Father God, we want to praise you for being who you are. You are good, you are kind, and you are not only a strong presence we can count on, but a SomeOne who wants to walk and talk with us daily. We thank you for loving us so much that you sent your son to this earth; that when we were weak, when we were full of darkness, when we had nothing to offer you in return, that you sent Jesus to come as a vulnerable baby, so that we might be able to have a personal relationship with you.
Jesus, thank you for coming to show us what Love looks like. You are the image of the invisible God and the firstborn over all creation. You were there in the beginning before time, and you helped create all things. And then you bravely chose to set aside your majesty and your glory to join us in this messy earthly life. And God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in you, and through you to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through your blood, shed on the cross.
Holy Spirit, you are welcome here. We thank you for your continual presence within us. We thank you for the way that you guide us into all truth. We thank you that it is through your power that we can reach others who don’t yet know the love of the Father. I pray that we would be enabled to hear you clearly when you speak. Help us to listen to your still, small voice in this noisy, busy world.
God, this is such an amazing, and at the same time, intense time of year. At a time when we celebrate the light coming into the world, we are more aware of the darkness. We lift into your arms today those who are struggling in our midst. Lord, you know exactly what it is that troubles their hearts.
Father, we place before you today those who are lonely. There are so many people who feel en emptiness at not having family or friends around them at Christmas. We ask that you would be very present to them. We also ask that you would open our eyes to see those who need a friend right now.
We lift up those who are experiencing mental health issues. Jesus, it is in you that all things hold together and we pray this for those whose minds are in the grip of confusion, fear, depression or delusion. We pray for those who support their loved ones in this; we ask for continued strength and perseverance. We pray against the darkness… Jesus, you are the light of the world. We pray for hope for those who are struggling, a glimpse of your light to sustain them.
We think of those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. We recognize and pray for others who may not have a recent loss but are still missing their loved one at this time. Would you be their comfort, Lord? Would you wrap your arms around them so that they might know that you are near?
We pray for those who find themselves in the midst of relationships that might be strained or difficult. We pray for peace, and for restoration of relationships. Your heart, God, loves reconciliation. But you also know how difficult it can be. We ask for wisdom before we speak, for kindness before we act and for faith that You will help us when we feel that we cannot do what we know is right.
Hard things seem harder at this time of year when it seems that everything should be wonderful and lovely and shiny and joyful. Some of us are not joyful, Lord, and you know why. You are with us in our feelings of pain, of loneliness, of sadness and of grief. Jesus you are right beside us. You know what it is like to suffer, to hurt, to be afraid. Help us to turn to you in our difficulties and allow you to embrace us. Help us to know that we are not alone in our dark places. Jesus, you are the light of the world. Help us to pray your light into every situation.
Father, as we travel closer to the miracle of what happened in Bethlehem, we pray that our hearts and our eyes would be focused on You. Keep our minds stayed on your priorities. Jesus, we pray that we can find some moments to still ourselves and come and sit quietly, remembering the incredibly humble beginnings of your life on earth.
King of kings, Lord of lords, you came to a stable on a cold night, to show us what Love looks like. Thank you.