Since Mama always began and ended her day by praying for everyone in her world (and I guess, she prayed for the entire world, too), I feel a little unsafe and unprotected now that she's gone. Her prayer of love and protection always made me feel safe. Sometimes I call her up and ask, "Mama, did you pray for me today? I'm not having a good day!" Yeah, I can be so rude. And she'd assure me that she did but so that I'd feel better, we'd pray over the phone anyway. Then I truly would feel better.
Well, now no one's praying for me so I'm doing the praying. It's hard if it isn't part of your habit to pray for people. I usually pray for just me and Vince. This morning as I was praying in our bedroom, I was mixing up names and forgetting names and just basically getting confused. Maybe because I never start my day with a prayer so I'm not used to concentrating so hard first thing. I'll have to list names down!
The other day, Kate dragged me with her to Baclaran church. I'm not Catholic but it's still a place of worship so I prayed with her. At the back of the church is a large room filled with candles. In here, people light as many candles as they wish to pray. I got five candles and prayed for these:
(1) for my marriage to be strong and be a shining example of true commitment and love,
(2) that my family be truly reconciled and finally be a beacon of love and Christ's victory to others,
(3) for God to bless the friends and family who have been such a comfort to me and my family in these dark days,
(4) I thanked God for our jobs which helped pay for Mama's sudden passing, and I asked that we will always be wise and compassionate managers to our staff and be good examples of leadership,
(5) and then I prayed for everyone in that room of candles because I saw that they desperately needed Him, perhaps even more than I did at that moment.
I found that candles can be very calming. And since there's a flame I can focus on, I prayed better. I'll be buying candles this weekend. Till then, believe it or not, I found this nice website that helped me pray. It's called Light a Candle. I thought it would be cheesy but it proved to be very calming. And then as I clicked on the other candles, I realized I'm not the only one who needs help. Millions of people around the world are in worse situations. And so my list of names just got longer.
I do always remember this scene from Dawson's Creek (yeah, all my life is so pop culture). Jen's grandfather was dying and her grandmother was praying really hard. Jen got angry and told her grandma, "How can you have so much faith in prayer? Just because you pray doesn't mean you can change God." And grandma replied, "Prayer doesn't change God; it changes me."
Mama's death is still very painful and of course it is useless to pray for her to come back or for me to have another chance to show her my love. But I trust in God's perfect plan. He wanted Mama home but He will not leave us alone. He will be there for me and my family and He is already working in our lives because Mama's death was for a reason. I just need to pray that we will be patient enough and strong enough and wise enough to see His plan moving powerfully in us.
*image from FreeFoto.com