Mary and Joseph

This blog post is an updated version of my previous post: Praying the Christmas Story, which you can still read here! I just wanted to update my thoughts on this blog post & add in my new Christmas animations, so I hope you enjoy these updates.

We here the Christmas story a lot over this season: at church services, at ALL of the carol services, nativity plays at school, maybe in your advent calendar, through the Christmassy books you’re reading – basically you here it a lot. You know it forwards, backwards and sideways. So why not use this story to lead your prayers?

The concept for this idea is simply to go through the different elements of the Christmas Story, and use these to launch you into prayer – like prayer prompts.

Let’s pray through the Christmas Story!

First, we begin with the Angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary. Watch our re-telling of this story here:

Dear God, the angel Gabriel brought a message to Mary to tell her she would have a baby. Today we know that you speak to us in lots of different ways. Help us to listen to you, help us to hear you when you speak to us directly, when you speak through other people, when you open a new door for us. Amen.

Other people and situations that we could pray for:

  • Pregnant women as they prepare for their baby
  • Those facing surprising or unexpected situations

For the next few parts of our story, watch this video re-telling the birth of Jesus:

Starting with Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem…

Dear God, just like Mary and Joseph had to follow the rules and travel to Bethlehem even though it was hard, help us to do what you tell us to do. Even when it’s hard, help us to follow you and to go where you tell us to go. Give us the courage, wisdom, patience, compassion and strength to be obedient to you. Amen.

Other people and situations that we could pray for:

  • Refugees and everyone fleeing from war-torn countries
  • Pilots, train drivers, ship captains – all those who help us to travel safely

But then they arrived in Bethlehem and couldn’t find anywhere to stay…

Dear God, when Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem, there was no room for them to stay. Sometimes we can shut you out of our lives or say that our lives are too busy and that there is no room left for you. We are sorry. Help us to make room for you in our lives, even when we are busy – time to talk to you and read your word and spend time with you. Amen.

Other people and situations that we could pray for:

  • Those who are homeless and looking for somewhere safe to stay
  • That we can be better guests and practice good hospitality

When Jesus was born, he was laid in a manger…

Dear God, when you were born you were placed in a manger, even though you deserved a throne. You came from a kingdom full of angels, to a stable full of animals. Help us to keep you at the centre of our lives and remember that you are the King of Kings. Show us how we can worship you in all that we do and bring you the glory. Amen.

Other people and situations that we could pray for:

  • Newborn babies, particularly those requiring care in NICUs
  • People living in poverty around the world, who live in uncomfortable conditions

Baby Jesus’ first visitors were a group of shepherds…

Dear God, when the shepherds heard of a new King they ran at once to Bethlehem. When they found you, they bowed down and worshipped you. Sometimes when we see you at work in our lives, we forget to thank you and praise you. Help us to always respond to you with thanks and praise! Amen.

Other people and situations that we could pray for:

  • Farmers, zoologists and everyone caring for animals around the world
  • Those in hospital, or other healthcare settings who aren’t able to have visitors

But what about his next visitors? For our video sharing the story of the three wise men you’ll have to wait a little bit until we reach epiphany! Make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel, so you don’t miss that video when it comes out. But we can still use this part of the story for our prayers!

Dear God, the three wise men saw a star in the distance and followed it all the way to you. Today, we are called to follow you every day, in everything we do. Help us to follow you more closely, and to become more like you in everything that we do – from our choices, to our habits, to the way that we talk to people. Amen.

Other people and situations that we could pray for:

  • Scientists, academics, teachers, historians, researchers – those who gather and share knowledge

I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey to pray through the Christmas Story!

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