By Alicia Searl, Crosswalk.com
We've all heard of the Twelve Days of Christmas song, where gifts of true love are given in the form of French hens, turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree. Let's not forget the six geese a-laying and seven swans a-swimming. So romantic, right? That girl (I'm assuming she was the recipient) must have really loved birds.
Ok, well, now that I have you humming that all-too-familiar Christmas tune, I am giving you a gift today, too. Twelve gifts, to be exact. Yippee! But, not to worry, it will not be in the form of birds, pipers piping, maids a-milking, or even golden rings, as it is so much better than that! So, are you curious now?
Well, my friend, as we draw in on the final twelve days before Christmas, which begins on December 14th, you will get to unwrap the gift of simply sweet pocket prayers and praises. Just a little gift for you to fill your home and hearts with the immense peace and joy this lovely season has to offer.
While the official twelve days of Christmas and the origins of the old-fashioned Christmas song begin on December 25th and end on January 6th with the feast of the Epiphany, the dates below will track a little before Christmas as we posture our hearts to celebrate the birth of our Savior. However, if you prefer to begin with Christmas Day and pray and praise our Lord to the Epiphany, please do so and just change the days accordingly to meet the needs of your family.
Below, you will find the date on which to begin by simply reading the pocket prayers aloud and proclaiming them over your home, spouse, and children. On other days, you will find praises to lift up and rejoice in the glory and wonder of our awesome God! While it will only take a moment, my prayer is that as you read them together as a family or ponder on them alone in your quiet time, this simple yet meaningful act will draw you and your precious people closer to Christ and the true meaning of Christmas.
So, with that, let's begin…
December 14th – A Prayer for God's Presence
The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." Exodus 33:14
Heavenly Father, as we enter into this beautiful time of year, please do not let us miss the precious warmth of Your presence. Fill our home with Your love as we simplify our activities and set our focus on You, O God. Help us seek You in all that we do, and allow us to be comforted by Your presence. We long for You to be in our midst. Amen.
Photo credit: cottonbro
December 15th – Lord, We Rejoice in Truth
Read Matthew 1:18-23 out loud and take notice of what stands out to you. Talk about it with your family and hear their thoughts and the nature of their hearts. Then all rejoice in the Truth that God provides us through His Word.
Faithful and good God! We rejoice in the Truth found in Your precious Word. Mary and Joseph give us a beautiful example of submission and fully trusting in You. May the story of Christ's birth fill our hearts as we boldly and passionately live out our faith. O God, You give us great news of joy, and Your story lives on forever and ever. Thank You for the power of Your Word! Alleluia to the Lamb!
December 16th – A Prayer to Share Love
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25
Lord, I ask that You soften our hearts and open up ways for us to bless others this time of year. Provide opportunities for our family to spread good cheer as we also lean into You and the richness of Your love. Help us not to lean into the materialism that surrounds us but refocus our hearts to celebrate and share the love that was so graciously given to us in that stable 2,000 years ago. Amen.
Related: Want to spend more time with God in the new year? Check out Courtnaye's podcast for simple but practical tips to do just that! Just click the play button below to listen now!
December 17th – Lord, We Praise Your Holy Name
Read Isaiah 55:8-9 and Hebrews 13:8. God wants us to recognize the nature of Who He is in these verses. His ways are not our ways, and we will never meant to fully understand them. Yet, the wisdom God provides for us through His Word tells us all we need to know - He is indeed good and worthy of our praise.
Oh God, we praise Your Holy name and celebrate the amazing wonders that come from the work of Your mighty hands. Your ways are not our ways. Your love is unfailing and unconditional, and You are always the same: yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We find so much comfort in that. You are so good, just, pure, and mighty. Holy, holy, holy are You, O God!
December 18th – A Prayer for Grace
Gracious God, I bring to You a heart that harbors a bit of hurt, sorrow, and pain. I know You see it. As we come into another time of year that reminds us of Your love, mercy, and grace, I ask that You give me the will to put the past aside and let go. Remind me of your faithfulness. I give all the pain to You, Lord. Amen.
