Christmas Prayers

How to have a STRESS-FREE Christmas!!!


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Jesus at the Home of Martha and Mary Before Christmas
This is Christian-Fiction, an updated, contemporary, parody of Luke 10:38-42


It was about one week before Christmas and Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. Martha came to Jesus and complained,

“I still have Christmas cards to write and invitations to mail! I have gifts that need wrapping and I still have more shopping to do. I’m still working on decorations and there is much housework that still needs to be done. I need to defrost the turkey, go to the grocery store, buy those last minute items, and start preparing and cooking dinner! I want everything to be perfect! Lord, I have too much work to sit and listen to you right now! Maybe I’ll have time later!”

"Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

Question: Are you too busy for Jesus at Christmas? Are you going to make time for Jesus this Christmas? 




Praying Over My To-Do List

I sit here with my list, Lord, and I know I need help

finding a balance. I am so looking forward to Christmas

Day, with the family here, the company, the wonderful

celebration. But, Lord, there is SO much to do! When

will it all get done? How will I maintain any semblance

of inner peace in this "peaceful" season?


I think, Lord, that I need some balance in my life.  

feel so torn between wanting to cook and fill my house

with wonderful welcoming smells, and wanting to finish

decorating the house. I have shopping to do, the house

to clean and cards to write and mail. When? How?


Help me, guide me, Lord. Help me to set priorities

around doing those things that will bring me closer

to you.


Maybe my house really is clean enough, or

maybe I can ask my family for help. Can the cards wait

until a quiet afternoon after Christmas? Can my house

decorations be simpler? Is there more than a little ego

involved when I want so desperately to have my house

"magazine perfect" for the holidays?


Help me rediscover the joy of simplicity, Lord.

Help me to remember what I am celebrating.

Help me to find it in my heart to call out,

"Come, Lord Jesus."




Christmas Letters:

 

Shopping during Advent

Dear God, as I look through my gift shopping list, I

hold up to you each person listed on it. Slowly, one

by one, I ask that the fire of your abundant love

burn within each of them. I pray that the gift I find for

each person will bring joy into that life.


But, help me to keep a balance this season, Lord. Let

me keep my buying in perspective, not to spend more

than I need to or can afford.


Let me not give in to the pressures of this world and not equate love

with money spent.


Let me always remember the many,

many people who have so much less in material

things.


Help me to buy wisely, so that my choices will

not burden those in other countries who are so deeply

affected by this country's economy.


And finally, loving God, help me to find time in the

frantic moments of each day to become centered on

you.


Walking through a store, riding on the bus,

hurrying down a street: let each of these times be

moments when I can remember your incredible love

for me and rejoice in it.

 

"Taken from Praying Advent, on Creighton University's Online Ministries web site:

http://www.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/online.html.

Used with permission."

 

 ______________________________________________________

 

Wrapping gifts

Dear Lord, I am tired. I sit here surrounded by ribbons

and paper, gifts and tags and I struggle to feel the spirit

of giving.


I can barely remember which gift is for whom and at moments it all

seems so far from your birth.


Help me to take this moment to think of the many gifts you have given to

me, the many ways your grace has blessed my life.


Help me to remember that each gift is a tiny mirror of the generosity I

see so clearly in your life and of the many ways you shower

me with such lavish and undeserved love.


Let me sit here for just a moment and feel that joy in my heart.

Thank you. Thank you.

 

"Taken from Praying Advent, on Creighton University's Online Ministries web site:

http://www.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/online.html.

Used with permission."


 ______________________________________________________


Preparing for Visitors to My Home

They are coming! Oh, dear Lord, like the Wisemen

wandering toward the stable, visitors are heading to my

house. I am so excited about this visit. But I can get so

sidetracked about how my house looks, or the food that

I serve. I can only keep this prayerful with your help.


Help me to stay humble this Advent and Christmas

season. You invite us into the humility of the stable

where you were born. Help me to remember that

humble-ness and the simple joy of your birth.


Let me stay focused on my guests, not on myself and my

worries about my house. Guide me in rejoicing in

who these people are and in loving them freely.



"Taken from Praying Advent, on Creighton University's Online Ministries web site:

http://www.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/online.html.

Used with permission."


 ______________________________________________________


Working in the Kitchen During Advent

What joy this brings me, Lord. Thank you for guiding

me into the kitchen for some time of silence with you.

The room fills with wonderful smells and I share tastes

and samples with my family as they make extra trips

through the kitchen on days like this.


Thank you for each and every one of these special people in my

family. They are like the ingredients of my own life,

adding spice and heat and wonderful flavor and melding

together into a unique dish designed to glorify you.


You know, God, cooking is quite a bit like my life. It's

messy, I get careless and sometimes things don't turn

out as I had planned. But in the mess of my life, that's

where I can turn to you. Help me when I have to

deal with being so imperfect.


Bless me with humility when I grapple with my own poverty.

Let me feel how deeply you love me, even when all I have to offer

is scorched and humble.


Be with me Lord, in this kitchen today. Help me to take

the time in this intimate silence with you, to pray for

each person who will eat this food. Allow me to

remember all of those around the world who have so

little food, and bless those who share what little they

have.


"Taken from Praying Advent, on Creighton University's Online Ministries web site:

http://www.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/online.html.

Used with permission."


  ______________________________________________________

 

Praying Through Exhaustion

Oh Lord, I am so tired. It seems like the lists of to-dos

get longer each day, the frenzy in my home each night

gets wilder. It seems like the holidays have barely

started and already I am behind.


Help me, dear Jesus. Let me feel your loving arms

wrap me tightly in the warm embrace of your

endless love.


Teach me to make choices about my time,

to remember what is important this season and to say

"NO" whenever my Yes would take me away from your

peace. Fill me with patience, love and a sense of humor.

Remind me of your deep love for me and let the fire

of that love be something I can share with everyone

around me.


"Taken from Praying Advent, on Creighton University's Online Ministries web site:

http://www.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/online.html.

Used with permission."


 ______________________________________________________


Advent as I Consider the World Situation

God of comfort, these times seem so uncertain, so

scary. The world seems darker than it has in the past

and I am less sure of myself. Maybe that's a good thing;

maybe now I am turning to you with a realization

that I need you so much more and that my life is not

in my own control.


Let me not forget all of those around the world who are frightened at 

this moment. Help those who are victims of terrorism and war.

Be with those who have lost so much in the past year.


Hold us all in your loving arms and let us be

comforted by the strength and peace you want too

much to offer us through the birth of your son,

Jesus. Thank you for the many gifts you offer us.


"Taken from Praying Advent, on Creighton University's Online Ministries web site:

http://www.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/online.html.

Used with permission."




This famous Christmas Letter was the answer to Virginia's Prayer!

                 Is there a Santa Claus? Francis P. Church said it best                          in 1897 in his letter:
“Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus.

”Yes, Virginia There is a Santa Claus.

This is from the Editorial Page of the New York Sun
written by Francis P. Church
September 21, 1897.



Dear Editor, 

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If you see it in the Sun, it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanion
115 West Ninety-fifth Street 


Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little mind. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus. He exist as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no child-like faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get Papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but not even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would it prove? Nobody can see Santa Claus, but there is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in this world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but when there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives, and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood. 


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