I've been recently feeling overwhelmed with prayer requests. Not that the thought of praying for all these people leaves me overwhelmed, I've just been feeling bogged down by all the needs, sadness, worry & stress going on around me. A few mornings ago I knelt down to pray and started just lifting names up to the Lord, one by one. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I thought "Father, what an awful time of year to have such BIG prayers. It's Christmas time, a time for fun & fellowship & Joy & celebrating YOU!" And then he responded...
"That's what I came here for."
If you're feeling sad, anxious, lonely, mourning, or hopeless this season, please know one thing- that's the reason he came here. He didn't come so we could have candy canes & Santa Clause & fudge & gingerbread houses. He didn't come with a promise of a life filled with joy. He came to break your chains, to have a relationship with you, so he could walk beside you in your sadness, carry your heavy burdens, take away your worries, and give us hope. If your head can't find joy in any of the celebrations this seasons, I pray your heart can rejoice in knowing that our Saviour loved you enough to leave the glories of Heaven for this sin-filled earth for you- and he is still reaching down for you this Christmas season.
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David
(as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us—
to show mercy to our ancestors
and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.