December 21 – 25, 2011

December 21 – 25, 2011


During the Christmas Season

December 21, 2011

  • Background to today’s prayer
    • Anna, who was in the temple (and had fasted and prayed for years) at the same time as Simeon (who was content to go home to glory now that he had seen the Messiah).
    • They were both at the temple when baby Jesus was brought in to be dedicated,
    • Anna should be a symbol for our older women in our churches today.
    • Older women need to be there to bless the younger folks.
    • I am very blessed to have some older women in my life. They do everything from
      • Making me fudge,
      • To handing me down ties,
      • To remembering me in prayer (and many of them can really pray!),
      • And I have a GREAT relationship with them.
    • So, do you have any “Annas” in your life? If not, why not?
  • Today’s prayer

Lord as I think of Anna and her role to both Mary and Joseph, as well as all those “looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38), which You gave us in the expression of Your Son, I cannot help think about the opportunities our older women in our churches have. Lord, we have so many “Annas.” Lord, thank You for the many “Annas” in my life. Forgive me Lord for the times I have “marginalized” them. My prayer Lord is that others in our churches will be burdened for the gifts that only the “Annas” can impart, as we let them minister in our lives. And Father, I pray also for the “Annas,” that they Lord, would be willing to listen to You, and impart what You lay upon their hearts. Thank You Father for the gift of the “Annas” in our churches.

December 22, 2011

  • Background to today’s prayer
    • Myrrh is an odd gift…for a baby?
    • But remember, this baby came to die
    • He came to die a HORRID death.
    • We need to remember this during the Christmas season,
      • There is NO MANGER scene without the cross.
    • Think about what that means…He came to suffer and die for you and me.
  • Today’s prayer

Lord, as Your Son came to earth, to go to the cross it is appropriate that one of the Magi’s gifts was Myrrh (Matthew 2:11) which is anointing oil, used at one’s death. We recognize now Lord, that His birth signified that His life would end in a bitter and ugly, embarrassing and alienating death on a Roman cross. Lord we know this because of passages like John 10:11-18 and John 16:16-22. So as we enter this season of prayer, we are reminded that their would be no manger, with a beautiful cooing baby Jesus, without a bitter and degrading cross, coupled with You turning Your back on Your Son for a time…for us to be saved. Lord we praise You, even as we beg You to show us brokenness, that we might understand Your heart and then pray for the nations and the church with the fervency that only a broken heart can.

December 23, 2011

  • Background to today’s prayer
    • Has to do with when the Lord’s plans are not clean and neat
    • We often think that if something is from God it will go smoothly right?
      • Think again!
      • Remember Job, the difficulties came at God’s insistence!
    • And so, because He’s sovereign,
      • Because the Holy Spirit does not make mistakes,
      • Because nothing is a surprise to God,
      • We can trust Him!
    • Psalm 103:19 tells us that, “His throne is above the heavens and He is sovereign over all.”
  • Today’s prayer

As I reread the account of the Magi’s visit (Matthew 2:1-12) and the flight into Egypt by Jesus’ family, including King Herod’s butchery (Matthew 2:13-18), I am reminded Lord that Your plans are not always clean and neat. We often find ourselves in a deep valley that You have brought us to. Father, thank You for Your many promises, of which Romans 8:28 is only one. It tells us that ALL THINGS work together for good, for those who are in Christ Jesus, Your son, the One who’s advent, who’s coming, we celebrate this Christmas season.

  • Follow-up to today’s prayer
    • People like to say that Job brought his issues upon himself, which doesn’t bear out in the text, (note Job chapters 1 and 2)
    • And look in the NT, Paul talked about it, Peter talked about it (1 Peter 4:13) rejoicing in and EXPECTING to suffer, with Christ
    • We make a grave error in the West by thinking that when difficulties come our way God wants us to wriggle out of them.
      • He has allowed them!!
      • God has allowed them for a reason!!

December 24, 2011

  • Background to today’s prayer
    • We all have a past,
    • And there are probably some things in that past that we would prefer would just go away,
    • But as we said in an earlier prayer, God uses whom He chooses to use,
    • How exciting that God has a desire to use YOU!
  • Today’s prayer

Lord, as I think of Jesus’ visit to the temple when He was 12 (Luke 2:41-51), or John’s seclusion in the wilderness, until You wanted him on the scene (Luke 1:80b). And then I think of Daniel and Samuel, who lived godly lives, seemingly until their deaths. Lord these men seem so perfect. I want to bring You glory, and yet how can I bring You glory when I have the past that I do? I don’t know Lord, I don’t know. But, I thank You and praise You that there are men like David, Peter, Paul, and James, the half brother of our Lord, who grew up with Him and did not know Him. Oh Lord if these men would be used by You then I know that I too can be used. I submit myself to You Lord. Use me as You see fit. Use me to proclaim the message of Your Son, especially during this time of the year.

December 25, 2011

  • Background to today’s prayer
    • So today is the last day.
    • Why have you spent the time to pray this?
    • What result do you expect?
    • Below is my prayer, my expectation, for you…enjoy.
  • Today’s prayer

Lord this is the last day of this 25 Days of Prayer. And it is fitting  to end this with a picture of Jesus life AFTER His birth. Luke 2:40 and 52 tell us that He grew in strength, wisdom, grace, stature and favor, among both You and man. Father, my prayer is that each person praying during these 25 Days of Prayer would go from these prayers, and grow in the experience of Your presence, that comes so clearly as we spend time in close communing prayer with You Lord. Thank You Lord for this 25 Days of Prayer.