A Christmas Prayer
By Julie Morris –
O Lord, thank You for Christmas. Help me to prepare so that this year I can celebrate Your son’s birth in a more meaningful way. Help me to examine mistakes I’ve made in past Christmases so that I won’t be caught up in an unhealthy tidal wave of Christmas confusion this year.
So often, I have gotten my priorities backwards during Christmas: I’ve been so busy buying presents for everyone else that I have ignored the One whose birthday I was celebrating. I have spent money I didn’t have to buy gifts that no one needs. I have continued meaningless traditions that include over-spending and over-eating, while cutting down on Bible study and prayer.
When I think about the reason for the season, these things just don’t make sense. But that’s one of the problems. As Christmas confusion snowballs into Christmas chaos, I don’t think clearly! I celebrate Christmas as I always have, even if the results are the same: exhaustion, debt, extra pounds and a sense of emptiness after it’s over.
Father, help me to put You first and give You what You want this Christmas. When I think about what parents want from their children, I know the three things You want most: You want my love—not empty words of love; You want me to prove my love by spending time with You, allowing You to guide me and encourage me. You want my appreciation for all of the things You have done for me—especially the sacrifice You made when You sent Your son as my redeemer 2,000 years ago. And You want me to share Your love with others.
Lord, there’s no way I can change the way I celebrate Christmas without Your help and a determined effort on my part. So right now I ask You to help me and I commit to do these things every day between now and Christmas:
- I will spend 15 minutes every morning celebrating the real reason for the season. During that time, I’ll journal my prayers and sing praises to You while basking in the light of my Christmas tree.
- I will pray daily to find people who need my help. Whether it’s money, encouraging words or extra time, I will share with them cheerfully–out of love for You.
- I will spend my time, money and calories well during the holidays. I will not do everything that I’ve always done—and expect different results. I will turn down some party invitations, shopping trips and Christmas traditions so I won’t become exhausted, bust my budget or add extra pounds.
- I will prepare for each Christmas party I decide to attend. I won’t go famished; I’ll focus on fellowship more than food; and when I eat, I’ll make the healthiest choices I can. And I won’t go back for seconds or load my plate down to overflowing.
- I’ll make exercise a priority. I’ll go for a brisk walk or run by the gym almost every day.
- I won’t tempt myself or those around me by baking a lot of “goodies.” I will think about how miserable I always feel when I’ve overeaten, and put a stop to it before it starts.
- I will meet with a prayer partner each week. I’ll tell her how I’m doing with these goals and pray with her, asking for the desire and ability to make these positive changes. If I get off track, I will confess it, recommit to my goal, and praise You for Your unconditional love for me.
Thank You for the priceless gift You gave at Christmas! Help me, Lord, to enjoy You this Christmas and to please You in all I do as I celebrate.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Julie Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the author of 12 books, a dynamic motivational speaker and founder of two Christian weight-loss programs: Step Forward (www.stepforwarddiet.com) and a lighter and easier version of Step Forward–Guided By Him (www.guidedbyhim.com).