Our proposal

In June 2013, a priest of an Orthodox parish in Belgium gave an interview to the "Orthodox Family" magazine, the most famous Orthodox publication in Romania, where he spoke about the life of the parish which he founded. Among the works that bring much grace, he mentioned "the Candlelight Prayer", a kind of prayer that he proposed to his spiritual children to help them in their struggle to get closer to Christ and one to each other. This particular prayer has risen the interest of many who read the interview, who wrote to the magazine and called the editorial staff to inquire for more information or to join directly. So, few months after, the father was asked to give another interview, devoted exclusively to the 'Candlelight prayer'. This second interview has sparked many positive testimonials and more interest and this lead to the creation of this website, as an initiative born out of the multitude of phone calls, e-mails and letters received from people all over the world who wish to organize or to be part of a continuous Candlelight Prayer, those that hope for change, those that are fed up with complaints, political analysis and sterile fights over the present and the future of our countries, or of the world in which we live.

We are speaking about those people that know that if we don’t take action on a spiritual level (meaning at the level of Body of Christ, as at the individual level of the Body we already know there are many who take up the fight), and if we are constantly waiting for political and social solutions to the problems that concern our souls, we will end up nowhere.

This initiative has already started to bear fruit in Romania and abroad, with the blessing of our spiritual fathers and of certain bishops. The Candles that have been lit so far have transmitted the news of this work to the farthest corners of the world.

The challenges have not been slow in coming. Starting from some organizational problems to ones of communication, it became evident that there would be obstacles and temptations. In this context, because there are many Christians spread all over the world, and because it may be quite difficult to communicate through other means, we thought it would be very useful to create an online platform with all the information needed for organizing such a Candlelight Prayer. From there, it was not hard to realize how important it is for as many people as possible to discover the existence of the Candle, this blessed work through which we can do something for our souls, for our families and for the world in which we live. Therefore, we have decided that this website should not only serve as a source of practical information but also as an incentive for unity and praying-together, so we can survive in this increasingly hostile world.

So, here is our message, from all of us who have already tasted from the fruits of this work. We must close ranks, reach out to one another and take action.

We don’t know what repercussions the proposal of the Candlelight Prayer will have in a historical perspective, but we believe we are living times in which we are called to do more: more zeal in our spiritual fight, more sacrifice, more unity in Christ.

Since always, the Church, the Body of Christ, was and still is the place where man can truly fulfill his life, the place where he can be healed of any spiritual illness. But, today, more than in the past, the Church is the only one that can act as a balance to society, in the circumstances in which the state or its other institutions have failed at protecting man and his family, health and education, the future of the children, the community. On the contrary, we realize today that both at the legislative and executive level of the state but also at the level of the mass-media, the Church of Christ is increasingly attacked in a very virulent, direct way, almost in the same way as during persecutions against Christianity in recent communist times in Eastern European countries.

We think it is time to understand that us - bishops, priests and laymen - that you, meaning I, are the Church, and that we should not wait for others to provide solutions to our problems and our society’s problems. Moreover, we must understand that it is our duty, as Christians, to be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14), to offer our neighbour solutions for how to get away from the darkness of this century.

What are our perspectives?

First, we do not know God’s providence, but it is clear that we cannot expect ‘better times’, in a hiliast sense. Father Sophrony Saharov said that from a social perspective, the Christians must feel like orphans spiritually, for they do not belong to this society. ‘For here we do not have an enduring city, but we seek the one to come.’(Hebrew 13:14). On the other hand, we believe it is important to, first fight with spiritual weapons in order to gain time (at the historical, social and political levels), so we as well as our descendants can work towards our salvation.

The idea for this spiritual work came from the confessors in the communist prisons in Romania. For the first time, in the prison at Pitesti, shortly before the horrific re-education experiment, there was an attempt to live the evangelical commandment of unceasing prayer, in the form,of a ‘chain’ made of prisoners from different cells in which the Candlelight Prayer, once lit, was not extinguished until the beginning of the violent phase of re-education. Afterwards, it spread to many of the other communistic prisons. The fact that many who took part in these chains of unceasing prayer were made worthy to receive the crown of martyrdom, and thus to become witnesses of Christ, proves that it was not ‘flesh and blood’ that revealed this to them (John 16,17), but it was God Himself that guided them to the unceasing Candlelight Prayer, in order to prepare them to face the challenges to come. Without wishing to appear apocalyptic, we nevertheless observe what is happening around us, those things that reflect globally widespread politics and ideologies, and we conclude that times of persecution are near. Christians, those who want to lead a ‘natural’, normal life, will face terrible trials. These times have already been foreseen by contemporary spiritual fathers.

What do we propose, concretely?

Starting from the idea that the only Way is Christ, that our only chance is prayer, we believe we should form more local ‘groups’ of Candles of Prayer in all the Orthodox world, gathered around priests. On this website you will find all the information needed on how to light such a Candle or how to subscribe to such a Candle, and how to join us. Therefore, each group, or each Candle will continue to grow in unity, to ‘burn’ before God. But where there are reasons for more intense prayer (for example in serious social unrest, or because an important man of the Church needs prayer, or because a new bishop is being elected) we will sound the battle horn and we will contact all local coordinators, asking for fasting and for strength in prayer. Then, all the groups, all the local Candles will be united in one spirit, in a Christ-loving army, in order to ask God what is useful for His people. The more we are in prayer, united in one thought, the stronger we will be!

It is important to pass on this idea to all our acquaintances, hoping that in all the Orthodox world such unceasing prayer chains are born and that they will become stronger throughout the night. By word of mouth, from heart to heart, we hope that the Candlelight Prayer will light up again to bring light into the world, just as the candles that are lit on Easter night.

Our jobs, our money, our time and many other things might be taken away from us by the leaders of the world, but they cannot deprive us of the opportunity to pray together and strengthen our relationship with God no matter how hard they try. The triumphant confessors of the communist prisons have already proved this to us.

Christ is in our midst!