Monday, October 13, 2008

A candle to help me pray

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


  1. Hi Frances, thanks for sharing the candle lighting website. You're right, the act of lighting a candle albeit virtually, is soothing.

    May your prayers be answered. Take care :) - ria

  2. "Prayer doesn't change God; it changes me." For a quote from pop culture, that is so dead on and true.

    I really do believe in the power of prayer, and I pray each morning. Though I'll confess sometimes I get scattered, and drift off... or back to sleep haha, but I still do it every morning, even when I don't feel like it.

    Your mom reminds me of my mother in the way she prayed each morning and night. My mom always does so to, and every night she always comes and prays with me, and each of my siblings. Sometimes I'm in the middle of something, and get annoyed, but thinking of how you lost your mother, makes me know that I must appreciate my mother's prayers each night, because one day she won't be here, and I know I will miss her prayers. :)

    Anyway, this is a beautiful post, and you inspire me! :)


  3. Just prayed for you. :)

    I'm sure your Mama is interceding for you up there in heaven.

    Thanks for the link. I needed that candle tonight, too.

  4. Since losing a treasured friend two years ago,
    I use candles when I think of her/talk to her.
    There is something incredibly calming about it.

    Sending many kind thoughts your way.

    L x

  5. WittyKitty: Thank you. Prayers are always answered!

    SusannaC: We are so blessed to have moms who pray. I love your mom already. And I think she is such a beautiful person to raise a lovely girl like you. Your blog is filled with so many exquisite thoughts and images--truly inspirational and moving.

    DaisyChain: The kind thoughts have been received! Thank you. And I left a comment on your last post. It's long but you might like it!

    Ro: Thanks for the prayer. And your latest blog post made me cry.

  6. Thank you SO much for your comment. It was so, so kind of you and really what I wanted and needed to hear.
    I might be asking you some questions in the future! x

  7. I don't know what to say. I have been here twice since you last posted this. My heart breaks for you but I praise God for the hope that you have in your heart. Your mom has left a legacy in you. I love you my friend, and I will keep you in my prayers tlaga. I can only imagine how painful, it must be overwhelming a lot of times. Ako pa nga lang pag naiisip ko naiiyak na ako. Pano pa kayo. I began saying I love you to mama na kahit deadma siya. I don't care anymore if she rejects me. It feels good just to let her know. :D

    Please remember I'm really praying for you and your brothers and sister, especially your father.

  8. Hi Fran, I feel for you. Let me just share what I have learned...

    Our prayers are never powerful. The power of our prayers does not come from how fervently we pray but in believing in the God that we are praying to. He's the only one who can answer our prayers. Even if we pray but we lack the intimacy with our Father in heaven, then all our prayers are in vain. Praying need not be ritualistic, dramatic... Praying is just actually talking to Jesus, the same way we talk to our loved ones... it can be casual and candid. Praying is not merely submitting our grocery list to Him. Praying is keeping a relationship with Him, the same way we are intimate with our loved ones. If we can text, call and think about our husbands 24/7, then that's the kind of intimacy that God wants us to have with Him too. He wants us to think about Him too 24/7. I'm faithful that God is listening to every whimper you're making at night before going to bed. He already knows what you need long before you ask Him. :-) Keep the Faith Fran. Keep praying. I'm praying for you too. *hug*

  9. Hi! I read your posts and I feel for your loss. I've never really focused on the day that I'll be losing my mom but your post was so real and raw. Like really hearing it from a daughter. Now I'm scared.

    Sending you good vibes..

    Please update my link on your blog. :)
    I jumped on the PPP bandwagon too.

    I am now formerly of What Have You Learned Today

  10. A very inspiring post. I do believe in the power of prayer. But unlike my mother who used to pray morning and night, at every meal, and every time anyone leaves the house, I only pray once a day and say grace at dinner time. I pray that you may always feel your mother's and God's presence in your daily life so that you'll always feel secure.


  11. dear, don't you think nobody's praying for you. *big hugs*

  12. Jennie: Ya, we have to tell people we love them and not expect anything in return. That was one of the lessons Mama taught me. She always smiled and greeted people and most of them would hurry away. I told her not to do that and she said, "You should be kind to others because that is what Jesus would want you to do, not because you want something back. You've done your part."

    Mrs. Palarca: Ya, I'm a prayer person. I think that's actually my talent! Problem is, these past few years, I've just been praying for me and my hubby. Must learn to expand my repertoire!

    Lil: Updated your link!

    Tasha: Your mom sounds so LOVELY!

    Siren: I'm so glad I met you through this blog. You're one of the best blogging buddies ever!

    To all: Thank you for your prayers. They are always appreciated and needed.

  13. Thank you for visiting me. We've used that light a candle website, and it is very comforting. I'm very sorry for your loss.

  14. Lovely post! While I don't pray, I do believe in positive and healing energy, and I will be sending some your way when I am thinking of the thoughts I want to project in the morning <33

  15. Thanks, Lux! Am I talking to the cat here?

    Belowen, positive and healing energies are much appreciated. Thank you for thinking of me when you start your day!

  16. try bringing a mini notebook wc contains topics or list of what you want to bring to your prayer.that way you wont forget,tas you can also write down some lights you get from your 1on1 w God. Sa kin epektib to e,iwas distraction din

    Your family is still in my prayers.thanks fo prayng 4 ur frnds

  17. Hey, Raf, that's a great idea! I was actually thinking of getting one today and just listing "5 things I'm grateful for, 5 people to pray for, 5 things to ask for, and 5 things to praise God for." That's a pretty small number to start with, right? Should be doable!


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