Faith & Worship Faith & Worship

The Votive or Prayer Candle

Lighting a candle for prayer


Although any candle may be lit as an aid to prayer, the tradition is a small one, typically white or made from beeswax, within the Anglican, Roman Catholic and other traditions. It is offered along with prayers of thanksgiving or petition, and can help focus the mind when praying, particularly where the candle is lit in the beautiful setting of a church.

But don't let that stop you using a candle as a focus for prayer in your local fellowship or even at home, if it helps you draw close to God.

Below are some prayers I have written which you might find helpful.

I have lit a candle, Lord,
and in the stillness
within its flame
I glimpse your light.
I have lit a candle, Lord,
and in the stillness
within its warmth
I sense your love.
I have lit a candle, Lord,
and in the stillness
of this moment
I bring my prayer

This candle is alight
for fellow travellers
along this narrow road;
helping one another,
ministering to others,
following your light
and the sweet perfume
of your love and grace
onto mountain top
and valley floor,
wherever you may go.

Blow gently on the spark
that lies within our hearts,
that a flame might grow
and shed its warmth and light
upon our daily journeying
with you beside, dear Lord.

Thank you for the extended family
that is your Church worldwide,
our brothers and sisters in Christ
who we shall never know in this life,
but have an eternity in which to enjoy
their fellowship in the life to come.
May the prayer and worship
that we offer here on earth
rise as a fragrant offering,
to enhance the heavenly chorus
already praising your glorious name.

We light a candle,
and enjoy the flickering light,
the fragrance
and warmth it creates.
But without the spark that ignites,
there will be no flame.
Without the wax,
the source of power,
the wick will not burn.
Without the flame,
there will be no fragrance,
no warmth, no light.
And so with us, Lord.
You are the catalyst that ignites us,
and the fuel that sustains us.
You fill us with your fragrance
as you enter our lives.
You empower us
to carry your flame in our hearts,
to be the fragrance, warmth,
and light of your love,
in this dark world.

May we be lamps,
lit and sustained
by your Spirit’s flame,
spreading your light,
usefully placed
to illuminate
the way ahead,
and encourage
fellow travellers
along the road of faith.

Eternal flame
burn brightly
in my heart,
and your light
be revealed
as it is opened.

By the lighting of this candle
I am reminded
to be your lamp in this dark world.
I am reminded
to share your warmth with others.
I am reminded
of lights that have gone before.
I am reminded
of lights that even now grow dim.
I am reminded
to bring my prayerful offering.
I am reminded
to go from this place in joy.

Faith & Worship

Faith and Worship

©John Birch · Prayers written by the author may be copied freely for worship. If reproduced elsewhere please acknowledge author/website
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