December 2. 2002

Father,

How I praise You. You are an awesome and mighty God! No matter how crazy life gets- all I have to do is stop and be still in Your holy presence. Then I know – all is well. You are so full of love and You desire good things for us. I trust You to lead me each step of the way.

Lord, You are life itself. You give us everything we need. There is so much to be grateful for. Lord, help me to stay right under Your protective wings. Show me immediately when I begin to stray off the path You are leading me on. You are my Guide, my Teacher, my Love, my Counselor, my Joy, my Peace, my Hope. With You, I have overflowing abundant life. When I begin to stray from You, my life seems so empty and hopeless. In You, I have found the greatest treasure ever. If all else was taken away, I know I still have You and the hope of eternal life to come.

Thank You for the tastes of Heavenly life here on earth. Thank You for loving me so much that You chose to send Jesus to be my Emmanuel. You are with me and I am greatly blessed. Lord, I pray for many others to truly discover You as their very own Emmanuel this Christmas. Let them ask Jesus into their hearts and know the joy of You- God, Almighty- with them!

December 5, 2002

Father,

I love coming to you. There’s boxes of Christmas decorations setting in the middle of my floor waiting to be put out, dirty dishes, work that screams to be done, people who need to be called, bills that need to be paid… It’s one of those days that threaten to overwhelm me-but I know I need to come to You above all else.

You are my calm in the midst of the stormy chaos. You never fail to soothe my soul and quieten my mind. You are my Rock. Lord, You make me stop and be still and know that You are God! Time in Your eyes is so different than my feeble view. I start thinking there’s not enough hours to accomplish all that needs to be done. You remind me there is all eternity. You take my face into Your loving hands and point my chin to the really important things- the eternal things- like spending time with You; listening to a friend who needs hope; hugging my boys who are almost men; praying for a friend who has a heart condition and another who is in jail…

Father, thank You for once again getting my eyes off the lack of time and onto the Creator of all eternity. Father, as I go through this day, help me enjoy every minute. Help me to help others enjoy this day- for You have made it just for us! You have given us exactly enough time for what is needed for today! Whatever is not finished will be there tomorrow… and so will You!

December 6, 2002

Father,

It is so amazing to watch You at work. Even as I contemplate Christmas- Your ways are so different than what we could ever dream of. Who, but You, would have picked the most amazing thing to ever happen in history to occur in such a quiet, unobtrusive way.

With all of Bethlehem going crazy from the census, You planned the sweet unnoticeable birth of Your own Son. All of Heaven burst with rejoicing at such an awesome event. Yet most of earth was too busy to think twice about a poor little baby boy being born in a manger among all the animals.

Father, I never want to be so busy with the mundane things of this earth to miss Your eternal miracles! Lord, please keep my eyes on You. Help me to see You at work. How incredible that Your Son lives in ME!! I may look ordinary on the outside- but You gave Your Son to live in ME! Help me to NEVER forget that, or question Your love for me, or for all your other children. Help me look at others- not as ordinary humans-but worthy of Your gift of Jesus!

We think Jesus is the reason for the season (which He is,) but You think we are the reason for the season. You did it all for us!!!

December 9, 2002

Father,

Keep reminding me again and again what Christmas is really all about. You know how the kids are busy dropping not-too-subtle hints about Christmas gifts. You know how the TV and newspaper continually hold before me expensive material gifts that I would love to buy for those I love. You know how enticing the shop windows and displays are.

Father, You know exactly what my checking account holds and how much I need to budget for gifts. Lord, let me be content and thankful for what You give me to work with.

Father, don’t let me get so caught up in buying gifts that I loose track of the most valuable gift ever given- Jesus. Lord, let me ponder on the simple and humble way he came to us- wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger borrowed from animals. You have given us the most priceless gift ever given- Your love.

Lord, show me how I can give love this year. Give me ideas on how to wrap it in simple unexpected ways to share with my children, my husband, my friends, neighbors, co-workers. Father, in all reality, I know that no one will remember how much I spent on a gift a year from now- but I pray they remember the love I show them and that it came from You. I want to get caught up in the season and give Your love.

December 10, 2002

Father,

You know I want a really long prayer time with You today- but it looks like it will have to be one of those on-going prayers. I need You. There is no way I could ever get through this life without You. You are my breath, my life, my peace, my joy. You give me wisdom, hope, guidance, understanding. You are my friend, my Savior, my Teacher, my Counselor, my Daddy, my Anchor, my Rock.

