The Battle Continues
It’s been a few days since I’ve posted a prayer. Life has gotten pretty busy as it does for all of us during the holiday season. This year I’m really trying to focus on the “reason for the season”. So I’m saying “Merry Christmas” to all of you who read this. Christ is truly what this season is about, not parties, presents, feasting or Santa. December 25th is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ who died a horrible death to save us from receiving the just reward for our sins against a holy God.
Why December 25?
I’ve been researching why we celebrate Jesus’ birth on the 25th. I found this in Bible History Daily:
“Clearly there was great uncertainty, but also a considerable amount of interest, in dating Jesus’ birth in the late second century. By the fourth century, however, we find references to two dates that were widely recognized—and now also celebrated—as Jesus’ birthday: December 25 in the western Roman Empire and January 6 in the East (especially in Egypt and Asia Minor). The modern Armenian church continues to celebrate Christmas on January 6; for most Christians, however, December 25 would prevail, while January 6 eventually came to be known as the Feast of the Epiphany, commemorating the arrival of the magi in Bethlehem. The period between became the holiday season later known as the 12 days of Christmas.”
There are two theories today: one extremely popular, the other less often heard outside scholarly circles (though far more ancient).4
The most loudly touted theory about the origins of the Christmas date(s) is that it was borrowed from pagan celebrations. The Romans had their mid-winter Saturnalia festival in late December; barbarian peoples of northern and western Europe kept holidays at similar times. To top it off, in 274 C.E., the Roman emperor Aurelian established a feast of the birth of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun), on December 25. Christmas, the argument goes, is really a spin-off from these pagan solar festivals. According to this theory, early Christians deliberately chose these dates to encourage the spread of Christmas and Christianity throughout the Roman world: If Christmas looked like a pagan holiday, more pagans would be open to both the holiday and the God whose birth it celebrated.
So we really are not sure if this is the true date of our Savior’s birth. But even if its not, I’m ready to celebrate His birth any day of the year.
Today I would like to pray for Christians across our nation. Lord, I lift up Your people wherever they are across our country, asking for your forgiveness and blessing on all of us. I pray each of us, especially during this season of celebrating Your Son’s earthly birth, will focus on that instead of that which the world focuses on. I pray we will be reading the story of His birth on Christmas eve and praying for his purposes to be realized in each of our lives. I pray that during 2017, those around us will be able to see Jesus in our words and deeds and that You will give us opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus with those who live in darkness.
Lord, I pray for our nations leaders and the new President and his team and cabinet members who will begin their official duties during January. Meanwhile, I pray that on December 19, your perfect will be done with the voting of each of our electors so that our laws and justice will be served well as the final results of our election is made known.
Lord I know there are many people in this land in our high places who do not serve you and are instead serving the adversary, Satan. I pray that those who do proclaim to be your followers will receive the spirit of courage and boldness to live for you in 2017 and to help your precepts be realized in the various administrations of our nation. I pray that they will make their choice on whom they will serve and that it will be You Oh Lord.
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. “- Joshua 24:15 kjv
I pray again that You will send your Holy Spirit to our New President, Donald Trump, to grant him divine wisdom in choosing those who will serve in high places during the next term. I pray that Your Spirit will convict him of the need to be close to You and to lift up all his decisions as President to You; and that he will hear Your voice and obey Your commands. I pray that You will give him the Words he needs to speak to the various news organization, the United Nations, our allies and also our adversaries in the world. I pray for safety for he and his family and others who will be serving as leaders in our country.
I pray that You will protect our country against all attacks and schemes by the evil one to harm or destroy us. Please bring to light to our intelligence agents any plot against our country. And I pray that those who serve evil in our nation will each be brought into the light and captured and rendered harmless, even if they are rich, famous, or hold high offices.
Lord, I want to thank You for answering my prayers last evening during the storms moving through my home state of Arkansas and for protecting us from damage or loss of life. I pray You will continue to protect my state, my neighbors and my family during this season of snow and ice. Yes, I pray You will bless and protect my family this Christmas, as it is a special one for us , since several of my loved ones will be leaving all the comforts of this country to go overseas to serve you in very primitive areas in the jungles. I pray for their safety and Your help in providing for all their needs and blessing their efforts to bring Your word to those living in darkness.
Lord I ask that You forgive me of my many sins and unholy thoughts and that You will surround me with Your love and Your strength so that I may choose right and not wrong in all of my deeds and thoughts. I pray for faith and courage to follow You each day and that people will see You in me each day. May all the glory and honor be given to You and Your Son, Jesus, who are the only High God, the only Righteous Ones and I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Your comments and your own prayers are welcome.