Christmas Chain: A Holiday Plan to Pray
We were looking for a fresh devotional plan this Christmas and decided to create a simple, kid-friendly and meaningful one for our family. We wanted to emphasize both Scripture and prayer. We borrowed some good ideas from others. Adapt this for you and your family too.
The shepherds were on the low rung of the social ladder, so we shouldn’t be surprised that God chose them to make a world-changing announcement. Jesus came to bring good news to the poor, hope to the hopeless, importance to the unimportant. The angels proclaimed: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests” (Luke 2:14).
The angels proclamation of peace includes you, your family, your situation, your church and your city. And it extends way beyond you too. Sometimes we forget that. Christ offers peace to the whole Earth. Christ gives enduring, true peace to all people, even the oppressed, ignored and suffering. This Christmas season, let’s pray everyday for people all over the Earth to experience the beauty of Christmas.
Supplies: Strips of paper to make a paper chain. We bought a Christmas paper chain kit at Hobby Lobby for $3.99.
When: This plan is for December 3-25, but adapt it to whatever works for you. If family or friends are going to be doing this with you, set a time when you can give 10 minutes each day to reading a Scripture and praying. Set an alarm is you need a reminder. If you miss a day, jump right back in the next day. It’s important to finish things. This will be a special time for your.
What: Every day you’ll do two things: 1. Read a Scripture. 2. Choose a person, family, church, organization, missionary, city or country for whom you will pray. If you are doing this with others, take turns letting people choose for whom you will pray. Write the name with a sharpie on a strip of paper, fold it into a circle, and attach it to the previous ring. Hang it on your wall, ceiling or tree. Each day, the chain will get longer and you can pray for all of the names listed.
A note about prayer: Prayer is a great time to be reminded that God cares about you, your circle of needs, and also people on the other side of the world. Pray for those near and far. Pray for those with spiritual, physical, emotional, and/or relational needs. And encourage everyone in your family to pray. It doesn’t need to be fancy. In fact, God wants you to be yourself. Just talk to him, with respect and realness.
You’ll note that sometimes I add a note with an idea about how you can pray that day. Use that suggestion if you want.
Dec. 3: Read Luke 2:14 and talk about how God gives us peace. Share a story of when God gave you peace, even when your situation was difficult. Choose the first person, family or group for whom you’ll pray (and make a chain link for them).
Dec. 4: Luke 1:26-38
Dec. 5: Luke 1:39-45 (Pray for someone who needs to know how exciting it is to know Jesus.)
Dec. 6: Luke 1:46-56
Dec. 7: Luke 2:1-7
Dec. 8: Luke 2:8-12 (Pray for people like the shepherds, people in need of good news.)
Dec. 9: Luke 2:13-17 (Pray for people who are dedicated to “spread the word.”)
Dec. 10: Luke 2:16-18 (Pray for a specific person or country to hear, be amazed, and respond to hearing the Good News.)
Dec. 11: Luke 2:19-21 (Pray for someone to ponder God’s goodness in their soul.)
Dec. 12: Luke 2:22-24 (We know Joseph and Mary were poor based on their sacrifice. Pray for someone in poverty today.)
Dec. 13: Luke 2:25-35
Dec. 14: Luke 2:36-38 (Pray for a widow or widower you know. Ask God to fill them with a grateful, worshipping heart, like that of Anna’s.)
Dec. 15: Luke 2:39-40 (Pray for a child you know. Pray for him/her to grow not only physically, but also in wisdom and grace.)
Dec. 16: Matthew 1:1-17 (Choose your best reader because there are some hard-to-pronounce names. The list you read is important, and God wants to work through your family too. So pray for your family to honor God for generations to come. Pray for your family today.)
Dec. 17: Matthew 1:18-19 (Pray for some newlyweds you know. Pray they’d love the Lord and each other.)
Dec. 18: Matthew 1:20-25
Dec. 19: Matthew 2:1-6 (Pray for a person or group of people seeking God.)
Dec. 20: Matthew 2:7-12 (Pray for an organization or church working to protect innocent people from bad things.)
Dec. 21: Matthew 2:13-15
Dec. 22: Matthew 2:16-18 (Pray for someone experiencing grief.)
Dec. 23: Matthew 2:19-23
Dec. 24: Philippians 4:6-7 (On the night before Jesus’ birth, Joseph and Mary must’ve been scared. They didn’t know where they would stay and the baby was coming soon. Pray for God’s amazing, supernatural peace to fill someone in a stressful situation.)
Dec. 25: Isaiah 9:6-7 (Pray for all the links on your prayer chain, and pray for God’s Kingdom to spread over the whole Earth. What began in a small manger spread peace over the planet. What a beautiful thing God has done.)