vassula Ryden, July 3, 1996

"Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing."
William Shakespeare, "MacBeth"

Dear friends…do you feel that your prayers fall upon deaf ears? Are your prayers falling short of the ears of God? Do you feel that they leave your lips and fall say…somewhere on the other side of the room? Do you find yourselves pleading with God like an Oliver Twist saying, “Please sir may I have some more?” Do you assume that God OUR Father might find it an IMPOSITION to provide for His children…sending us to bed without our supper only willing to grant the OCCASIONAL prayer just to get us to quit nagging?

Fear not friends. Your prayers are answered!…or at least they will be. The problem, my dear, dear friends is that instead of a cap gun, you should be using…no, not an m-16, not a cannon, but…the spiritual ATOMIC BOMB of prayer…faith, absolute trust, altruism and complete abandonment to God’s divine will.

The big picture…

The big picture is not about files and folios. It is not about reports and earnings ratios. It is about relationships. Perhaps we can take the earnings ratios to the bank, but we can take the relationships we create with us throughout our lives and beyond. That is the true big picture. Carry a song in your heart and live your life as if each step is a prayer.

As blood is to the body, so prayer is to the soul.
Mother Theresa

What I found was a rich prayer life and service to God that nourished my spirit. The work I did for God became a ministry of pleasure; God was, and continues to be, with me. By ministering to others I began to find gifts that God had given me of which I was never aware. The greatest gift I began to find was the one I had sought after most of my life…peace. When The Lord gave the cup of his blood to his disciples at the last supper He established The Eucharist…Holy Communion. When I gave my life to God He made me a living cup to be poured out in His name.

Give a little…get a lot…

When I look back on my past life, I see an individual who was so arrogant and prideful that I am surprised that the almighty didn’t simply get fed up with me, kick me to the curb and yell “next.” Yet God has infinite love, mercy and patience. Like the father of a prodigal daughter He was all too willing and anxious to take me back. When I was not busy blaming God for making me a hermaphrodite, and feeling worthless because of it, I was busy being angry at the entire world because it saw me as the worthless being that I presented to it. Yet Jesus did not see what was outside. He did not see who I was…instead he saw His beautiful wife I could become because of His love.

I believe that if a little flower could speak, it would tell very simply and fully all that God had done for it. It would not say that it was ungraceful and had no scent, that the sun had spoilt its freshness, or that a storm had snapped its stem - not when it knew the exact opposite was true.
St. Therese of Lisieux “The Story of a Soul”

A Private Little Hell...

Growing up I thought I was the only one who suffered the way I did. I had not even heard the word hermaphrodite let alone understand I was one. All I knew was that some thing was wrong...dreadfully wrong. With the advent of the internet I found just how many other people out there shared my private little hell. Society treats us two ways...they, like most of our parents, usually pretend we don't exist. If they do think about us we are the bearded ladies at the circus...the strange little freaks with one breast in old circus advertisements they have seen. The problem is that we are real people, with real feelings and we are being torn apart. Mostly by society...but even worse by ourselves. There, as Shakespeare once said, lays the rub. When society is confronted by the reality of the situation they usually find themselves floating down the river Nile/Denial. We are perhaps the only segment of society that are denied our right to our most basic identity...our gender. There are so many different reactions to this that they are too numerous to mention. What the result is, however, is that all hermaphrodites, no matter what the form, share one thing in common...a private little hell that few people who are not born this way can entirely understand. It is also a private little hell that only the hermaphrodite can find their way out of...as my dear sister so recently pointed out to me...

Tragically, most hermaphrodites share one other thing in common...the reaction to the private little hell. We all reach our breaking point at different points in our life. I once met a woman (a hermaphrodite) who reacted to her inability to cope with the hatred society hurled at her on a daily basis by sticking a shotgun in her mouth and pulling the trigger...it didn't go off. Another close friend, also a hermaphrodite, tried to kill himself five times. The last time he almost succeeded...almost. He had a purpose in life that only the Lord Jesus Christ knows. It was the process of digging my own way out of this private little hell that finally brought me to an understanding of the true path God had in store for me.

I came from an angry militant woman, ready to put the next person who crossed me in traction, to the bride of Christ. This was, and continues to be a very difficult task. As soon as I manage to climb out of that private little hell...someone, sometimes even myself, pushes more dirt back in for me to claw my way out of.

