“Father, we as your people want to glorify your name this holiday season. For you alone, O Lord, are worthy of all praise, glory, and honor. So Lord as we approach Christmas day, we are reminded once again of your majesty and gracious disposition toward your people. And we are reminded once again at the sacrifice you made when you came down to tabernacle with us. What an amazing and glorious truth that the infinite God came to live among his people, and not only so, but also to be sacrificed for the punishment we deserve. May we never presume on your kindness and take for granted what you have done; may you alone continue to receive all praise.
We thank you, Father, for the many blessings you bestow on us, for we know that every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of lights who does not change (James 1:17). Our family, friends, job, health, and circumstances are ordained by you, and we thank you that you are working all things out for the good of those who love you. Even if this past year did not go how we wanted it to, we know that, in Christ, we are immeasurably blessed. Help us not to forget that. Help us not to grumble or to complain or feel sorry for ourselves. May we never cease to give you thanks.
Lord, as you know, our culture tries to make Christmas strictly about presents, vacations days, rest, and filling our hearts with things that cannot ultimately satisfy. Some of these things are good things. Because of your common grace, we can and should enjoy them. But we as your people know there is more. We know that these things are only a foreshadow to the main substance, and that substance is Christ. We know that it is only the grace of Christ in the gospel that can satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts. Our hearts are restless until they find rest in you, as Augustine says. So help our hearts to rest in you. Help us to look to Jesus Christ alone for our sense of satisfaction and not in earthly things. During this Christmas, help us to look to you to accomplish what you alone can do.
So Lord as we gather to be with family and friends, and as we gather to worship in our churches, will you please be near to us? Will you please bless us with a tangible sense of your presence? We are desperate for more of you, Lord. We are counting on you and cannot enjoy Christmas apart from you.
Father, help our words and actions to please you. Son, help us to magnify your name and remember you are the reason joy at Christmas time is even possible. And Holy Spirit, please empower us to live godly and holy lives amongst our family and friends, opening doors for us to share the gospel with those who do not know you yet. We praise you, Triune God of the Bible.
As J.I. Packer once remarked, may the Christmas spirit be obvious in us not just during Christmas time, but all year round. All of these things are only possible because of Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.”
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