Posts Tagged 'prayer'

Candle Prayers

IMG_3353When I was a girl, my mom would often tell me she would “light a candle” for whatever prayer on her lips that seemed to need a boost. Sure enough, I would watch her slip her dime into a box and light one of the red candles on the rack in the back of church.

I didn’t think much about candle prayers again until I attended a baby shower where each of the guests grabbed a votive candle as we left. We were to light it when the labor began for the mom to remember to pray for her. I loved the idea and lit it as soon as the text came in.

A few years ago, I visited the beautiful Holy Cross Chapel in Sedona, AZ. To my surprise, I found myself reaching in my wallet for a couple of bills to put in the box so I could light a candle for my urgent prayer request in that season. Just like my mom. A few months later, that answer came.


Recently when one of our daughters asked for prayer for some little boys who were missing in a forest, I pulled out one of my battery candles, sat in on the kitchen table and turned it on for the duration of the vigil. My prayer remained as steady as the burning light until they were found. Back in the drawer it went until the next urgent need.

Is the candle magic? Not at all. Does it help me pray? Absolutely,

My candle is going back on the table soon. Of course I’m already praying but the glowing flame will keep me focused on the eternal light.

Do you use candles in your prayers?

Hope for the best.


Prayer by the (Photo) Book

Through diaper dilemmas, defiant moments, classroom theatrics, teenage drivers and other milestones of parenthood, one truth remained when all other theories failed:  prayer changes things.  Hearts soften, wisdom arrives, and circumstances shift when God is at work.

With that kind of track record, why aren’t we spending our days on our knees?  Because we forget, find it hard to focus when we do pray and often can’t get passed the urgent needs to ask God for the deeper desires we have for our families.

If I would find five minutes to sit down to pray, I would start with the current crisis-of-the-day and spin-off to remembering items I needed at the grocery store or calls I needed to make.  Prayer time often ended with a short nap and then a resolution to “pray harder” next time.

What changed all that was a simple notebook and a handful of photos.  I take family pictures, lots of them.  While waiting patiently to land in a photo book, piles of family snapshots gathered in my living room.  Casually leafing through them one day, I began to pray for my family as I saw them in the photos.

Looking at their smiling faces full of life and hope, it was near effortless to ask God to not only bless them but protect them, hold their dreams with them, keep them safe, strengthen their relationship to him, keep them pure of heart and action.  This time it was hard to STOP praying.  The next day I grabbed the photos before I started praying and by the end of the week had designed a system to keep it up.

To be continued Thursday…

Some of the photo albums

Got 5 minutes to pray?

“Try spending five minutes a day in prayer for your work and see what happens was the challenge proposed by our pastor during a sermon.  It almost seemed like a rhetorical request.  Of course I already pray at least five minutes a day for my business…don’t I?

Always quite concrete, (think Amelia Bedelia!) I grabbed a timer on the way to my prayer chair the next morning, set it for five minutes and began to pray specifically for my work.  Wow, that timer took a long time to ding!  I realized my prior prayer for job concerns was probably more like five seconds sandwiched between the kids and health concerns.

The next day, I decided to experiment and set the timer for one minute to pray for my coaching clients by name, reset it for another minute to pray for all my writing ventures, on to the next minute to pray for my speaking, 60 seconds for  my chaplain work and the last one for projects Tom and I do together. The five minutes flew by and yet the time seemed so full of prayer power!

Tom heard the same sermon and decided to use his five minutes of to listen to God for direction for his business and keep a record of what he heard. As usual, we have different prayer styles but are both seeing fresh blessing on our work.

You can still find the timer in my basket of Holy Books…May 3 blog post.  Each day holds 1440 minutes…hard to claim a legitimate excuse for not finding 5 of them to invest.  You might be amazed at the return!

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