Most people want so many things out of life that they set lofty goals. Some want fame. I have known a few people who have achieved it. Some people want money...piles of it...and find at the other end of their lives that there are only so many yachts that you can water ski behind. Me...I only want one thing. Peace of mind. Yet when you were born the way I was this is a very, very difficult thing to achieve. I found that I was my own worst enemy. God, a caring sister (with the patience of a saint to put up with my bullshit) and dear friends are the only thing that saved me from myself... The path to this peace of mind is long and treacherous...especially when there is a world of people hating you that want nothing more than to take it away. Part of the private little hell is that for those of us born hermaphrodites it doesn't matter how far we run...wherever you go...there you are. Even if we barricade ourselves in a dark room and brick up the entrance the hatred will find us...often from within. A priest once described my life as being like an inverted pyramid balanced on a point. What I thought of at once was that this represented my mental state of health and how easy it was to fall into a suicidal depression. It was not until later, like Saul on the road to Damascus, that I had my own little epiphany and realized just what the priest had meant...and meant for me to discover. It was only by discovering the true meaning of this, that it would be of any help to my life whatsoever.

My own reactions to the private little hell of a world full of hatred, stress and people bent on destroying my life, has been varied. Initially I was of such a delicate mental balance that the second any adversity touched my life I would run, cry and hide in a private dark little place inside myself and never come out. Part of this reaction was hiding out in an abusive relationship for nine years of my life. It finally reached a point in my life where I said, "I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it any more." I became an angry, militant woman that many knew me as...a loaded gun waiting to go off at the slightest provocation. When my sister and God found me I thought that turning the other cheek was the solution...the route of pacifism. All I found was that I had gotten beat into the dirt and I became my own worst enemy. I reached the point, again, where I became suicidal and couldn't stand to be with myself it was remarkable that anyone could stand to be with me at all.

The most important discovery of my life, is the true meaning of my life depicted as an inverted pyramid. It is only by this continual balancing act that a peaceful life as a hermaphrodite is even possible. When running didn't work I got angry. When angry didn't work I tried pacifism. When pacifism didn't work I denounced God. I blamed God and the entire world. I didn't pray for death...I prayed for oblivion...to never have existed.

What I found...and dear reader learn this if nothing else from these pages...is how to live with myself in peace amidst a world of hatred. The solution, and I mean the ONLY solution that has worked is simply a matter of firm resolve and absolute trust in GOD. This may seem simple but it is very, very difficult to do. Try and be firmly resolved to be happy in your identity as a woman when the world tells you on a daily basis...sometimes strangers screaming it in your face...that you are not one. Try living in peace when others hate you instantly and make it a point to tell you so. What has to be done is to find a balancing point between anger and pacifism. Just because Jesus turned the other cheek doesn't mean he was a doormat. It doesn't mean that you, I or anyone has to be one either.

First, and perhaps most difficult, is the process of finding yourself. This is very difficult to do and there will be many, many people who will dearly love to take that happy, strong person away from you. It is very easy to lose that person, especially in the eyes of someone else. Once you find that person, hold on to who you are with all your strength. Know that whoever you are, you are a child of God and are loved by him. You are the best you there can ever be. The balancing act is a matter of never and I mean NEVER letting anyone take that strong, happy person away from you...no matter what comes your way. This means not letting you take it away from you as well...through pride, stubbornness, depression or one of the other myriad reasons for losing yourself.

Remember...when Jesus turned the other cheek doesn't mean he was a doormat. Jesus was not a coward. Don't be one yourself. Let people dish out whatever hatred they want. BUT NEVER BE AFRAID TO STAND UP FOR YOURSELF. Don't be afraid to confront the hate, the stressors in your life, all those who will revile you. This doesn't mean pull a blunt instrument off the shelf or a pistol out of your pocket and wack the next person who wrongs you with it. Simply, look the source of the pain, person, place, emotion, spiritual enemy, whatever...in the eye and tell them that they are wrong...no matter how desperately they need for you to be someone else, you are going to be who you are. They and all of the rest of creation will have to simply adjust to it...or go find some other planet to live on. Then turn the cheek again and let them discover that the abuse they wish to dish out doesn't make any difference. My dear departed grandfather would tell you this was the art of telling someone to go to hell and making them like it.

Don't misunderstand that this means allowing anger to control your life. What you are controlling is THEIR ANGER...whether THEY LIKE IT OR NOT. It is a matter of being the willow instead of the Oak. The willow bends (turns the other cheek) but remains firmly rooted where it is.

Find the source of this strength in your life, and keep it...find peace of mind in a world that desperately wants to take it away from you. As my Mother Superior (who is also my dear sister) pointed out to me..."remember that balancing the inverted pyramid of your life is honoring yourself. No matter what the world thinks of you...no amount of hatred or revilement will change who you are...it will never change who God loves...you. The tip of the pyramid upon which your life balances is holy self love...true self esteem...not being egotistical...just aware of your worth in the eyes of God." I have worked for the day when my sister and I can build a convent and point to the results with the words, "We are only the tools. If you want to know how we rebuilt our lives and built the convent go ask the carpenter...Jesus."

Peace be with you.

Sister Juliemarie
of the Sisters of Embracement

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