The power of prayer

Eileen Mansoorian

There are many things in this world that can have a great effect over us. One of the many influential powers is that of prayer. Being both simple and yet complex, when we allow ourselves to be immersed in all its virtue, we are given the opportunity to be freed.

The idea of how powerful prayer can be arose this past semester when I worked on a documentary project focusing on the congregants of St. Mary’s Apostolic Church in Glendale, Calif. The project entered the lives of the congregants and explored why they were so devoted to their religion and the special relationship they had with Christianity.

After attending numerous group prayer services and even being invited to one of the women’s homes for a private service, I quickly began to see the importance of prayer in these women’s lives and the effect it can have on any individual’s life. During each time I would meet with them, after I was done photographing the service they would begin to explain how praying helped them feel free of all the negativity and troubles in their lives.

Watching these women devote several hours each day to praying came as an incredible surprise to me. While photographing them gripping their rosaries, I began to be emotionally effected by just watching them through the lens.

I myself have not been very public about my thoughts and feelings about religion, but seeing these women be so proud about their faith and be content with life after each service put me in a situation to evaluate the importance of this sacred act. The simplicity of folding your hands, closing your eyes and talking to a higher power can be the release a person needs to get through the struggles we endure in our daily lives.