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7 Prayers to Help Make Room for Christmas

When shopping, cooking and traveling threaten to take over the holiday season

7 prayers to make room for Christmas.

As Christmas comes closer, shopping and wrapping and cooking and travel can overwhelm what the season is really about. But making room for Christmas in our hearts and lives doesn’t require a lot of time or trouble; it can be the product of just a little attention to prayer.

So here are seven prayers that can be a helpful part of your Christmas this year. You may want to print them and clip them, praying one each day. You may decide to hand them around the table at your Christmas feast and ask your family to read them aloud. You may even intersperse hymns and carols between these prayers to comprise your own Christmas worship service.

 

1)  A Tiptoe Prayer (for use before Christmas Day)
Lord Jesus, the day of your nativity approaches, the day on which we commemorate your birth, your condescension, your humble incarnation. Please help me and mine to approach that day on tiptoe, with reverence and awe, mindful of your holiness and beauty, and grateful for the privilege of finding and approaching and kneeling at your manger, amen.
(Bob Hostetler)

 

2)  A Prayer from a Carol
O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;

Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.

We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;

O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!

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(From “O Little Town of Bethlehem” by Phillips Brooks)

 

Read More: 5 Short Prayers for Christmas

 

3)  A Prayer of Robert Louis Stevenson
Loving Father, help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and worship of the wise men. Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts. May the Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children, and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus’ sake, amen.

(Robert Louis Stevenson)

 

4)  A Christmas Invitation
Come, come, Jesus, I await you…I am a poor shepherd; I have only a wretched stable, a small manger, some wisps of straw. I offer all these to you, be pleased to come into my poor hovel. I offer you my heart; my soul is poor and bare of virtues, the straws of so many imperfections will prick you and make you weep –but oh, my Lord, what can you expect? This little is all I have…I have nothing better to offer you, Jesus, honour my soul with your presence, adorn it with your graces. Burn this straw and change it into a soft couch for your most holy body.

(Written in 1902 by a young Italian seminarian named Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli who would later become Pope John XXIII)

 

5)  A Prayer from Chrysostom
Great God and Father of all humanity,

thank you that because of this day,

this holy feast, in the words of Chrysostom,

the ancient slavery is ended,

the devil confounded,

the demons take to flight,

the power of death is broken,

paradise is unlocked,

the curse is taken away,

sin is removed from us,

error driven out,

truth has been brought back,

the speech of kindliness diffused,

and spreads on every side,

a heavenly way of life has been in-planted on the earth,

angels communicate with men without fear,

and men now hold speech with angels, amen!

(Based on words by John Chrysostom) 

 

Shop Guideposts: Daily Devotionals

 

6)  A Prayer from John’s Gospel
Light of the world, Who shines in darkness,

light our way into Your presence.

Word Made Flesh, full of grace and truth,

let us behold Your glory.

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world,

cleanse our hearts from sin.

Only Begotten Son, Who came into the world not to condemn the world but that the world through You might be saved,

grant us everlasting life, amen.

(Adapted by Bob Hostetler from John 1 and 3)

 

7)  A Christmas Lullaby
Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay

Close by me forever and love me I pray;

Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,

And fit us for heaven to live with Thee there.

(From “Away in a Manger,” attributed to Martin Luther)

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