Goodness, we hit a nerve.
Over 110,000 of you visited my blog last week titled, “Don’t Make Your Grown Children Hate Christmas.”
So many of you came to the blog that my server crashed once, and almost succumbed a second time. That tells me that too many are struggling in this beautiful season that is about Jesus.
So, what can we do about that?
I’m going to share a simple answer, and you might not like it.
I didn’t like this answer either when I struggled so many years ago. I wanted God to fix them, or make it all go away. I wanted God to zap that one who said those things that hurt my heart, and for him to forgive me for what I said back.
We say Merry Christmas as if it’s all about warm sugar cookies coming out of the oven, or that perfect meal, or the gifts we carefully choose.
While that’s one way we celebrate a tradition, Merry Christmas is really about a struggling young mom huddled in a cold stable with a man she cares about, and a newborn that comes with a God-written story that seems way too big.
It’s God sending his son to a world that will love him, hate him, mock him, crucify him — and a Savior who willingly came, because . . . well, because of love.
He also came for that family member who demands you show up at a certain time on a certain day or all heck breaks loose.
For that one who says the wrong thing at the wrong time, or who asks you “when are you going to have a kid?” when you’ve been trying to conceive for four years.
For that grown child who is angry at you.
For that young child who ate too much sugar and just threw tantrum #4 and it’s not even daylight yet.
Praying recognizes that we are people of faith, loved by our Savior.
Prayer reflects that we know where to go when we are frustrated. That we believe that prayer is powerful and life transforming.
Prayer says that we’ll stop in the midst of crazy feelings and all the things we are juggling just to say, “I see you, Jesus,” and to thank him.
Prayer offers wisdom (James 1:5).
Prayer offers direction (Psalm 25:4-5)
Prayer offers peace (John 16:33).
What if we don’t have the words to pray?
When I don’t have the words to pray, I pray scripture. It’s powerful. Somehow those words are just what I need, and they sneak past resentment or frustration and settle in.
It’s acknowledging that, even when I don’t have a clue how to pray or what to do, that God hears me anyway.
Today I want to give you a gift. It’s a printable of five prayers that Jesus prayed.
- Once you print it out, tuck it in your Bible or tape it on your mirror.
- Read the scripture.
- Note how Jesus reached for wisdom and help.
- Read the prayer starter I wrote below the scripture.
These are prayers I’ve prayed based on these specific scriptures.
Maybe these are all the words you need to connect with Jesus in that moment. Maybe it will be the beginning of a conversation between you and God, right where you are.
Friends, I truly wish you a Merry Christmas, one in which you find Jesus closer than ever.
I’m so grateful for you. Let’s live free . . . together.