What a journey You have taken me on so far. What an adventure this life is. How I wonder what lies ahead. All I know- is that I can face all things with You. You slow me down when I need to be stilled. You speed me up when I need to be pushed. I never want to leave Your holy presence, for I trust that You know exactly what You are doing in my life. Keep me close to You, Lord. I long to stay in constant contact with You all day long.

So here goes my day, Lord. Show me each step of the way. Take me with You. Hold my hand. Point out all You want me to see and do. I’m walking with You!!

December 11, 2002

Father,

I seek You with all my heart. You promised if we seek You- we will indeed find You. I come to You, knowing that You are here with me right here- right now. You did not leave me alone in the storm as an orphan. You sent Jesus to be with me. I come to You to keep my eyes on Jesus. As I do, the storm calms down. All is well.

Lord, I can be walking along with all peace and joy in my heart. I can be walking on water with You. When suddenly, the waves get a little rough. I look around and realize there’s no way I can be doing this! My legs grow feeble and I begin to slip into the water- panicky, with the thought of drowning!

I cry out for help and You are here to gently pick me back up out of the water. You ever so patiently set me back on track and reassure me that I can indeed walk on water with You. I can do all things with You strengthening me.

You are my constant Companion and I love You. What security and confidence in knowing that You are with me. You will be with me always even unto the end of time and beyond!!

December 13, 2002

Father,

I identify with Mary who rejoiced when she knew she carried Jesus inside of her. She was overcome with love and praise when she realized You had chosen her to bear Your Son into this world.

She cried out, “My soul exalts the Lord. And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. For the Mighty One has done great things for me; and holy is His name.”

Lord, You have allowed Jesus to come into me, just as He is available to everyone who believes and seeks Him with their whole hearts. I rejoice in You. You are my God and my Savior and I am so blessed. You have done mighty and wonderful things in my life and my heart is overcome with praises to You. You are so holy. I am so weak and ordinary- yet You love me so much that You sent Your Son to me!! I am so blessed.

Father, let me be so filled with You- that I bear Your Son to the world. Let me carry Him with me wherever I go and whatever I do. Let Him shine so clearly through me that my little world is lit up with the true Light of the world. Thank You for Jesus- our Emmanuel!! You are with us!!

December 16, 2002

Holy Father,

You are the Most High God. All creation bows before You and answers to Your Mighty voice. You reign in complete love and holiness above all. You have complete and perfect knowledge and power. Forgive us when we question Your ways. We can only see through dim earthly eyes.

Father, in Your wondrous ways, You send Jesus to knock on the door of our hearts. Just as surely as Joseph and Mary knocked on the door of the inn, searching for a place for the Savior to be born. Lord, I want to answer Your knock. I long to open my heart. Let me always make room. Please let Jesus be born anew in me. Let His holiness come alive in the dirty, smelly stable of my soul. Let His pureness light up the dark corners until I am gloriously clean before You. Fill me with his life. Let Him grow and shine through me.

Come into this ordinary heart. I’m answering Your knock. I’m opening the door and inviting You in. Change me. Change my world. Come, Lord Jesus! Be born brand new in me today!!

December 18, 2002

Holy Father,

I’ve been out Christmas shopping. You know how fun it is to get special gifts for the ones you love. Please bless each gift and let each person know how much I love them.

Lord, as exciting as it is to give gifts, I started thinking. I have all I need for Christmas. Jesus is all I want. Everything else could be broken, burned in a fire, stolen, go out of style, or just wear out. You are forever. If I had nothing else at all- no one can ever take You away from me. Not death, sickness, poverty, war, imprisonment…

You are my life, my joy, my hope, my strength. You supply all that is needed and I am so blessed. Thank You for the most wonderful Christmas gift possible. Thank You for Jesus. He lives with me and I will never be alone or in need. Lord, You are all I want for Christmas!!

December 19, 2002

Prayer- home for Christmas!

Holy Father,

You above all- know that Christmas is filled with love that goes beyond explanation. There is a spirit of overflowing generosity. You gave the first gift. The greatest gift- love. There is no end or beginning to love, for there’s no end or beginning to You. Love is eternal.

Father, with all the love pouring out this time of year, I want to pray for those who are missing their loved ones this Christmas- those who have already passed through Heaven’s door. Let us all look up towards You and know our loved ones are HOME for Christmas.

Lord, I pray for those who are drawing near to their time to go HOME. Let them look forward with anticipation. Soothe their hearts as they struggle with saying goodbye to their loved ones here. Reassure them they will be reunited with their loved ones in just a blink-compared to all eternity. Reassure those of us who are still here, also.

