How I pray: Jennifer Bellair speaks with The Record’s, Debbie Warrier.
By Debbie Warrier
I believe prayer is to do with my relationship with God through his son Jesus Christ. A defining moment in my life occurred when I was 30 years old. Jesus revealed Himself to me as the Son of God when a priest began a Mass. After many years away from the Church I was attending for purely sentimental reasons. It was an extraordinary revelation in which Jesus spoke into my soul, saying, “Jennifer, I am who I said I am-I am the Son of God”.
This very personal, very real and ‘mystical’ experience caused a major conversion of heart and radically changed the course of my life. It has produced a life-long journey of faith and relationship with Him – a relationship which is the most important one in my life. So naturally I want to communicate with the Lord on an ongoing, daily basis and this is what I call prayer. My prayer life takes many forms. It mostly begins early in the morning, which I find is the best time for me. It can include singing a song of praise, praying in tongues, reading and praying the scriptures of the daily Mass readings and their accompanying commentaries and/or contemplative prayer. It may take place in our snug, candle-lit prayer room or during a long walk in the park at dawn.
In contemplative prayer I sometimes use a prayer mantra as an aid to overcome mental distractions. This is in order to be drawn into the quiet place of communion with God. In this state of being with the Lord, He continues His work of inner transformation. Often, in my weakness, I need to cry out to Him for help in facing the challenges of the day ahead. This is particularly true in my work situation of teaching English as a Second Language to teenager refugees. Inevitably I experience Him supplying ‘His grace’ which is ‘sufficient for me’. Sometimes there have been very dry seasons when I can’t sense His presence at all. It is then that the faith of my husband, Bill and Community friends have helped to keep me persevering.
Originally from Brisbane, we came to Perth in 2003 for family reasons. Unexpectedly, what ensued was a time of many hardships. However, through this time of suffering, Bill and I connected with the Holy Spirit of Freedom Community (HSOF). We eventually joined this Community. The prayerfulness and support of HSOF members and opportunities to serve in the Community’s outreach to the poor and homeless has been a wonderful gift for us.
I often experience the anointing of the Holy Spirit as I participate in the Charismatic praise and worship of the Lord at HSOF prayer meetings, retreats, conferences etc. At times I am inspired to express heartfelt worship through the gift of movement and dance.
I have the opportunity to participate in daily Mass at Bateman parish of St Thomas More. I appreciate the life and beautiful liturgy in the parish. Other aspects of my prayer life include praying the Rosary and Chaplets of Divine Mercy, particularly for intercessory needs. I am very blessed to have come to know Jesus Christ as my Saviour, friend and ‘lover of my soul’. Christ colours my life and gives meaning to my existence.
Contact Debbie via email@example.com