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The Power Of Prayer

“I have written an article, to be sent to the Mandir for their annual magazine. Read it.” said Dad.

“Okay”, said I.

He reminded me twice again in the next 20 minutes.

Haan Papa, let me first finish making my calls.”

Somehow talking to my cousins and relatives and sharing our common grief seemed my priority. I wanted to “talk out” my grief.


Last November, I lost my cousin in a road accident. He was 32 years old. He left behind a young wife, a daughter – 3 years old, 3 sisters of whom one is unmarried. He was born in Kolkata and named Ramakrishna, after the great scholar, saint and philosopher Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. My cousin was a gem of a person – a devoted son, a doting husband, father and brother.

This January 19th, I lost one of my aunts to cancer. Her beauty always awed me. It was her inner beauty, which reflected on her face and personality.

On January 25th, my maternal uncle too succumbed to cancer. I rushed to my hometown Bangalore to pay my last respects. What he was to me is difficult to describe in words.

All these people had beautiful hearts and wonderful souls. It was impossible for a person who came into contact with them, not to like them. So, why were they taken away when the world needs people like them? I was bereaved, still am…and was searching for the answer on that night.


welcome new light

I sat down to read the article only after I had dinner. I was mesmerized from the first word itself.

Dad’s article started with a prayer

Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on;
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead Thou me on:
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene, – one step enough for me.” …

(The first part of the hymn written by Cardinal Newman.)

In the article, Dad had written how this prayer was transformed into reality, when he actually was led by a light when he was in a difficult situation.

Many a time, when in grief or when we are sad, we are so preoccupied with our thoughts that we do not seem to notice the Universe sending us messages. We are searching for answers and may fail to see them right in front of us.

I read this prayer over and over. Every time I read it, I was filled with peace. I could understand and grasp the meaning. If not an answer, I had found solace in this prayer.

Thanks Dad.

~ Janaki

Janaki Nagaraj is a homemaker by choice and a blogger by passion.  Here’s what she has to say about herself: I’m a fun loving person who stopped growing at adolescence! 😉 My kids are my vitamin D, my friends are my strength and inspiration, my husband is my support.   Janaki writes at and shares her love for photography at


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  3. Latha Latha February 5, 2013

    Sorry for your losses, Janaki. one after the other. I know how hard it must be on you and your family. Prayer heals, they say…hope it really helps. I too feel the same, why do god take away people like that who are needed more in this world? Thank you for having her post here, Corinne. will check her out. 🙂
    Latha recently posted..Me and My Darling – 8My Profile

    • janu janu February 8, 2013

      Thank you so much Latha.

    • janu janu February 8, 2013

      Thanks Pixie. Indeed the prayer is beautiful.

  4. melissa melissa February 2, 2013

    Hugs Janu…it’s never too easy to let go of our loved ones…most esp. to sickness or accidents… I love the prayer you shared here…We don’t always have answers to our questions… but God will continue to light that dark areas in our lives…

    Lots of love always!
    melissa recently posted..Immersed: First partMy Profile

  5. Heal Now and Forever Heal Now and Forever January 31, 2013

    Beautiful, Janaki, I just want to hug you both. My life has been touched with sudden and tragic death lately as is the lives of many friends and clients. It seems to be a hard time. I know how you feel. My prayers are my answers, too! Thank you!
    Heal Now and Forever recently posted..Begin With A Beginner’s MindMy Profile

    • janu janu February 8, 2013

      Thanks a lot Jodi.

  6. B k Chowla B k Chowla January 31, 2013

    It can really break the very person in you.I can understand how one feels .I lost my mother suddenly and know what it means to part with someone close
    B k Chowla recently posted..DIRTY MONEYMy Profile

    • janu janu January 31, 2013

      Chowla, the feeling is mutual. Thanks.

  7. Vishnu Vishnu January 31, 2013

    My thoughts are with you and your family Janaki. The prayer you mention is so powerful. Although we may be in a place of darkness and far away from home, there is light and hope not too far away. We just have to keep moving one step forward in the darkness. ONe would think that you’ll fall or stumble being in the darkness but God is truly guiding us during the dark and difficult times. That’s the time we actually rely and feel God’s presence more than any other time in our lives.

    Thanks for sharing this prayer of hope and strength.

    • janu janu January 31, 2013

      I agree with you Vishu. Thanks for sharing your thoughts too.

  8. janu janu January 31, 2013

    I do thank God for all that is in my life. I do pray everyday. But, as I have mentioned earlier, it is only at some specific times that we notice the power and the importance of the words in a prayer.
    Thanks Sapna.

    • janu janu January 31, 2013

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and sending love.

