Every Christmas Eve, since her children were small, Deacon Barbara would share a bible lesson with her family. In a world where every seems to be changing it is a comfort to know that some things, worthy things, remain the same. This year the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren came to hear about the twelve days of Christmas on the 22nd of December because of schedule conflicts. She shared her understanding of the tradition and then she shared the twelve prayers of Christmas for after they returned home.
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS PRAYERS
- LOVE: Lord, help us follow the ways of love! Let the love of Christ, who died for us, compel us to demonstrate our most tender love by actions instead of by emotions or words. Help us remember Paul’s lesson (Romans 8:35 & 38): “What can separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, fear, or peril? Neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God,” which was demonstrated by His greatest of all gifts to us – our Lord Jesus Christ!
- JOY: Lord, restore to us the joy of being Your creation! Help us be joyful, not only at Christmas time, but at all times, regardless of pain or problems. Inner joy never can be taken away by outer circumstances, so make our prayer the words of Psalms 51:12 and 16:11: “Restore unto us the joy of Your gift of salvation, and uphold us with Your Spirit.: … “The Lord will show us the right paths to take, and in His presence we will find the fullness of joy.” Allow us to take personally the happy message of the Christmas carol: “Joy to the world! The Lord has come!”
- PEACE: Let Your presence, Lord, rule and guard our hearts with the peace that comes only from belonging to You. Cause us to remember that in this troubled world, You are our only Source of real and lasting peace. Imprint upon our minds and hearts the message of Philippians 4:7: “The peace of God passes all understanding. It keeps our hearts and minds through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.”
- HOPE: Lord, enlighten our mortal minds so that we know our hope is more than just wishing for something better. It is believing and knowing our hope is based upon the riches of our inheritance awaiting those who respond when called to do Your will. Teach us this lesson from the Lord: “I know the thoughts and plans I have for you to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11)
- FAVOR: Thank You, Lord, that we have access to Your favor, which is good-will and kindness to us, far beyond measure. Make us grateful for Your favor of grace – a freely given gift we cannot earn, buy, nor deserve. Help us to follow our Lord Jesus’ example. He increased in favor with God and man. Give us increased favor with those who reject or abuse us or who reject our Savior. Teach us how to behave so others will see Your favor resting upon our lives and also see that the same favor reflects our desire to be in loving unity with all we come to know. May we make our daily prayer Proverbs 8:35: “Whoever finds and surrenders to the Lord finds life and will obtain His favor!”
- LIGHT: Lord, in Your Word we are called to “Arise; shine! For our light has come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon us” (Isaiah 60:1). Christmas season is the time for bright lights and shiny decorations. But what of other seasons? Do You not call us to “let our lights shine” at all times and in every dark hour? We cannot do that in our own strength, for many’s the day we must face blackness of weakness or darkness of painful sorrow. But we can let Jesus’ light shine through us. Help us to be a bright reflection of You, the Light of the World! May You be our Light that shows us the way and brings others to be guided by the Everlasting Light.
- SALVATION: Of all the gifts we’ve ever been given, the greatest is salvation offered by Christ’s sacrificial death, the payment for all our sins. “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord” (Romans 6:23). How bountiful is the love that was personified when our punishment for sins was placed upon the sinless One! Why? So we might be presented to God as pure and blameless as new-born lambs of His fold.
- SELFLESSNESS: Lord, help us today to think of others rather than thinking of ourselves. May we abstain from self-seeking and prideful attitudes. Make us like the persons described in Romans 2:7-10: “Those who by patient continuance in well-doing seek no glory for themselves, but who build up others with honor and by good works.” Keep us from complaining, and close the ivory gate around our wayward tongues, lest we gossip or find fault. In silence, may we contemplate ways to demonstrate selflessness instead of selfishness.
- GENEROSITY: How rich we are in blessings! How fortunate we are to have homes, food, and freedoms that we take for granted while others are homeless, hungry, and living under constant fear for their lives! Lord, give us thankful hearts expressed by hands outstretched to give, arms ready to embrace, and feet swift to run to meet needs of the less fortunate! Because You have been so generous with us, use us to show a similar generosity toward others. And may that generous spirit bring praise and honor to Your holy name! “Being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, let us first give thanks and then share our bounty by a gladsome administration of service.” (2 Cor. 9:11-12)
- RECEIVING: Lord, is it pride that makes us reluctant to receive from others? Do we dislike being beholden, or is it feelings of inadequacy to receive that can make us frown upon favors sent our way? We know it is more blessed to give that receive, but keep us from preventing or denying others the joy of giving to show their loving generosity. Teach us how to receive gracefully, especially when You want us to receive from You – Your blessing, Your spirit, Your kingdom. Help us to recall “the saints of the Most High will receive and possess the kingdom for eternity” (Dan. 7:18) Count us in!
- SEEKING: Encourage us, Lord, to seek and to desire Your presence with all our hearts. It is only when we stay close to You that we see ourselves clearly as we really are and not as we wish we were or pretend to be. We become more Christ-like when we seek the Pattern by which we want ourselves to be remade. Help us also to seek holy graces we lack – more love, kindness, patience, meekness, forgiveness, and all other attributes we want to obtain.We want to become what You have created us to be. Make Psalm 27:8 our goal for today and every day: When the Lord said for me to seek His face, my heart replied, “Lord, Your face I will seek!”
- PRAISE: O Holy Savior, we laud, praise, and worship You! We ascribe to You honor and glorify Your name. Forgive us when we forget to pay tribute and to magnify You throughout each day. Let us make our New Year’s resolution to start and end each day with songs and words of praise on our lips for all You are – our Redeemer, our Deliverer, our Holy Place of Refuge! You are our Rock from which the Living Waters flow to quench our thirst for righteousness. Let us keep in remembrance the words of 1 Chronicles 16:28-29: “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name. Bring offerings and come before Him with adoration. Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Amen.”
Use the blank space below to add #13 (or more) so your own prayers will continue after the 12 days end. First, pick a topic, and then look up Bible verses about it. Add your comments or thoughts after meditating on what the Scriptures say about the subject.
Here is a brief example of one way (not the only way!) to do this:
- PRAYER: (1 Thess. 5:17: “Pray without ceasing.”) Oh, that I could compose such godly prayer that rigid minds would change and start to care! If my prayers don’t bring change for all to see, keep me praying, Lord, for prayer changes me. – Deacon Barbara
12 Days of Christmas Prayers