Christmas Praying in Color: Names of Jesus

Christmas, Prayer

Today, the twelve days of Christmas begin.  We will continue to fill the Praying in Color page that we began during Advent with a celebration of 12 of the names of Jesus.

If you missed us during Advent, you can catch up here:
https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2016/11/21/follow-the-star-advent-praying-in-color-2016/

Here are the names we will use:

12 days of Christmas.png

Each day of the season of Christmas, add a name to the white space outside of the largest star, until the entire page is filled!  On January 6 (Epiphany), add tiny stars to completely fill the page.

If you want to share your progress, use the hashtags on the infographic to post on Instagram or Twitter.  You can tag me on Twitter @RevBreenMSipes,  Instagram @pstrsipes, or Facebook @BreenSipes.  I am looking forward to praying with you through Christmas!

Advent Praying in Color 2016: Christmas Eve

Advent, Prayer

I hope that you are having a wonderful time Following the Star as it rises this Advent.  For my star, I have decided to use the daily Word from www.adventword.org as the basis for my drawings.  Here is my star as Advent draws to a close with Christmas Eve:

IMG_20161221_132306071 (2).jpg

As you can see, I couldn’t limit myself to such a small space, so my tiny drawings have spilled out over the edges.  I can’t wait to see what it will look like by Epiphany (January 6).

God’s blessings to you as you conclude your Advent journey in faith.  Watch tomorrow for a new way to add to this star throughout the 12 days of Christmas.

p.s. If you are just now joining us to Follow the Star, start here:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2016/11/21/follow-the-star-advent-praying-in-color-2016/

Stacked Star Ornament: Christmas Eve

Advent, Christmas, Prayer

I have been working diligently on my stacked star ornament over the course of Advent.  I even cheated and finished one day early.  Here are my stars at the end of Advent:

IMG_20161220_151930652 (2).jpg

We have one more star to go!  Since it is large, I am planning to take all twelve days of Christmas to pray with it.  I will show you the final result on Epiphany.

If you missed this Praying in Color opportunity during Advent, you can catch up here:

https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2016/12/03/follow-the-star-2016-stacked-star-ornament/

Prayers for Christmas

Christmas, Prayer
christmas-prayers-by-capcase

photo by capcase on flickr.com

Last year, I developed a booklet that had prayers for all sorts of occasions surrounding the celebration of Christmas.  I thought that this week would be a good time to share them with you.  You can find the entire booklet here:  Prayers for Christmas

Christmas Dinner Prayers

Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest,
and let these gifts to us be blessed.
Give us this day our daily bread;
let all the world be clothed and fed.  Amen.

Be present at our table, Lord.
Be here and everywhere adored.
Thy mercies bless and grant that we
may strengthened for thy service be.  Amen.

In the peace of this season our spirits are joyful:
With the beasts and angels,
the shepherds and stars,
with Mary and Joseph we sing God’s praise.
By your coming may the hungry be filled with good things,
and may our table and home be blessed.

Bless us O Lord, and these Thy gifts,
which we are about to receive
from Thy bounty through Christ our Lord. Amen.

God of all gifts, we thank you for the many ways you have blessed us this day. We are grateful each of those who are gathered around this table. We ask you to bless us and our food and to bless those we love who are not with us today. In our gratitude and love, we remember your humble birth into our lives and pray for those who are without enough to eat. We remember the stable in which you were born and pray for those who have no place to live. We remember your challenging message of caring and giving and we pray for peace in families and nations throughout the world. We bless you and give you thanks in your Spirit who brings our hearts to life in the miracle of Christmas, now and forever. Amen.
http://www.godweb.org/christmasprayers.htm

A prayer before opening presents

Lord and Giver of all good things, the magi travelled for miles to bring the Christ child the first Christmas presents. So may we, too, remember with thankful hearts the love that comes with each present we open. We also thank you for the love you have for each of us, and we thank you for the many gifts that you give us, especially the gift of live itself. Amen
http://www.godweb.org/christmasprayers.htm

A Christmas Tree Blessing

Holy Creator of Trees, bless with your abundant grace
this our Christmas tree as a symbol of joy.
May its evergreen branches
be a sign of your never-fading promises.
May its colorful lights and ornaments
call us to decorate with love our home and our world.
May the gifts that surround this tree
be symbols of the gifts we have received
from the Tree of Christ’s Cross.
Holy Christmas tree within our home,
may Joy and Peace come and nest
in your branches and in our hearts. Amen.
http://www.godweb.org/christmasprayers.htm

A Nativity Set Blessing

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, ruler of the universe.
With Mary and Joseph, with the angels and shepherds,
and with the animals in the stable
we gather around your Son, born for us.
Bless us, and fill us with joy and wonder
as we look upon this nativity set.
May Jesus be born in our lives,
that we might share his love with all the world,
for he is our light and our salvation. Blessed be God forever.  Amen.
https://sites.google.com/a/trinityaa.org/gifts-of-advent/blessing-of-the-nativity-scene

A prayer for those who work on Christmas

Lord, as I spend today going about my work, help me to put aside any bitterness that I’m not celebrating at home with loved ones. I ask you God, to give me a special sense of your presence as I meet people, that I may shed on them the light of the Bethlehem Star, the Spirit of Christmas. Amen.
http://www.godweb.org/christmasprayers.htm

A prayer to remember those who work on Christmas

Dear Lord, as we celebrate the birth of your Son this day, we keep in mind those who are called to work.  We thank you for their diligent service as they help people in hospitals and nursing homes, police and fire stations, airports and restaurants, and all the places they are needed.  Give them a sense of your presence and an attitude of joy as they celebrate, even in the midst of their work.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

