If what we celebrate at Christmas is real, then it has to make a real difference in the real lives of real people. If God really came to earth, if the Word really became flesh, if something that BIG happened, then it ought to make a REAL and lasting difference in who we are and what our world looks like. Our theme at Heritage this Christmas has been “Never Be The Same.” We've been learning that when God comes to earth at Christmas, this world—and our lives—will never be the same.
Yesterday our Bible study groups spent some time thinking about what we would pray for if we really believed that Christ coming to earth had the power to make a REAL difference this year. Our prayer is printed below.
God of Christmas,
We believe you make a difference. We believe that what happened at Christmas changed the world forever. And we believe that what happened on the first Christmas still has the power to change hearts and lives this Christmas. We pray first that others will see what we see. Let other people see that you DO make a difference this Christmas.
God, this Christmas we pray for peace. We pray for peace in our hearts and peace on this earth. We pray for peace for the families of school children massacred in Pakistan. And we pray for the men whose anger inflicted so much pain. We pray that you’ll open hearts to the gospel there, and here, and everywhere in between.
Sustain our hope this Christmas. Most things that seem too good to be true ARE too good to be true. We’re not easily taken in by false claims and empty dreams. The message of Christmas is one “too good to be true” story that we place our hope in. Don’t let us be too jaded to hope this Christmas. Let us be taken in by the magic of your story all over again.
Heavenly Father, this Christmas we know you have the power to change the world, and we ask that you begin with us. Give us grateful hearts. Give us patience in the little things—and the big ones. Give us courage not just to be silent examples for you, but also to be vocal witnesses to what we’ve experienced in Christ. Keep us from judging. We confess we have a tendency to be too judgmental, so make us more accepting. Help us to better understand the strife and heartache in our families, in our communities, and all over the world. In short, we ask that all Christians, beginning with us, would be more Christ-like. Make us more like you this Christmas.
Preserve our innocence, protect our children, demonstrate your power so that this world—your world—will never be the same again. We pray with confidence in the name of Christ who comes this Christmas to save us,