“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Christmas is a magical time. Time spent with family and friends, in warm homes with delicious food, and an abundance of gifts. Most of these are things that Jesus, the One we celebrate, never had the luxury of. I just want to take the time to remember those who don’t feel “magic” this time of year.
I praise You for being born in flesh, a child born in a barn with no place to call a home. Be with those who have no place to call home this Christmas. As they, too, live with no roof over their head, no warm fireplace over which to hang stockings, no food to fill their belly. Remind them that You understand their pain and have a home prepared for them.
To the Son that was given, I pray that You be with those who have longed for children and have not yet seen the flourishen of that dream. May you give them the hope of Elizabeth who was barren into old age, but saw her prayer answered with the birth of John, the forebearer of Your salvation. For those who have children that spent little or no time here with , but were born straight into Your arms, may they be comforted as they grieve the memories they could be making with their children. As they see children full of wonder and joy this time of year, may you comfort their sorrow.
To the One whose shoulder’s hold the government, may You be the shoulder to cry on for the thousands of military families that are separated this holiday season. As they live in a sense of fear of the unknown from day to day, may You protect them and their loved ones until they can be reunited. May You work in the hearts of those who run governments, giving them the knowledge to lead their people in Your truth and wisdom.
To the Wonderful Counselor, be with those who have hard decisions to make right now. For those making decisions for sick loved ones, decisions about their marriage, about their children, about their job….counsel them through Your Word and Holy Spirit, and give them peace in the choices they must make.
Oh Mighty God, be with those who are weak and abused. Those who have no power or influence, who can not speak for themselves. For the widow, the mentally ill, the abandoned, the forgotten, the lonely, the shut-ins, the poor. Raise Your people up to be a mighty voice and advocate for them in their weakness.
Everlasting Father, gather the orphan into Your loving arms. Keep them from harm. Give Your people a longing to see the orphan called “son” or “daughter.” Draw them into families. Be a Father to them in their despair, and let them know in their hearts that they are loved and cherished by the King. They are princes and princesses, and they serve a great purpose in Your kingdom. I pray, Father, that they are shown love, warmth, care, and health this Christmas. I pray that they go to bed cherishing the only gift that matters, the one that doesn’t come wrapped with a pretty bow and placed under the tree, but the gift of Your grace which You freely offer to all–even those with no other possession. I pray they fall asleep with hope in their heart for a future, with a full belly, and a knowledge of their worth. For our child, Lord, sleeping in an orphanage in Bulgaria, Jesus, love them deeply, care for them gently, and protect their hearts and bodies until the ordained time that You place them in our arms.
To the Prince of Peace, I pray You touch the lives of so many living in chaos this year. For those who view the holidays as a time of family feuds and bitterness. For those estranged from family, or those who feel they have no one. For those living in the unknown of a child with cancer. For those celebrating their first Christmas without a loved one, for those who know this may be the last year with their loved one. For those who expected Christmas to be something other than what it is this year, may You grant a peace that only You can give.
And, for those of us who are not going through any of these hardships right now, may we live grateful, and realize that our gifts are only given so we can give them away.