December 19th – Lord, Thank You for Forgiveness
What are you holding on to that festers bitterness or resentment? What pain are you carrying in this season preventing you from freely worshipping God? Hand it all over today. Forgiveness is an underlying theme throughout many stories in the Bible because we serve a merciful God. Take some time to read (or reread) some of those stories today. From Adam and Eve in Genesis to the unmerciful servant in Matthew 5, allow God to touch your heart as you seek His mercy and grace.
My desire is not to bend to the ways of my flesh but to find freedom, forgiveness, and redemption in the magnitude of Your mercy and grace. Father God, thank you for Your abundant love that covers all sin. You are God, the Redeemer! Worthy are You, Father God!
December 20th – A Prayer for Humble Hearts
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10
Abba Father, as we gather with family and friends, we invite you into the depths of our hearts. We ask that You cleanse us from all unrighteousness and allow us to come into this season that bears so many beautiful blessings with thankful hearts. We love you! Amen.
December 21st – Lord, You Are So Good to Us
The book of Psalms brings out such a beautiful poetic expression of worship to our God. It encourages us to praise God for Who He is and what He has done for us. Take a look and read over some of these beautiful verses today as you give thanks and praise to our Father. Psalm 34, 89, 1oo, 115, and 139. What stands out to you in those verses? How can you posture your heart for praise as we come into the days celebrating Jesus' birth?
Jesus, You are the epitome of humility. From Your humble birth to the way You walked this Earth as the Son of Man. Our words cannot begin to express our depths of gratitude for Your selfless act of love. As we come into the days where we worship and celebrate You, may all the heavens and all the Earth rejoice in Your Holy name. Glory to God in the highest!
December 22nd – A Prayer to Shift Our Focus
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2
God, if we were being honest, we often get caught up in the to-do list, and it can bring on so much stress and overwhelm. Please help us shift our mindset and place our eyes on You and the goodness of the precious gift You gave us in that manager. Help us gaze upon that nativity with fresh perspective and with awe and wonderment. Amen.
December 23rd – Thank You for Being the Light of the World
Read Matthew 5:13-16 reminds us to be the salt and light of the world. What does that mean and look like to you? We must recognize that our world is desperate for hope. As believers, we have the distinct opportunity to provide that by being a Godly influence to others (salt) and sharing the hope God gives us by shining a light in the dark corners of this lost world.
You are the Light of the World! Praise be to God! You give us a path and chart the way with illuminating light. With You living inside of us, we are the light that can never be dimmed or burnt out. We rejoice in You, O God, and pray we reflect your love so that others can see the richness of Your love!
December 24th – A Prayer to Posture Our Hearts for Joy
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4
Lord Jesus, in a world that is torn and tattered by the ways of our flesh, You broke every chain and made a way for peace and joy to ensue! Thank you for the gift of Immanuel, the Son, The Word that became flesh and dwelt among us to show the way to a good and abundant life. We give you our joyful hearts today and pray we honor You with thankfulness. Amen.
December 25th – Hallelujah! Jesus Is Born!
Read Luke 2 out loud and rediscover the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ! Today is a good day, a holy day, a day of celebration, joy, peace, and good tidings. Share the joy and love today as you gather with family and friends and rejoice wholeheartedly with our Father.
Almighty God! We celebrate today and glorify Your Holy Name. Hallelujah, for unto us a Savior is born! We give you such thanks, especially on this day that reminds us of Your faithfulness, blessings, and promises. Oh, God, You are so good and gracious! You are still our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace! May Your greatness be declared and shown around the world as we eagerly wait for Your triumphant return! Blessed are You, Father.
Happy Twelve Days of Christmas, my beloved brothers and sisters. May the days leading up to the birth of our Lord and Savior be filled with love, hope, and a beautiful reminder that our God is so very good!