My Christmas Prayer

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Father, what I am going to say is what is on my heart; I know You know all this already but please listen and let me share it with you in my way.  I also know You hear me every time I speak with You but today I am speaking as if I am talking to a friend here on earth,  Father, You are not only God but you are my friend and so much more.  I want to thank you from the depths of my heart for all You do for me; for Your love, Your guidance, Your provision, but most of all I want to thank you for sending Your Son Jesus to die in my place; to die as payment for my sins, not any He did.

Lord, we are again in what we here on earth call the Christmas season; that time man has set aside to remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus when He came here to earth, taking on the trappings of mankind so He could be our kinsman redeemer.  If You will bear with me I would love to share with you many of the memories I have gathered over these years of Christmas.

I am not trying to present these memories in any order but write them to the best of my ability as they come to mind.  I guess the first thing I remember about Christmas was that it was a family time.  No, we weren’t the riches family around except we had loads of love for each other.  We had a real tree that was cut from a fence row here on the farm and decorated with simple decorations.  I remember chains made of rings of bright paper, we even used stringed popcorn a few time.  My uncle, and cousins came to our house to share the Christmas meal and after then we exchanged presents.  I remember my Dad and uncle always received a shirt and tie from my grandmother.

In school we celebrated Christmas much as we did at home, with a tree decorations and some of the parents usually brought cookies and things for our party.  In school we drew names and got the person a small gift whose name we had drawn.  I remember that even then I realized that some kids didn’t have the money to get a gift or not a very good gift.  I felt sorry for those kids.

I forgot to mention Lord that my family always hung stocking on the mantel by the fireplace, yes we had a fireplace which was used for heating the hose.  The stockings were an interesting mixture; you had the socks of me, my brother, and my dad.  Mother usually borrowed one of Dad’s socks and so did my Aunt.  My Grandmother worn long cotton stocking so that is what she hung; my sister when she got that old hung pantyhose.  It was funny to see oranges roll out the leg of those hose and stretch them across the floor.

Father, thanks for giving me all these experiences as I grew up and the memories I have stored away to look through from time to time.  God, you know all these experiences helped to form me into the person I have become.  I learned the importance of love, family, giving, and always remembering why we had this holiday.  I remember that many Christmases we listen to a record call “For Whom the Chimes Rang”, I think that was the name.  It was the story of a little boy that gave up going to the church to present his gift with hopes of making the chimes ring to help a poor old lady stranded in the snow.  His sacrifice for the old woman was the cause of the bells ringing.  I even today think of that and remember the importance of helping those in need.  Jesus you did the same for all of us when you decided to leave heaven and come here to be the sacrifice for our sin.  I can’t imagine what You gave up for us but I am so thankful you did.  If the little boy hadn’t help the old woman in the snow, she would have died just as we would have eternally died if you hadn’t cared enough to help us.

After my first son was born and my first wife and I split ways I developed the habit for a number of years of reading the Christmas story form the Bible to him each Christmas season.  I wanted him to grow up knowing the real reason for the holiday.  I want him to know it was about gifts, big meals and church programs.  It was and is about you birth Lord Jesus.

I met my second wife and I thank her for getting me back into church.  I had turned my back on going to church for a number of years but she got me back involved.  We got deeply involved particularly with the youth and I got into putting out a newspaper for Mountain View Baptist Camp.  Being involved in the newspaper got me to writing.  Once I wrote the Christmas play our church presented.  It was the story of the birth of Christ as told by one shepherd to another while others acted out the scenes being talked about.

For a few years You Lord led me into being the pastor of a small church and I remember Christmas there.  Since this is the celebration of your birthday Jesus we had a cake and sang “Happy Birthday”.  Yes we did many of the traditional things of Christmas but I thought we should remember why we have the holiday.  Jesus it is about your birth and the time man has set aside to remember that birth.

Sometime my after my experience as a pastor I was asked to speak at the church I attend at that year’s candlelight service.  The subject of my talk was “What Christmas Means to Me”.  I don’t remember all was said but I do remember that I said Christmas is about family and said that each of us who are children of God should approach you, crawl up on your lap and say “I love you Daddy”.  According to your Word, You are our Father and as your children we should come to you as early children come to their earthy fathers.  I know some kids in this world have no father and at least none available to them but we as your children always have you with us.  Thank you for that love and that relationship.  As you know when we talk I often speak with you as I would my earthly father because I see You as my eternal Father that I can speak with at any time on any subject.  I could do that with my earthly father, I felt I had to keep some things secret.

Father, throughout my life I have many memories of helping those in need; it might not have been around Christmas but my memories of Christmas have led me to be more giving and helping to those I feel I should help.  I see that the experiences you allowed me to have throughout these seventy plus years have created in me the willingness to give, love and share with those I come in contact with particularly those that are in need.  Father you guide me often to these people and even at times bring them to me.  Yes, I probably have been taken advantage of by those that weren’t so needy but for the most part my motives have been to do your will and to love my neighbor as myself.  Thankfully You are the judge and yes someday I have to answer to You for all I have done.  I didn’t do any of it with the idea I was earning a bigger portion of Your love but simply because You had taught me to love and to help others.

I look at my time with EMS and what was that but serving and helping those in need.  Father, I am not bragging about any of this; I am just trying to thank you for forming me into the person I am.  I see myself as being weird and different from many but if I am as You desired I am content.  Lord, please this Christmas give me more experiences that will created warm lasting memories and allow me to love and aid someone in need.

Father, thank you for listening to me, for loving me, for making me into who I am; may I be the person You desire me to be and to fulfill Your purpose for my life.  In Jesus name I pray Amen.

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