There are some years when I get to the end of December and realize that the month has gone so fast, I didn’t get to invest it as I would have liked. It became a blur of being busy and I wished I would have been more intention. If that has ever happened to you or if you want to avoid it this month, here are some simple prayer ideas for making this Christmas season more meaningful.  You could try them alone or with others.

Waiting with the Lord

Christ’s appearance on earth was something that people waiting long for (Luke 2:22-28). What are you waiting for? Healing? A spouse? A job? Better finances? Talk with the Lord about it. And then meditate on the two people mentioned in that passage… demonstrations of God’s faithfulness. He doesn’t forget those who wait on Him.

Soul-nourishing carols

There are so many soul-nourishing carols this time of year.  You can find some online on the Cyber Hymnal (http://cyberhymnal.org/).  Here’s one of my favorites, verse 2 from What Child is This?

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_Child_Is_This%3F#Lyrics)

Gifts

What are some gifts God has given you?  Big or small, spiritual or material, or whatever… spend some time talking about them (or writing them down if you’re alone).  Then pray… thanking and praising Him for them.

Kingdom prayer

I appreciate the Lord’s prayer for many reasons. One of them is that, in it, Christ rescues us from the prayer habits we so often get stuck in. An effective way to pray is to pick a person or a topic and pray through the areas of the Lord’s prayer for them. For example, Christmas can be a sweet time or a challenging time because it means time with family members who are very different than they are. So here’s what kingdom prayer could look like in that kind of situation…

Our Father, who art in heaven…

Lord, thank You that You offer Yourself as Father to all who will trust in Christ as Lord and Savior.  Thanks that You offer this to me and to my family.

Hallowed be Your name…

Please help us all to more deeply appreciate Your holiness this season.

Your kingdom come…

Lord, I’m not sure what this would look like in our family, but please extend Your rule in our home this Christmas… over every area… our playing, eating, talking, …everything.

Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…

Even if it’s uncomfortable at first, I know Your will is going to be more delightful in the long run.  Please help me to remember that when I’m with family members who like to complain or argue or gossip.

Give us this day our daily bread…

Lord, I’m not worried about us not having enough food this Christmas, but please open our eyes to others who are in need.  And You know we ourselves have health needs that we can’t meet on our own.

Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors…

I’m sorry for my attitude toward cousin ____ and uncle ____.  Please help me to love

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil…

Lord, please protect us from gluttony, materialism, and even treasuring our family more than we do You this Christmas.

thanks Lord… in Your name, amen.