Saturday, December 12th
Welcome to Day 1 of Christmas Prayer! This is a time of reflection, but also unity in the body of Christ to come before the throne of God together in prayer. If you are not in a group to pray together, please ask The Lord to help you gather a friend or two to do this with you. The goal is to worship the Lord in unity, Spirit and truth. Even if you reach out to pray on the phone, God will meet you there.
You will see a scripture at the beginning of each day, a short reflection and a prayer guide. Your time together should be mostly spent praying, with just a small amount of talking. It is very easy to talk to each other and not so easy to talk to God. Be sure to magnify our Father today with your prayers in Jesus name!(Of course you can talk at the end…just avoid the trap of talking a lot and praying a little. It is really a discipline to learn to pray first and allow the Holy Spirit to guide the prayer time. You will find as you flesh out the needs before the Lord, you will be giving all the information that is needed to your friends and they can agree with you in prayer!)
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
46 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
Humility is the theme for day 1 of our prayer time.
Elizabeth and Mary were two women who were chosen by God for the most incredible, breath-taking tasks. Their attitudes were not at all haughty or proud. They exalted each other above themselves and also exalted The Lord.
In a time when our culture teaches us to be proud, to be all you can be, to think about yourself all the time, to take care of yourself, to think you are above everyone else, to take selfies and post everything about your life in a braggadocios way for the world to see on social media, let’s take time to repent of pride and other hidden sins in our hearts while we exalt The Lord and magnify his name.
Dear Heavenly Father,
You are Holy and your name is above all other names. You are in heaven and we are on earth and we come before you today to worship you and thank you for bridging the gap between heaven and earth with your son Jesus Christ.
We magnify you and acknowledge our smallness. We lift you up and acknowledge our sin. We exalt you and lower ourselves in humble worship of your name. You are our Lord and our God and we are your servants. We love you, Father God. Thank you for loving us in our humble and sinful state. Thank you for sending Jesus to deliver us from our sins. Thank you for your goodness to those who choose to trust in your name and to walk in humility with you.
We ask you, Father God, that your kingdom will come and your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven. May your kingdom be built in my life, in my heart , in my family and in my community. Build your kingdom that Jesus came to build and may we be active participants in building up your kingdom.
Father, forgive us for times our sin has worked against your kingdom. Forgive us for our pride which has caused us to be easily offended against others and their weaknesses. Forgive us for thinking the worst of others instead of giving room for understanding and assuming the best.
Forgive us for forgetting that we have weaknesses and sins and that we are low and only exalted when you exalt us, not by our own works or goodness, but by your power and glorious work. Forgive us for gossip, attacking others and tearing down those who love you. May you remove our sins of pride and self-righteousness, in Jesus name and fill us with your Holy Spirit to walk in the fruit of humility and gentleness, considering others better than ourselves.
Forgive us for times we have desired that we be recognized for our hard work in your harvest, instead of wanting you to get the glory. Forgive us for building our own ministries, our own lives and looking for recognition in our work to prove ourselves as spiritual and blessed by God. We have worked to build a name for ourselves, instead of letting you lift us up. Forgive us for wrong attitudes of jealousy towards others and for seeing other churches and ministries as competition instead of the work of the Body of Christ and the growth of your kingdom all over the world.
Fill us with the power of the Holy Spirit. Saturate us with your presence, Lord. Remind us who we are in you. Where we are weak, there you are strong. As we repent of personal and spiritual pride, fill us up with the humility to bring you glory.
May you, please grant us the grace of Joseph, Mary and Zechariah and Elizabeth to worship you even before we can actually see your plan, feel and touch it. Let us believe that Blessed is he/she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to him/her. You are faithful and mighty and you do mighty things. Let us wait on you as you bring healing in our lives and take away the barren wastelands.
Lord, as you filled Zechariah and Elizabeth’s lives with newness and purpose and life in their old age and where they thought it was impossible, raise up your barren church all over the world. Fill the people of God with a purpose, with your purpose to bring the gospel to all nations. Fill us with faith to trust you. Fill us with hope in this dark season the world is going through. May we not be filled with fear, but with trembling at the thought of you filling us and using us for your glory and to build your kingdom.
Bring life, Lord! Bring life! May we be used by you. May we see life spring up from the dry ground. May those we love who are walking in dryness and emptiness be filled with repentance from sin and with the power of your Holy Spirit.
(Make a list and pray these prayers for those in your life who are without Jesus, in rebellion or back-slidden.)
Father in Jesus name, right now I pray for _________, that you would bring repentance and salvation to their life. I pray you awaken them from the dead and set their feet on the path of life. I pray your Spirit will follow them and speak to them with dreams and thoughts and knowledge of you. Deliver them from sin and into the hands of Jesus Christ.
(Prayer for the depressed and defeated who know Jesus)
Father, in Jesus name, I pray for _________. I ask that you bring a new work of God into his/her life. I pray for your power to raise them up out of depression and a defeated situation. I pray that you break the chains of any known or unknown sin in their life and break the power of Satan’s oppression over them in Jesus name. I pray you allow your Spirit to flow like springs of water in the barren parts of their life. Give them eyes of faith to trust you and to have renewed hope for living. Do not give up on them, oh Lord, but renew them according to your unfailing love.
Father, I commit to pray these 12 days before Christmas and worship you in Spirit and in truth, not in the stress and greed of the holiday season. I pray that you will renew me and my family this season through this time of prayer and that you give me friends to join together with in prayer.
May your kingdom come, Lord Jesus! Come, Lord Jesus! Amen
Be sure to share this with your friends and ask them to join us in prayer to move heaven and earth in Jesus name!
~May the blessing of the Most High God, our creator and redeemer be upon you and your family this holiday season!