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Praying Christmas Love for Our Families

We all need the Lord to draw near this Christmas, to make Christmas a season of God with us- true Emmanuel. Join us today as we offer our prayer for our families in this season. We are linking hearts and hoping big for all God will do in our midst.

Inspired by Paul’s famous “love passage” found in 1 Corinthians 12:31—13:1-8, I’m praying Christmas Love for our families this season and beyond.

You teach us, O God, that in our families — even in difficult families facing difficult times — there is a most excellent way: the path of unselfish love.

You teach that if we speak in a vernacular that our teenagers think cool, that our toddlers comprehend, that our parents understand, or that our extended family grasps, and if we talk in a manner that garners much admiration in the way of public opinion, but don’t have real authentic love, then we’re just making a bunch of nonsensical noise. It’s just a painting of pretty appearances, not a deep-seated, never-stopping, selfless kind of love.

If we — in our families — articulate the multi-faceted testimonies about Jesus to and discern what the faith future holds for each of our relatives, but we speak all of Your God-mysteries void of love, or, if we have the kind of faith that could actually move mountains, but we faithfully move those mountains without a shred of love, then You teach us, gentle God, that we will ultimately amount to nothing.

Servant King, if we give all we have to our communities and churches, and in the process sacrifice sleep, serenity, sanity and the Sabbath to the point where our physical bodies are thoroughly exhausted working for the poor, then we might brag a bit about all of our do-gooding, but in the end — if our family’s work isn’t powered by love, a love for each other and for others? Then You point out that all our loveless work gains nothing for no one.

When our children hop onto our last nerve or our spouse does that annoying “thing” {again}, when a mother-in-law slips in a snide remark or a sibling’s word cuts deep — oh that patience and kindness could be our knee-jerk responses! When it seems that every other family on the face of the earth (or at least on Facebook and Instagram) is donned with perfect hair, perfect jobs, perfect celebrations, perfect moments, perfect opportunities — help us to not be envious and thus be reduced to the coveting of that which we don’t have. Help us to flee from every manner of jealousy!

Conversely, when things do go well for our families, may we run from the temptation to insert our photo-edited boasting into everyone’s news feed. May we refrain from prideful posting, and instead thank You, O God, for all blessings we enjoy today.

This selfless loving, God, is terribly difficult! It requires that we put the members of our families above ourselves, not seeking what is best for us, but what is best for them.

May You find no disrespect and no unruly anger in our homes this Christmas; but if such behavior does surface, please help each of us to keep no record of the wrongs found there.

May we love one another so well, so deeply, so selflessly that we protect each other, trust each other, hope only the best for each other, and always, always persevere through the hard stuff.

Because in the end? Love — true love — never fails.

May each member of each of our families love one another with the patience, kindness, humility and good-will that is steady and constant, boundless and dependable, steadfast and unfading.

It’s a tall ask I know, God; in fact, at some point, every one of us will fail each other and You.  We simply cannot do it without You.

If we do fail to love well this Christmas, fill us with the humility to seek forgiveness; and when we are hurt by our families this season, move us to pardon promptly. Because it’s what You do for us, God; and it’s what you expect us to do for others — especially within our families.

Thank you, God, for Christmas Love — Your kind of selfless Love that sends Jesus, the Rescuer, to come for us.

Cultivate the soul soil of every family reading here that they may take to heart Your ever-important task of sharing this heart-changing Christmas Love first with one another and then with the world… all the livelong year.



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