Wednesday Noonday Prayer: Women in the Bible

American University of Health Sciences (AUHS) faculty and staff gathered the University Chapel to praise and worship God and to support and pray for their Christian brothers and sisters on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. This week’s Noonday Prayer was led by Chantal Jura, the AUHS Director of Career Services and Affiliations.

“One thing we can be sure of is that here at AUHS, there are more women than men,” Jura said, “I did some research about women in the Bible. There are some very strong women in the Bible but it was hard to find some very empowering verses, especially in the Old Testament. Being a woman today in the 21st century is an interesting thing because we’re not like our grandmothers who had to toil the soil in a figurative sense. But we have to do that, have a job, and raise the children. The whole Feminist Movement empowered women but also gave us more work.”

Attendees sat in a circle and were given a list of passages from both the Old and New Testament of the Holy Bible. Each attendee took a turn to read each passage out loud and shared what each excerpt meant to him or her on a  personal, professional and spiritual level.

Hail Mary, full of grace

the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou among women

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners,

now and at the hour of our death

Amen.

 Dr. Marilyn Uvero, the AUHS Vice President of Operations, explained that this verse was a prayer called, “Hail Mary” and it was one of the prayers Catholics recited while praying the rosary.

“There is five sets of 10 beads in the rosary that you pray the ‘Hail Mary,’ so you say it a total of 50 times,” Dr. Uvero said, “Every time you recite it, you just have to think about the power of that prayer and reflect on the power of women.”

Dr. Marilyn Uvero explained the reason why it was important to pray to the Virgin Mary.

“(The Virgin Mary) is our mother and no matter what happens to us in our lives, we always run to our Mother,” Dr. Uvero said, “I can say that in my personal life, I was very close to my mom. I had to give up a job for my mom. For us women, we always look after our children as well.”

Kristen Soegeng, an AUHS Clinical Instructor, shared her love and admiration for her grandmother and how she was blessed by her grandmother’s prayers.

“My grandmother means a lot to me. Her prayer power is super strong. God listens to all of us but whatever she prays for happens,” Soegeng said.

When Soegeng was a new graduate nurse, she was scheduled to have a phone interview for a hospital in Texas. Her Grandmother did not want Soegeng to move out of California.

“My grandmother said, ‘I don’t want you to get that job. I don’t even want you to answer the phone. I’ve been praying that you don’t get the job,’” Soegeng said, “15 minutes before the phone interview, the hospital called and told me that they had already filled the position.”

Soegeng soon learned that everything happened for a reason.

“It was meant to be because instead of working (in Texas), I worked in Los Alamitos Medical Center and I met my husband there,” Soegeng said, “But if it wasn’t for my grandma looking out for me, and having that close relationship with God, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Dr. Sue Morrison, an AUHS BSN Faculty, also shared that she was “really close” to her mother.

“My mom was just an amazing person. She was in the hospital with congestive heart failure and she was studying two different religions. She read the Bible back and forth. I forgot how many times she turned it over and started again,” Dr. Morrison said, “One of my mother’s observations was that there were women in some Middle East countries who were not given much of a contributing role. (My mother) said, ‘These countries spend all their energy putting down a whole other half when they could be spending that energy on much better things.’ We need to be able to be objective and look at the difference in income and education.”

Genesis 2: 18-24 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Society convolutes the purpose that God intended for both men and women to have, according to Dr. Kim Dang (Hon.), the Founder of AUHS.

“When God created the first woman, He created a perfect mate for Adam. After things got messed up in the Garden of Eden, we (men and women) started to compete,” Dr. Dang said, “A woman has her purpose and a man has his purpose. The man can’t do a woman’s purpose because that is not his purpose. That is why he is not going to be good at it. That is why we need two halves because God gave each of us different gifts.”

Dr. Dang explained the “original purpose” that God gave to women.

“A woman’s purpose is for her to be the helpmate of her man. And that man is supposed to love his woman unconditionally because she is perfect for him,” Dr. Dang said, “God intended one person to be your opposite and your mirror. But when sin came into play, all of these other things happened to distract us from our purpose.”

Dr. Dang encouraged the women in the room to never forget the health and well-being of their children.

“Of course there is the Feminist Movement but women have to remember that your children require your teaching. So what does that make you as a woman? It makes you a teacher, a mother, a helper, and a comforter. You are all of these things,” Dr. Dang said, “No Feminist Movement, no man movement, no patriarchy or matriarchy can tell you who you are. God tells you who you are, not any regulations or laws.”

A woman knows herself as a woman after she has had children, according to Dr. Dang.

“Whether she knows it or not, a mother has a lot of influence on her children because they look up to her,” said Dr. Dang, “Whether a mother is right or wrong, she has a lot of power.”

The Bible shows how God cares for women, according to Dr. Dang.

“God chose a woman to bring forth Jesus Christ so that all of us will have an opportunity to live in Him and through Him,” Dr. Dang said, “If God did not regard a woman, He would not have put the Son of God in a woman and had Him come out of her.”

Women have been honored and utilized in the Bible, said Dr. Dang.

“Jesus depended on women who were entrepreneurs that sold the color purple. Purple is a really expensive color and it’s a big deal for a woman to sell purple while catering to Christ,” Dr. Dang said, “Even in the Old Testament, Rebecca, was mentioned.”

Although women have been honored in the Old and New Testaments, there are times when a woman “listens to society so much that they put themselves down,” according to Dr. Dang. She reminded the members in the room to always look at the big picture.

“Most women feel that they need to be successful in order to prove their worth but it’s really about the gift that God puts in you. God is going use what you’re best at for His Glory,” Dr. Dang said, “In AUHS, we have a woman president, a woman vice president, and a woman dean. There’s a lot of women here but it’s not about gender. It’s not about being a man or a woman. We, as individuals, are only pieces of a puzzle. A puzzle piece by itself means nothing unless a puzzle is put together and becomes a beautiful picture.”

Men and women should not be divided because of their gender, rather, they should both work together to honor and glorify God.

Proverbs 14:1 The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

There were women who served as leaders in the Bible, according to Pastor Gregory Johnson, the Co-founder of AUHS. Pastor Johnson referred to the Book of Judges in the Old Testament.

“There were women who were judges in the Bible. In Chapter 4 of the Book of Judges, a prophetess named Deborah was leading Israel at the time. She was the leader of Israel who told the captains of the armies what to do,” Pastor Johnson said, “I think a lot of times our society wants to do things that limit or take away certain people’s power. Our society wants to play people.”

Dr. Dang reminded the people in the room to never forget who they are and what their purpose is in life.

“As long as we know what God’s purpose is for us, whether you’re a man or a woman, you will be happy in your own state,” Dr. Dang said “A lot of time other people tell us when to be happy. They say if you’re a woman and you don’t have three jobs, have five kids, run your own household, and build a business on the side, then you are not a successful woman. But this is not true.”

There are many women in the world who are satisfied with just being a mother, according to Dr. Dang. These women love being mothers and their children are well-raised.

“Being a mother is a job and a half. There are times when I think that being at work is easier than being a mom,” Dr. Dang said, “If that mother is happy then she fulfills her purpose.”

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