“I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.” Ezekiel 34:26
By now I’m sure that most of you have your gift list all worked out. You’ve shared it with Mom, with Dad, with Grandma and Grandpa, with any aunts or uncles who might be inclined to indulge you with one or two of the bigger items. Most of you probably won’t remember this, but when I was young, Christmas began with the delivery of the Sears Christmas Catalog. My brother always got to go through it first because he was the oldest. Then my little sister would take it because, after all, she was the baby. By the time it got to me, many of the pages were torn and there were lot’s of “fold-downs” for favorites. But I sat with my paper and pencil, writing down each item, the page number, the catalog number and the price.
Most years there was only a chance I would get one, maybe two items from my list. Many years, there was a chance I wouldn’t get any. But making that list was a big deal in my life at the time.
As I grew older, I finally incorporated the concept that giving was just as much fun as getting. Now my lists were for other people – my folks, my teachers, later my spouse and my children. It was always a list of “things” I could buy or make. It wasn’t until one November many years ago that I realized the one thing I had never put on my list. Prayer.
Then Jesus used this story to teach his followers that they should always pray and never lose hope. Luke 18:1 (ICB)
Our family had fallen apart. My children’s dad was no longer in their lives and the one I had pledged my life to no longer wanted to be with us. What was I going to put on my list this year? How could I give a gift to my children or their father that would really matter to them, that could make a difference in their lives? How could I face the upcoming Christmas when so much had changed?
That holiday season, when I gave my life to Jesus, I knew what would be on my Christmas lists from here on out. Prayer.
Prayers for God’s protection on the heart and lives of my children. Prayers for the Lord to touch and change my spouse’s heart. Prayers for peace and strength for me and for my kids. Prayers for my family and my in-laws for the same. Prayers for physical and financial protection for my family. Prayers for salvation for all my loved ones. Prayers that God would reach down and touch and change hearts to know Him. Prayer – the greatest gift I could give.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16 (NLT)
Please put prayer at the top of your list this season. The Bible tells us that prayer can change people and change lives. Prayer can take what seems like a setback, turn it into a testimony, and then into a triumph. Prayer changes us and it changes those we pray for.
Not sure what to give Mom or Dad this year? Prayer. Not sure what to get for your favorite uncle who may be facing problems in his life? Prayer. Not sure what to get for your best friend who is going through some tough times right now? Prayer. How about your teacher who comes to school every day with a smile on her face when you know she has a new baby or a sick family member she’s taking care of? Prayer. Or how about that crabby old man across the street who just lost his wife? Prayer.
Prayer is the answer to everything. Prayer should be on everyone’s list this season. In fact, it should be at the top of the list because Jesus has told us….
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:31-33 (NLT)
Kim, a stander in Nebraska
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Unless otherwise noted, scripture quoted are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.