HOME- I can only imagine pure joy and love as we bow in complete adoration before You; as we see clearly all Your wonders and glory. I can only imagine the awe we will experience as we see Jesus and all our loved ones gathered around to welcome us with open arms! Lord, you know I am HOMEsick for Heaven. I will continue to spread Your love here on earth- but let me dream of HOME til I get there!

December 20, 2002

My Lord and God,

How humbled and speechless I feel when I consider the birth of Your Son Jesus. Just like the three wisemen, may I leave all my riches and worldly possessions behind, to go and find You. I want to worship You with all my heart, soul and mind. Here I am- seeking You again…

Here You are! You are no longer some far-off God who sets on his throne and harshly judges me. You love me so much that You were willing to send Your own Son to be born in a tiny frail human body. He may have looked like an ordinary baby- but He was born to draw us back to You. He was born, lived, died and rose again so He could live in my heart. He was born so You and I can now freely talk. Now I can spend time in Your very presence!

Here I am, kneeling before You, amazed at Your mighty majesty and Your gentle tenderness. Here I am, coming before You, acknowledging that You are my God. Here I am, with You in this holy moment, surrounded by Your peace and love. Here I am, bringing You gifts- all that I have and all that I am. What an honor and joy- to seek You and find You and bow down and worship You! Is this how the wisemen felt?

December 24, 2002

Heavenly Father,

The whole world is waiting in anticipation for Christmas! There is excitement everywhere! Lord, this is a special time to stop and be still before You. The birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus is Your absolute holiness revealed to us! You came to be with us!

Now every time we turn to You, You are right here in our presence. Your holiness shines in our darkness and brings peace and good will to our souls. Oh, come let us adore You. Let us adore You as You adore us! Let us stop in the midst of all the excitement and tinsel, and bow down in Your glorious presence. How we praise You for the priceless gift of Jesus Christ!

Take this gift of praise and adoration as our humble gift to You. May our lives be a sweet blessing to You! May the truth of Christmas be revealed here on earth as it is in Heaven!

December 27, 2002

My Lord, my God,

This Christmas, we have celebrated the birth of Jesus. We have meditated on the humble and miraculous way You sent him to be born. We have asked him to be born anew in our hearts. You most certainly answered our prayers, as we come before You and bow down in Your holy presence.

Father, how can we ever thank you for the presence of Your Son in our lives? There is absolutely nothing which compares! Please search our hearts and help us clear out all the things which take up room in the inn of our souls. We want our hearts to be filled overflowing with Your Holy Spirit. We want more of You and we know You long for us to have more of You. Each time we leave our busy lives and spend time in Your company– adoring You and worshipping You– You give us more.

We come–seeking You with all our hearts. We come–thirsting for You with all our souls. We come– desiring to know You with all our minds. Reveal Yourself to us as You continue to grow in us. Show us Your glory! We will never be the same again. We have seen Jesus and He is with us!

December 30, 2002

Father,

How I thank You for the sweet holiness of Christmas! How I thank You for the most amazing gift of Jesus! I also want to thank You for the wonderful gift of family.

Just having spent the majority of the past two weeks with family, makes me realize what a blessing You’ve given. I’m grateful for a wonderful husband- a soulmate to share the holidays (and everyday) with. Thank you for our grown children who have developed into honorable and loving adults- who we can now be good friends with. Yet they will always be our children! Thank you for blessing them with wonderful spouses. And grandkids! Who would have thought they would be such a delight!

Lord, I thank you for our children still at home, some of whom stand on the brink of adulthood. Each is so utterly different yet so deeply cherished. Let them know they are loved!

Lord, thank You for our parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents and dear church family. You have bonded us all in love. We know each others’ strengths and weaknesses. Yet we can look past our differences and enjoy the love You’ve knitted us together with.

May all families grow closer in Your love. May we all allow Your blood to flow through our veins so we may be joined together as Your family- just as it is in Heaven!

December 31, 2002

Father,

Tonight many people will be saying goodbye to the old year and celebrating in the new year. Lord, I ask that You be with those who feel the temptation to celebrate in their old harmful ways.

Father, help us all to turn away from our old life and enjoy the new life with You. Strengthen those who feel weak against the call of their old ways. Let them stop now and turn their eyes upon You. Let them know that You will give them everything they need to turn away from temptation. All they have to do is ask and obey.

Father, thank You for the new life I have in You. I would never want to trade it for any “promise” of a party or riches or fame. You, alone, hold all I need and could ever want. Everything else is fleeting and temporary. Please lead each of us further away from our old ways and ever closer to our new life with You.