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‘He heals me when I pray for others,’ Anusha says of online prayer crusade

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Anusha Jebanasam (third from right) with online prayer hosts Tammy Hand, Dawn Flasch, Ornella Fava and others. Photo: Supplied
Anusha Jebanasam (third from right) with online prayer hosts Tammy Hand, Dawn Flasch, Ornella Fava and others. Photo: Supplied

In this Year of Prayer, Anusha Jebanasam’s dream is to see an army of Catholics take up prayer as their spiritual weapon. 

The research services librarian at the University of Notre Dame and The Chosen superfan is leading the charge with her daily rosary on Instagram live and divine mercy chaplet on the Jonathan Roumie fan page on Facebook. 

The daily prayer sessions are popular with Catholics internationally and also include additional readings by Anusha and prayers from the diary of St Faustina. 

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“Prayer has got a really authentic connection with Jesus and his mother,” Anusha said. 

“We constantly talk about surrendering to the will of God, and for me prayer is a way of surrendering by holding Our Lady’s hand and always having eyes on the cross.” 

Anusha began hosting online prayer groups in October 2020 after Roumie, who plays Jesus on hit television series The Chosen, ended his own popular online divine mercy chaplet to return to work.  

He encouraged users to continue praying, and dozens of people have joined Anusha in her online sessions. 

One of the most moving aspects of the social media community for Anusha has been the witness of likeminded users, with intercessory prayer and prayer intentions carrying over into their own online prayer groups. 

“Praying for people you don’t know is one of the most important things you can do,” she said. 

“It’s the pay it forward effect, but we’re praying it forward. 

“This kind of prayer breaks all types of boundaries.” 

She takes additional inspiration from Opus Dei founder St Josemaria Escriva to cultivate a regular habit of prayer and has learnt from the Spanish saint the benefits of a dedicated time for prayer each day. 

Catering to overseas audiences across time zones makes this teaching hard to follow—she may pray at 10am in Sydney for a 6pm East American audience at dinner, or at 11pm for those at 7am driving to work. 

What keeps Anusha going is the strength she receives from prayer. 

“Prayer is like my oxygen and the rosary is like a cord of communion that binds me to Our Lady,” she said. 

“I see God’s hand at work—he heals me when I constantly pray for others.” 

For Anusha, the rosary and the divine mercy chaplet in the Lenten season in particular provides the perfect opportunity for Catholics to contemplate Jesus’s passion. 

“When you unpack the fruits of the mysteries of these prayers in the context of this season, everything becomes richer and more bountiful,” she said. 

“It becomes more about what I’m giving God than what I’m getting or asking for. 

“Despite this, he continues to give me much more than I can give.” 

She invites everyone to experience the transformative power of prayer in the leadup to Easter. 

“Start small. Jump online and even pray one just one decade, but give the prayer a go. 

“I am nobody in the grand scheme of things and it doesn’t matter who it is leading the prayer, as long as it opens the door to a community for others and for a community to grow closer to their faith.” 

Pray with Anusha daily on Instagram at jebagirl and on the Jonathan Roumie Fan Page on Facebook. 

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