A Prayer to Practice Christmas Cheer All Year Around
By Laura Bailey
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” – Colossians 3:12-13, ESV
There’s no denying that the Christmas season brings a mixture of emotions; within minutes, we can feel joy, excitement, anxiousness, irritation, and loneliness. But year after year, among the hustle and bustle, I’ve noticed that people are kinder, more patient, and generally in a better mood, which I attribute to the gift of Christmas cheer.
As I pulled out of the parking lot the other day, my car loaded with Christmas gifts and goodies, I neglected to see a woman putting up her cart. In my haste, I almost hit her; thankfully, she saw me and quickly jumped out of the way. I leaped out of the car, apologizing profusely, anxious about what words she might have for me. Instead of scolding me, she smiled warmly, “it’s okay; I know it was just an accident.” I apologized again, gratefully got back in my car, and headed home.
I replayed that incident, shocked at the woman’s response. Then, I began to think about the last few weeks, how it seemed as soon as the calendar flipped to December, for the most part, people were just nicer to each other.
“You have less in your cart than me; why don’t you go ahead of me?”
“Can I help you to your car? I see you have your hands full with your kids?”
“Your coffee was paid for by the customer in front of you; Merry Christmas!”
Everyone’s in a rush but offers to let others check out first or take their spot in the pick-up line. A long line typically results in irritation but instead provides an opportunity to bless someone else whose been waiting patiently. Total strangers lend a helping hand to a young mother when they would have walked past her the weeks before.
The Christmas season is magical, with snow-covered trees, twinkling lights, and favorite traditions shared with family and friends. Yet, we often put up our Christmas cheer too. We forget why we celebrate Christmas, the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. This truth should encourage us to be joyful at Christmas and every day.
I encourage us this year to keep our Christmas cheer present in our hearts year around. We can practice patience and forgiveness and extend grace during the holidays and beyond. Let’s treat each day as a gift and remember that every day is an opportunity to share the Good News and show Christ’s love to a broken world.
Dear Heavenly Father, no words describe how incredibly grateful we are for the gift of your son, Jesus Christ. So many distractions in this world, especially during Christmas, keep us focused on You. Thank you for preparing our hearts and minds as we celebrated the arrival of your son and, ultimately, the second coming, when all will be made new.
We pray for those who have lost loved ones and deeply feel the weight of grief during the holiday season. We pray for those experiencing family tension and strife, that their conversations may be filled with compassion, and forgiveness is offered quickly to those who offend. We pray for those experiencing health issues, financial crises, wayward children, and general unrest. May you quiet their hearts and minds, comforting and offering peace only you can give.
We ask, Lord, that we practice patience, humility, love, and forgiveness to all who cross our paths, not just in December but year around. May our actions draw people closer to You, let our words be a calming balm to a hurt soul, let us give generously to those in need, and bear one another’s burdens, always remembering to pray in your name.
We love you, Lord; forgive us when we sin against you; help us to be more like you tomorrow than we were today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Irina Chernysh
Laura Bailey is a Bible teacher who challenges and encourages women to dive deep in the Scriptures, shift from an earthly to an eternal mindset, and filter life through the lens of God’s Word. She is the author of Beyond the Noise, and loves any opportunity to speak and teach women of all ages. She is a wife and momma to three young girls. Connect with her on her website, www.LauraRBailey.com
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