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Prayer, Plain and Simple

“Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring GREAT JOY to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” Luke 2:10,11

If Christmas is a bit disappointing to you this year – perhaps you don’t have funds to buy the gifts you’d like to give, or maybe you’re in a tough place at work, or your family is struggling – you’re in good company. Christmas wasn’t everything Mary had hoped it would be either. Instead of having her baby at home with a midwife to help her, she had it without any help (I doubt that Joseph was skilled at delivering infants; he was a carpenter, not a doctor), and in a musty, smelly barn of all places.

Circumstances stink sometimes.

Nonetheless, we can find joy in the middle of trials. James says: “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for GREAT JOY. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow…!” (James 1:2-4) Let’s resist the inclination to dwell on what is not working, and let’s rejoice that we can grow through tough times by thanking God for what IS working and, most of all, thanking Him for His Son, Jesus, born into a poor family so that we can have a life rich with blessings.

My Father,

Forgive me, please, for wallowing in my trials. I stand up and raise my hands and declare that no matter how dark the clouds look, you are working! You are working in my difficult circumstances! And if I learn anything from your Word, it is this: complaining won’t get me to my Promised Land, but faith and trust in You will. So teach me! Lead me! And help me rejoice in all that is true, for every promise in your word is a hearty Yes and Amen!

Yes and Amen! 

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