Give the Gift of Prayer This Year

By Chris Hammond, MS, IMH

I don’t know about you, but every year I struggle with finding the perfect gift for my family and friends. It is almost a mission to seek out the right gift balancing between the person’s needs, wants, and talents. When the right gift is discovered it is pure joy to watch them open it and it is in moments like that when it is truly better to give then to receive.

This year as finances have become tighter, I find myself less interested in all of the bargains, deals, extra shopping hours and countless searches on the internet. Rather it has become a time of self reflection onto the meaning of Christmas rather than the gift giving of Christmas. When I recall the best gifts I have received during the year, it is the rare moment when a friend tells me they have been praying for me without my prompting and without any knowledge of my present circumstances. Those moments are precious to me and I can remember every one of them with great clarity far better than I can remember the gifts I received from Christmas even just last year.

So this year, I’m going to give to my family and friends the gift of prayer. Not in a showy way or prideful manner that says “I’m more Christian than you”, not in a gossipy or need to know the details of their life manner, but rather a simple personal email with the below prayer. This prayer was taken from the first chapter of Colossians and it was Paul’s prayer for his fellow believers. While reading the passage, it occurred to me that many times I pray for circumstances rather than character, relief from stress rather than strength, and change rather than clarity. But no more, here is my prayer.

May God bless this season of your life through (Col. 1:8-12):
• Thanksgiving for your faith
• Knowing His will for your life
• Gaining spiritual wisdom and understanding
• Living to honor and please Him
• Learning more knowledge of who God is
• Increasing in strength for endurance & patience
• Filling you with joy and thankfulness

Let me invite you to consider a similar prayer for your family and friends this year, perhaps in addition to or in replacement for a gift. Just imagine for a moment the change that could occur during your family visits if you prayed this prayer for each family member before gathering together. Maybe, just maybe, it might be the best Christmas yet.

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Chris Hammond is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern at LifeWorks Group w/ over 15 years of experience as a counselor, mentor & teacher for children, teenagers & adults.

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