CHRISTMAS PRAYER OF GIVING

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Yay, yay, yay! Exams are over, Christmas is only a short week away, and break is finally here. So in the spirit of Christmas, here is a prayer that I read that comes out of the book Christmas Prayers by Marianne Williamson:

“Dear God, at this Christmas season please open my heart. May I learn to be a giver; not a taker; For only thus can I feel blessed. Make of me an instrument of Your peace, that peace might fill my world. May Your abundant mercy touch my life. May my heart so give and so receive as to expand to touch the stars. May I so learn to live with love, that I might know of heavenly bliss while still on earth. May the miracle of Christmas be a miracle in my heart. Amen.” -A Prayer of Giving

What an important thing to remember going into the Christmas season (or any season for that matter). Sometimes the truly important parts of Christmas get lost in all the chaos and presents and parties that come with the season. And while all those things are defining parts of the season, they shouldn’t supersede why we celebrate the holiday in the first place. So this Christmas season I challenge you to keep this prayer in your mind, be a giver not a taker, and to never forget that Christmas is the giving season!

-Jordan

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PHILIPPIANS 4:13

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“I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” -Philippians 4:13 // NIV Translation

Again, I have chosen to breach the subject of trusting in the Lord and not worrying about what is to come (check out my last post on Matthew 6:25-34).

This verse is another one of my favorites, but I only really started to appreciate this verse for all that it is over this past summer. I started seeing this verse everywhere. And when I say everywhere I do mean everywhere. First it was at church one Sunday morning, then at the airport printed onto some lady’s purse, then I heard someone talking about the verse while out shopping with friends. And when I finally started to be receptive to these occurrences, I realized that this was God speaking to me.

Near the end of summer I was having a particularly hard time with the amounting stress of school and junior year and all my upcoming assignments and classes. But luckily I had this verse on my mind through it all. Reciting this verse over and over again when I began to get stressed helped me to realize that God wasn’t going to let me fail.

God is infinite, He is good, and He is always there to provide strength. So when your feet are failing and the weight of everything comes crashing down, remember that God is there for you no matter what. You can do everything with the strength that the Lord gives to you. Pray to Him and your prayer for strength with be received.

Have a great week and remember that even through all the finals and anxiety this week will bring, that the Lord is always there providing you with love and peace and most of all strength.                                                        -Jordan

P.S. My experience with seeing Philippians 4:13 all around me this past summer is a great example that opening your eyes to unexpected signs of God could affect you greatly. Just because the Lord doesn’t speak to you in a literal way, doesn’t mean He hasn’t answered your prayer or met your needs!

 

MATTHEW 6:25-34

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So I’m back after a week and a half long hiatus, and I have for you an extra special weekly verse because this passage happens to be my very favorite!

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” -Matthew 6:25-34 // NIV Translation

Wow so I know this is kind of a long section of verses, but it conveys a strong message, and especially with finals coming up and the pressure to succeed in terms of grades weighing down on your shoulders, I thought this would be the perfect verse to discuss. The definition of worry means to literally give way to anxiety or unease. And when you think about it in those terms worry seems a lot like giving up and surrendering yourself to something that’s only going to tear you apart. Instead we need to be surrendering ourselves to the Lord. God isn’t going to let us down. He’s not going to abandon you, or forget about your needs. However, you first must seek Him and his kingdom. If you don’t surrender yourself to God how can He possibly help you?

The passage also talks about how the birds and the flowers are provided with what they need. If God cares enough about a small flower growing in the middle of a meadow, He will surely care and provide for you, a human with the capacity to love and live out His word. As verse 27 states, worrying will neither add an hour to your life or solve your problems. Why spend your time doing something that is only counteracting your ability to accomplish tasks.

Finally the passage states that it is pointless to worry about tomorrow when tomorrow will have enough worry of its own. Worry is a natural emotion, and while it is okay to express it you cannot let it consume you or hinder your capability to function normally. So instead of giving way to anxiety or unease, give way to God and let his love and peace fill you up.

Thanks so much for reading and have blessed day (I promise I will not skip out on posting like I did last week)! -Jordan