12 Prayers for Christmas

God is always speaking to us, His people, but we are not always listening. Or we aren’t quite sure how to listen because we aren’t quite sure what that looks or sounds like in our daily lives.

The fact is, we can’t obey Him or follow His lead unless we hear Him—and we can’t hear Him unless we understand how He speaks to us today.

Many of us read Scripture and long to hear God speak to us as He spoke to Moses, Noah, or Abraham. We desire the clarity that apparently existed for the prophets and sages and patriarchs. Consequently, we miss out on God’s active participation in our lives because we miss out on all the ways He speaks into our very existence.

The first, most prevalent way that God communicates with us is through His word. This is why it is called “living.” It has as much relevance today as it did thousands of years ago. When we become familiar with God’s word, He is able to use it to talk to us.

Very early every morning, before the sun rises, I take my cup of coffee outside and spend some quite time with God. I enjoy the stars sparkling and starting my day with Him in this way. During an extremely difficult time when I felt exhausted and discouraged, I continued my routine but with no real enthusiasm. As I stood outside, gazing at the stars but with nothing to really “say,” a jogger strode by. I had no idea who this person was and had certainly never, ever seen this person before during my morning coffee time with God. As soon as this person passed, my spirit was filled with God’s word from Hebrews: …and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

Had I not known God’s word, He simply could not have spoken it to me that morning. Through His word I was able to regain hope and strength.

Another way God speaks into our lives is through our circumstances—but we must be paying attention!

Most people see the serious side of Jesus—and rightfully so; but a woman I know typically sees a fun, amusing side of Jesus. She feels He has a great sense of humor and so that is how He broke into her routine.

There is a wooded path that she enjoys hiking through and does so quite often. During a particularly lonely time in her life she hiked the same trail as she had always done. To hear her tell it, she intimately knew every branch on every tree and every part of the trail. Except on this day, something new appeared. As she hiked, feeling more than a bit forlorn in her spirit, a rock on the ground caught her eye. It was big enough for her to see and what brought it to her attention was that it had a regular formation on it that was in the shape of a smile. The rock was smiling at her (and not in a potato-chip-shaped-like-the-Virgin-Mary sort of way!). So much so that she took it home and cherished it for many years, until God asked her to give it to another person—which she did in obedience.

Which is the last way in which God speaks to us today: through others. The day that this woman was asked to part with her cherished rock was a day God was asking her to be Him to another person.

He asks the same of us all: to be His messenger of love and hope and peace. We are all invited to speak God’s love into the lives of those with whom our paths are crossed.

There is never a coincidence in who God allows us to meet and greet. In all ways we can become the herald of His words and wisdom to someone else. All we need is a heart open to Him and a desire to be His servant.

Cheryl Dickow is the president of Bezalel Books and is the author of Elizabeth: A Holy Land Pilgrimage and Our Jewish Roots. Cheryl lives in the beautiful state of Michigan with her husband of 27 years and her three grown sons. Her works appears on a number of faith-based sites and has been published in a variety of magazines and papers.

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