  9. Sharmila Sharmila January 31, 2013

    Loss of a loved one leaves a scar janu and that takes a while to heal. The vacuum can be felt for a long long time after they leave this earth.Remembering them with a smile , recollecting fond memories of the time spent together ….goes a long way in helping one to heal.
    Thank you Corinne and Janaki for this wonderful read 🙂
    Sharmila recently posted..The White QuiltMy Profile

    • janu janu January 31, 2013

      Memories are the only comfort. Yes, trying to remember the happy times…thanks a lot Sharmila.

  10. Ron Ron January 31, 2013

    Janaki – A powerful post indeed! I will not pretend to imagine your emotions with your loss(es), I only know what I felt in the similar space. “Many a time, when in grief or when we are sad, we are so preoccupied with our thoughts that we do not seem to notice the Universe sending us messages”…more true than we may know and so profound! Grief is as individual as the number of people who experience it, but loss is as a ripple in a pond…and we all feel it in our own way.

    Great post, message and lesson, and thank you for sharing it all. Be well 🙂

    • janu janu January 31, 2013

      You indeed put it well Ron, grief is individual. Thanks.

  11. Shorya Bist Shorya Bist January 30, 2013

    Hi Janaki,

    I am really sad to know about the losses and situations which you have faced.The prayer is really hear touching and could see the real meaning from it.

    Shorya Bist
    From Youthofest
    Shorya Bist recently posted..How to live a happy life?My Profile

    • janu janu January 31, 2013

      Thanks Shorya for your kind words.

    • janu janu January 30, 2013

      Thanks Myrna. I found a lot of comfort in them.

    • janu janu January 30, 2013

      Martha, many a times I visit your blog just for the prayers. And, I look forward to your comments on my blog…for your blessings.

    • janu janu January 30, 2013

      Thank you so much Umashankar.

  12. brian miller brian miller January 30, 2013

    prayer is one of those topics we could talk about forever and still have things to learn about it you know….smiles…they do have power though…speaking into existence our hearts desires….and the intimacy with our higher power…nice write janu
    brian miller recently posted..Pearls before Swine (or the SocioPolitical lives of Pigs)My Profile

    • janu janu January 30, 2013

      Thanks Brian for coming over here to read my post. And, our beliefs add on to this intimacy with higher power.

  13. Anne Anne January 30, 2013

    Prayers have the power to lift us up even if we think otherwise. Sorry for your loss but He always knows best. We can only pray and trust.

    • janu janu January 30, 2013

      Yes Anne…leaving everything to the higher power. Thanks for your kind words.

  14. Bhagyashree Bhagyashree January 30, 2013

    I can so understand this. Prayers have given me strength, peace and a direction which I lacked earlier
    Wonderful post.
    It is said some understand THIS truth by birth
    Some learn when they are life treats them to shocks.
    And some… never learn 😛
    Bhagyashree recently posted..Random nothingsMy Profile

    • janu janu January 30, 2013

      I think we all need a firm shake sometimes to wake us up.
      Thanks Bhagyashree.

  15. Suzy Suzy January 30, 2013

    Janu very sorry to hear of your losses. Lead kindly light is one of my favourite hymns and my daily prayer. In my dark moments it gives me great hope and comfort. When the path I walk is immersed in darkness and when I have no one to turn to, this prayer lights my way. Prayers are truly powerful.
    Suzy recently posted..UBC 28 – ABC Wednesday – C is for …My Profile

    • janu janu January 30, 2013

      Suzy, it was my grand father who introduced my dad to this hymn. Now dad has passed it on to me…and he doesn’t even know the impact it has on me.
      Thank you.

  16. Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg January 30, 2013

    So sorry to hear about the losses in your family, Janaki! True, prayers have a lot of healing power and help us stay positive!
    Shilpa Garg recently posted..7x7x7x7My Profile

    • janu janu January 30, 2013

      Yes, Shilpa, it is the times like these that make us look inward. Thanks.

  17. Sulekha Sulekha January 30, 2013

    Janaki, Losing people we love is tragic, we never fully recover. Your dad’s prayer is beautiful, we do see a guiding light in times of need. Hugs and light coming your way.

    • janu janu January 30, 2013

      Sulekha, thanks a ton. Cherishing the memories.

  18. Dagny Dagny January 30, 2013


    First of all, I am sorry to hear of your losses. I think we are very lucky to have such close ties with our extended families. In fact, I don’t think we have the ‘extended’ mindset. They are as close to us as ‘immediate’ could be. I am thankful for that.
    Prayer does infuse solace and peace into your soul. I am glad you have found a way to let prayer reside in your heart.
    I try to write when I am at my lowest. Something strange happens when I do. I feel as if a part of me is writing to the other (depressed) part and giving her the insights needed to help her snap out of her state. In the process of giving a leg up to someone else (even an imaginary someone else), you too climb higher.

