Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.
While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” (Luke 2:1-14)
Father-God, it’s nearly Christmas. Help us to stop in the midst of the hurry and bustle to remember again that Jesus is the Reason for the Season. Help us to see with new eyes the awe and wonder of the night of Christ’s birth. Help us to forget our money worries, the stress, the concerns, and anything that might keep us from worshiping You with our whole heart, mind, and strength.
I pray especially for the prodigal children of any who read this prayer. Jesus, would You reach out to them and cause them to see You in a whole new light. Blind them with Your glory, at the same time opening their eyes to see! And Lord, if they are estranged from their families as well as from You, would You cause grace to flow, would You bring about forgiveness and peace, would You heal these families.
Lord, I also pray for those who have lost loved ones to death or divorce or anger during this past year. Would You surround us this Christmas and drive out all feelings of loneliness and of being alone. Would You cause us to feel Your presence from the moment we awaken to the moment we rest in slumber. And please help those of us who are surrounded with family and loved ones to remember those who have no one at Christmas. Make us a compassionate people, Lord.
O God of the heavenly hosts, show us the light of Your countenance. No matter what You ask of us, help us to respond to You as Mary responded to the angel who foretold the birth of Jesus: “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.”
Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.
In Jesus’ mighty and glorious name I pray,