A Christmas Prayer for those who have suffered the death of a loved one

God of compassion, there is such a hole in my heart! Today should be a day of joy, but I feel only emptiness and loss. While the world celebrates around me, I remember Christmas celebrations of the past and I long to have my loved one with me. I bring my sorrows to you, Lord, like some odd gift of the magi and dump them at your feet. In my blind tears I wonder if anyone can possibly understand the depth of my sadness.
I know you can. You sent your son to be with us in our deepest sorrows and I know that even though I might not feel it now, you are here with me, grieving with me, caring for me in my sadness. Dearest lord, help me to turn to the one I miss so much today and speak. Help me heal the loss of our parting and help me not to regret the things I didn’t say. Sorrow tears at my heart, but today I ask that my loss soften my heart and make me more compassionate with everyone I meet, so that my loss may become a gift to others.  In your name I pray, Amen.
http://www.godweb.org/christmasprayers.htm

Follow the Star: Advent Praying in Color 2016 Week 2.5 complete

Advent, Prayer

I hope that you are having a wonderful time Following the Star as it rises this Advent.  For my star, I have decided to use the daily Word from www.adventword.org as the basis for my drawings.  Here is my star complete up to today:

IMG_20161213_154130528 (3).jpg

As you can see, I couldn’t limit myself to such a small space, so my tiny drawings have spilled out over the edges.  I can’t wait to see what it will look like by Epiphany (January 6).

God’s blessings to you as you continue your Advent journey in faith.

p.s. If you are just now joining us to Follow the Star, start here:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2016/11/21/follow-the-star-advent-praying-in-color-2016/

Light of the World Prayer Experience

Prayer

names-of-jesus

As we get closer and closer to Christmas Eve, the environment in the Northern Hemisphere gets darker and darker.  We are in need of Christ’s light.  This prayer experience is meant to bring the light of Christ among us in a meaningful way as we wait.

You will need:  taper candle with holder, tealights, matches, glass or metal plates or mirrored tiles that will reflect candle light, round stickers or cardstock (and tape or Glue Dots) on which to write our prayers, writing utensils. Enough pieces of paper with the response printed on it so that everyone can see it.  Print out the names of Jesus graphic if you will need it for the last petition.

You can find a pdf of this activity here:  Light of the World Prayer Experience

Prayer Experience:

(Light the taper candle and place it in the middle of the plates or tiles.  This is the Christ candle.)

Jesus Christ is the light of the world.
The light no darkness can overcome.

We pray for those places for which we are thankful, those places where we see the light.

(Everyone fills out a prayer card or sticker and attaches it to the bottom of a tealight.  When everyone is ready, we share our prayers out loud and one at a time, lighting our candle from the Christ candle.  When these prayers are concluded, continue with the response.)

Jesus Christ is the light of the world.
The light no darkness can overcome.

We pray for those places in the world which are troubled, and which need the light of Christ.

(Everyone fills out a prayer card or sticker and attaches it to the bottom of a tealight.  When everyone is ready, we share our prayers out loud and one at a time, lighting our candle from the Christ candle.  When these prayers are concluded, continue with the response.)

Jesus Christ is the light of the world.
The light no darkness can overcome.

We pray for the people in our lives for who we are thankful, who are light to us.

(Everyone fills out a prayer card or sticker and attaches it to the bottom of a tealight.  When everyone is ready, we share our prayers out loud and one at a time, lighting our candle from the Christ candle.  When these prayers are concluded, continue with the response.)

Jesus Christ is the light of the world.
The light no darkness can overcome.

We pray for people who are troubled, and who need the light of Christ.
(Everyone fills out a prayer card or sticker and attaches it to the bottom of a tealight.  When everyone is ready, we share our prayers out loud and one at a time, lighting our candle from the Christ candle.  When these prayers are concluded, continue with the response.)

Jesus Christ is the light of the world.
The light no darkness can overcome.

We pray for ourselves by name, that we might be bringers of the light to the dark places of our lives, communities, and world.

(Everyone writes their own name on a prayer card or sticker and attaches it to the bottom of a tealight.  When everyone is ready, we share our prayers out loud and one at a time, lighting our candle from the Christ candle.  When these prayers are concluded, continue with the response.)

Jesus Christ is the light of the world.
The light no darkness can overcome.

We give praise to God, who gave us Jesus, the light of the world.  You may pray using whichever name for Jesus you wish.

(Everyone fills out a prayer card or sticker and attaches it to the bottom of a tealight.  Refer to the “Names of Jesus” graphic, if you need to. When everyone is ready, we share our prayers out loud and one at a time, lighting our candle from the Christ candle.  When these prayers are concluded, continue with the response.)

Jesus Christ is the light of the world.
The light no darkness can overcome.
Thanks be to God.  Amen.
Conclude with the Lord’s Prayer.

Follow the Star 2016: Stacked Star Ornament

Advent, Prayer

Here is another idea for Praying in Color through Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany.  What about an ornament for the tree that grows from the bottom up, from a tiny star to a large one?  You can find the template here:  stacked-star-ornament-2016

On this, the third day of Advent, this is all that I have done so far:

IMG_20161129_135840614.jpg

Here is the first star completed as the first week of Advent draws to a close.  I did the black squiggles on Sunday, and colored in a different color for each of the other six days of the week.  Tomorrow, we begin on the second star.

IMG_20161201_113541737 (2).jpg

Stay tuned as we assemble the stars into something beautiful!