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The Twelve Prayers of Christmas

The Twelve Prayers of Christmas

Some of the best presents don't cost a penny but last an eternity.
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Although most people enjoy the excitement and delight Christmas brings, some experience heartache and pain. My friend Anna (not her real name) was one of those people. Having spent most of her childhood Christmases at the hospital with her mentally ill father, the season left a sense of dread that didn't fade as she grew older.

Anna and I had known each other for almost a year when Christmas rolled around. We met when she visited my church and asked me to pray for her. We soon developed a friendship and met often to talk and pray. As the Christmas season approached, I knew her well enough to know the holiday would be difficult for her. While I couldn't change her past, I could offer love and prayerful support as she faced another Christmas. I wondered what I could do to make our first Christmas together special. I wanted to share the joy I had for my favorite holiday in the hope that it might be contagious.

I decided to write prayers filled with encouragement, love, and hope. They would be catered just for her and serve as a tangible reminder of the words I prayed on her behalf. I modeled them after the song The Twelve Days of Christmas calling them The Twelve Prayers of Christmas.

I gave each prayer a theme that opened with praise to God and continued with blessings, Scripture, and intercession. Among the themes: friendship, joy, hope, security, healing, and love. Christmas Day was reserved for the theme of celebration, not only the celebration of Christ's birth of but also of our new friendship.

I wrote the prayers in early December so I could give them the dedicated effort they deserved without the rush of Christmas. Each prayer was one to two pages and was printed on colorful Christmas stationery. Sometimes I included a Christmas card, short story, or poem with the prayer to emphasize the theme.

I also decided to give a small gift with each prayer as a symbolic reinforcement of that day's theme. For example, Day 4 featured a prayer of security with a blanket as the gift. Another example was a vanilla-scented candle on Day 8 chosen for its soothing aroma representing peace. Here are the prayer themes and presents I used:

Day 1

Theme: friendship

Present: lotion

Day 2

Theme: joy

Present: soft sweater or vest

Day 3

Theme: hope

Present: ceramic nativity set

Day 4

Theme: security

Present: blanket

Day 5

Theme: healing

Present: mirror

Day 6

Theme: courage

Present: book

Day 7

Theme: wisdom

Present: Bible CD

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Karen, author of article

December 22, 2011  12:05pm

Thank you so very much for each of your kind comments. I am especially touched by Janis whose brother needs second mile TLC. I share in your prayers for him and for you as I am sure you are feeling your sister's loss as well this Christmas. I like to remind those who grieve for a loved one this season that without your love there would be no tears. Love brings pain and sorrow but it's worth it. Keep your sister's memories alive in your own heart. I hope you will check out my website at www.confrontingcancerwithfaith.com. You can see a picture of "Anna" and me under the mentoring section. May peace prevail throughout your Christmas and may hope light a path for renewed strength and perseverance.

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Dan Smith

December 20, 2011  9:57pm

I'm very humbled by your aggressive love for your dear friend. I too share in your desire to share Christ, His amazing Love, and greater Hope to those around me. May your tribe only increase, multiple, overflow. Continue to share innovative, intimate intercessory ideas for His Kingdom purpose. Maranatha Dan Smith

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Janis

December 09, 2011  2:50pm

What a great idea, my brother has been really down this year because we lost our sister last year a week before Christmas and he is having a really hard time. I've been praying for him, but this idea is wonderful and I am going to mail him a card every day with Bible verses and a prayer to help him get through. Thank you for sharing. God bless you.

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