Disciples of Jesus – Praising God – Caring for Its Community

Prayer Booklet 87

Booklet 87   Monday,13th December, 2021

Dear Reader, I have decided to use the same pattern as last year from now until New Year.  I hope you are all well and finding new joy in turning your eyes and hearts to the true meaning of Christmas – in spite of the trials of life.  I love how we look for the Light, both in the morning and at the close of day.

Sun of my soul open my eyes
As morning fills the skies
You are the light
guiding my ways through the shadows

Shine, shine, Shine, shine
Lighten the darkness oh sun of my soul:
Shine, shine Shine, shine
Lighten the darkness oh sun of my soul

Sun of my soul, steady my gaze
as daylight runs its race
Your Word is a lamp unto my feet,
on this journey…


You’re shining on me in the night
Lighting my darkness
You’re shining on me in the night
Lighting my darkness

Sun of my soul, rest for my heart
As nightfall calls the stars
You are my light, promise of peace
While I’m sleeping


Final Tag: Lighten the darkness oh sun of my soul

 I wish you all to know the blessings of God over this Christmas time, even as we still have issues to deal with.  He is Sovereign Lord.  Please contact me with requests if you wish prayer. I can still send them out to the group: christistewart@btinternet.com

Tuesday 14th December, 2021

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”  The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”  Luke 1:34-35

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Luke 1:38

Reflection: Last week we saw how John was to be the prophet of the Most High. Then the angel visits Mary. The angel told her not to be afraid and explained how God, Most High, would use her to bring His son into the world.  We must remember that Mary had grown up in a faith which reverently worshipped the living God as the Holiest of Holy.  How could she not be afraid?  Only if the Lord God granted her a peace that is beyond our understanding.  Did she find that peace to replace her fear?  I think she did because of her beautiful trusting response: “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then, we are told, the angel left her.  I believe the angel of God would only leave when he knew her to be calm in her spirit.

Prayer: Awesome God, we thank you for the fulfilment of your promise to send a Redeemer to call us to yourself.  We thank you for Mary, who gave herself so completely to the fulfilment of your purpose to send Jesus into the world.  Help us to make room for Jesus in our lives every new day; to have thankful hearts as we receive forgiveness for our sins; and may we be obedient to your call to worship and serve in Jesus’ name.  Guide us into the path of peace that He promised.  Amen

Wednesday, 15th December, 2021

We love because He loved us first. 1 John 4:19

Reflection: What a truly beautiful concept. Can you imagine a world without love?  I believe that if God withdrew his love from the world, there would be no love – only selfishness and misery – I simply do not want to imagine a world without love…

Do you remember Peter and Gordon – a long time ago?  They had a song which began with the words: “Please lock me away, and don’t allow the day here inside, where I hide with my loneliness. I don’t care what they say I won’t stay in a world without love.”  The truth is that no-one needs to stay in a world without love.  I know if you are hurting these words seem too simplistic but God – when we allow him into our lives – really does wrap us in his love and changes our perspective so much that he gives us back our self-worth and helps us to find others who also know how to love in its fullest sense.  And for us, it began with Jesus.  In spite of everything this last two years, thankfully we are approaching the Christmas season which invites us again to focus on the gift of Jesus to the world.  So let me offer a verse from a different song:

You are our God beyond all praising,
Yet for love’s sake became a man;
Stooping so low, but sinners raising
Heavenwards by your eternal plan:
You are our God beyond all praising,
Yet for love’s sake became a man.

Prayer: Lord, you are love beyond all telling, Saviour and King, we worship you.  Help us to know your Love, to understand what it cost, and to share your perfect love with those we meet – in Jesus’ name and for his sake.  Amen

Thursday 16th December, 2021

 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  Revelation 21:4

Reflection: Let us all take time today to pray for everyone who finds Christmas difficult because it is a family time, and the pain of loss is great indeed.  Let us also look at the promise in today’s verse from the wonderful pages that conclude the Bible as we know it.  We can trust this promise, because God first fulfilled his promise to send Jesus to be the Saviour of the world.  How wonderful to receive his love and look forward to eternity with Him.  Our hope is in the promise of His word.