    And lastly, Happy Blog Anniversary..! Two years into an inner journey must have been incredibly rewarding.

    Wish you ever deepening fulfillment. May you touch many lives.
    Dagny recently posted..A Simple Rope SwingMy Profile

    • janu janu January 30, 2013

      Thank you Dagny. The losses, will take time to come to terms with them. Praying.
      These two years have been incredible….didn’t I find you? A whole lot of people are the reason for making my life a better place and my blog was the starting point. Hugs.

  19. Alka Gurha Alka Gurha January 30, 2013

    Such an inspirational post. Very sorry for the loss. Hugs.

    • janu janu January 30, 2013

      Alka, the losses are the part of our lives, aren’t they? Thanks and hugs.

  20. C. Suresh C. Suresh January 30, 2013

    Some prayers are so meaningful and so much a solace in times of distress, aren’t they? The one I always recollect is the AA prayer “God! Give me the courage to change that which can be changed, the patience to endure that which cannot be changed and the wisdom to know the difference”
    C. Suresh recently posted..Uff Ye Emotions on Pre-orderMy Profile

    • janu janu January 30, 2013

      Yes Suresh, the Serenity Prayer. The prayers do mean a lot. Thanks.

  21. Rachna Rachna January 30, 2013

    Janaki hugs! Bereavement is so difficult to reconcile with. Very sad to hear about your losses. May you derive your strength and heal. Thank you for sharing the prayer. It is beautiful!

    • janu janu January 30, 2013

      Thanks Rachana for your kind words.

  22. janu janu January 30, 2013

    Hi Rafi,
    I sincerely thank Corinne for introducing me to the world. Yes, her blog is read all over and I feel it an honour to be here. Healing, among a whole lot of things is very personal. Letting go is not easy. Prayers can ease this pain. I find solace in them.
    Thanks Rafi.

  23. Inspiring Citizen Rafi Inspiring Citizen Rafi January 30, 2013

    Hi Corrine and Janaki,

    In the first place I thank you Corrine for introducing lovely people like Dr. Hiten and Janaki through everydaygyaan.

    And Janaki, reading your poem didn’t make any sense to me in the first place to be honest..However I read it thrice and got the feeling from it..

    As they say “Whatever happens life has to move on”. This is a lighter version of your dad’s beautiful letter to the mandir.

    Memoirs of a homemaker at janakinagaraj is beautiful and blissful:), I saw ur blog..Your are an amazing soul doing an awesome service to the world through your writings..

    All Exciting!!!

    Speak to you soon. Keep writing, Keep smiling and Keep Clicking your SLR 🙂 :)..

    Inspiring Citizen Rafi recently posted..See How 18 Year Old Ammar Ali Built A Blog Worth $1,16,665 In 12 Months – A Straightforward Interview With HimMy Profile

  24. Roshni Roshni January 30, 2013

    sometimes, one step at a time is all we can take, and that’s what is needed to come to terms with our grief! So very wonderfully put, Janaki!!
    Roshni recently posted..I need your help!My Profile

    • janu janu January 30, 2013

      Yeah, Roshni. One step at a time. Thanks.

  25. Rickie Khosla Rickie Khosla January 30, 2013

    Janu, very, very sorry to hear of your losses. I hope the families are coping with such agonizing parting.
    Thank you for such an uplifting post despite dealing with your personal losses.
    Rickie Khosla recently posted..The Day Gandhi DiedMy Profile

    • janu janu January 30, 2013

      Thank you Rickie. I can understand that my aunt and uncle were relieved of their pain and are in a better place today. But, my cousin??? It will take some time to sink in. And the prayers are helping me.

  26. Harleena Singh Harleena Singh January 30, 2013


    Prayers have great power, though we don’t tend to realize it till we are actually in need of the Almighty. I remember the time I had lost my Mom years back, and it seemed like the world was just closing in on me. But yes, in those trying times, it was prayers and a major shift towards Him that pulled me through.

    Lovely prayer 🙂 I wish more of us would pray more often, and not just in our tough times, but make it an everyday habit.

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted..5 Tips on How to Find Your SoulmateMy Profile

    • janu janu January 30, 2013

      Hi Harleena,
      We are taught mantras, hymns from Gita , vedas from the young age itself. It is so ingrained in us, that we recite them everyday by rote. The meaning and the significance is lost over the years. It is only in the times of necessity, when the soul is searching, we understand it’s significance which has been right there in and around us all along. Thank you so much.

  27. BlogwatiG BlogwatiG January 30, 2013

    I so understand this Janaki. The greatest healing I have known has come in solitude. Beautiful post.
    BlogwatiG recently posted..Hope SpringsMy Profile

    • janu janu January 30, 2013

      Thanks Vinita. Some times years are not enough, and then again, a moment is all you need.

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