On this Christmas Eve let’s look at the words that were spoken to Mary when she learned that she was chosen to be the mother of God’s Son. The angel Gabriel spoke four comforting promises to Mary in the first chapter of Luke. These promises are for us as well. Let’s allow them to resonate in our hearts on this Christmas Eve as we receive them in prayer and in faith.

The Lord is with you.

Jesus, you are with us. Emmanuel. You were born in a dusty stable, so that one day we could live with you in the palace of Heaven. You came and lived on this earth, joining the human race, and now your Spirit is with us, never leaving us or forsaking us. Help us to appreciate your constant presence.

Don’t be afraid.

Please remind us that because you are with us, we never have to stay afraid. There are lots of dangers around us in this world, but your perfect love drives away our fears. And because you are Emmanuel, God with us, we never have to face our fears alone.

The power of the most high will overshadow you.

Thank you that we have your power to fulfill your plans, and that we don’t have to do tackle our responsibilities in life with our own limited resources. When we are weak, then you are strong in us. Overshadow us!

For nothing will be impossible with God.

With your power at work within us, we are able to accomplish infinitely more than we could ever imagine. Give us faith to believe this truth!

Mary responded to the angel’s announcement:  “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.”

In other words, Mary said, “Yes, Lord, I trust You. Bring it on.”

Thank you for all the things you’ve promised. Give us the courage to believe that all you’ve said is true and the faith to make decisions based on your words, not on our limited perspectives.

You’ve said I have the mind of Christ.

You’ve said I will do even greater things than Jesus did.

You said I am the light of the world.

You’ve said that no weapon formed against me will prevail.

You’ve said I can hear your voice.

You’ve said that I can do all things through Your strength.

You’ve said that my joy would be complete.

You said that I would have an abundantly rich life.
On This Christmas Eve we remember that you came long ago, but also that you are real and present here and now. And if we believe as Mary did, the same blessing can be spoken over us today:  “You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.”

Be it unto me according to your word. Bring it on! Amen.

—Learn more about the Herringshaws at Prayer Plain and Simple or The Supernatural Life

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