These words, however, are also for those whose life is hard because of many different kinds of hurt.  When God came to our world as that baby Jesus, he came to offer us a way that would lift us above the burdens of life and help us to find a deep peace – even as we face many and varied difficulties – because he promised to be with us and when we receive his love nothing can separate us from that love.  We have already seen the prophecies that Jesus came to give us Peace.  Hear again the words that Jesus spoke: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 6:37) Trust the promise of his word as you trust Him.

Prayer: Lord God, today we thank you for every hope and comfort and our prayer request is simply this…Lord, strengthen our hope as we wait for your kingdom, and reign of peace. Amen

Friday 17th December, 2021

 “And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour…” Luke 1: 46-47

Reflection: Earlier in the week I asked if it was possible to imagine Mary losing her fear and finding her peace when the angel visited her and told her she would carry a child for God.  Then I said that I did not think the angel would have left her unless she had come to the place of peace.  Now we can look at her own words: “My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour…” Indeed, she has found her peace. This is only possible because she had complete trust in God.  This was a miracle of God’s grace.  Because of this extraordinary event in human history, we can all accept the gift of God by his grace, and choose to worship and serve him, and so find our peace.  How do we know we have done this, because – like Mary- our soul rejoices as we worship him.  It only takes a step of faith to “declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead…” and you will be saved. Romans 10:9

Prayer: Gracious and merciful God, our spirits sing within us as we think of the enormity of your love for us.  As we take time to think again about the wonder of the birth of Jesus, help us to understand that we rejoice because he was born to give his life for us, and lead us in a way everlasting.  Thank you that by trusting Jesus we have the right to call you Father – now and for eternity.  Amen

Saturday 18th December, 2021 – A Poem


(Let’s begin by imagining that all we have room for in our hearts is love.  After all – that’s the way God wants it to be.)

I stopped and listened the other day, to a child muttering at play,
“Quick, hide, he’s over there! He’ll see us if he walks this way.”
To whom was he speaking?  No-one I could see….
From whom was he hiding?  It was all pretend,
This game and this friend.

Remember, there was a time not long ago
When you were that child.  It was easy then
To lose yourself in a game of make-believe.
I wonder, can you do it now, and come
With me on a journey through time? 
About 2,000 years.
Perhaps we can find a baby under a star,
Just like the wise men who travelled far.

Can you imagine in the silence of the night
The weary travellers to Bethlehem tucked up
Fast asleep – some with friends and relatives,
Some in the inns,
and some, like Mary and Joseph,
Who arrived too late, when everywhere was full –
Huddled together for warmth wherever they could find a bed,
On kitchen floors, hay lofts and even cattle sheds.

And then amid the silence a new sound
Sweetly fills the air, and as the young mother
Breathes a sigh of warm delight and hugs
Close to her breast, her gift of a son from God,
The shepherds out on the hillsides
Thrill to music, too beautiful to be of man,
As God announced His gift, fulfilled His great eternal plan.

Stay with me and gaze awhile in wonder,
At the brightness of these angels and that awe-
Inspiring star. 
See the shepherds rush in gladness.
They leave their sheep on the hills and come down into Bethlehem.
Can it hold more? 
The wise men from the east
With their gifts have come and are standing before
This stable, this blessed stable, with the star above the door.

Let’s pretend we also have a gift for Him.  What
Would you offer to the Son of God, the King of Kings?
All our earthly treasures in their abundance come
From God, His father. 
The time, the space in which we live
Are held in His great plan. 
Can you see this baby, this living gift from God?
Can you? 
Will you come humbly to his presence and bow
In holy worship and adoration, this Christmas, now?

Sunday 19th December, 2021

Now time to reflect on a beautiful carol that asks the same question.  What gift can I bring to the Son of God?  Now pray…

In the bleak mid-winter, frosty wind made moan;
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone.
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, Snow on snow;
In the bleak midwinter, Long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain,
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him whom cherubim worship night and day,
A breastful of milk and a manger full of hay;
Enough for Him whom angels fall down before
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air.
But His mother only, In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Belovèd with a kiss.

What can I give Him, Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.
If I were a wise man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him —
Give my heart.