We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
A PERSONAL PRAYER
I always come to you in such self-centered prayer,
either thanking you for what you have done for ME, ME, ME…
Or whining about MY struggles…
Or confessing MY sin and shortcomings…
Or begging for some solution to MY issue.
Or interceding for MY friends and family.
Yes, I know you ever more ready to hear than I am to pray, and I know you want me to make my petitions and confessions and thanksgivings known to you. But I just suspect that you walk around in the holy city singing along with Toby Keith’s country song…
We talk about your work how your boss is a jerk
We talk about your church and your head when it hurts
We talk about the troubles you’ve been having with your brother
About your daddy and your mother and your crazy ex-lover …
You know talking about you makes me smile
But every once in awhile
I wanna talk about me!…
I like talking about you you you you, usually, but occasionally
I wanna talk about meeeeee!
So God, let’s talk about you. With all of my heart and life, I want to glorify you. With the psalmist, I want to…
Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples. For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts. Worship the LORD in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth. Psalm 96:2-9
The army of angels said it best. “Glory to God in the highest.” God, call me out of myself, that I might put you first.
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” –Luke 2:14
Click here to read the full text for Sunday. (Luke 2:13-20)
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
If you really look at your life, what is it about which you think, “If I can have that, I will be satisfied?” What is the central thing that you long for? What are some ways you might go about properly arranging the price tags?
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
Thanks to all of you who braved the downpour last Sunday to come to worship. Our Christmas festival was marvelous, with orchestra and choir. Wow. This Sunday, we will consider together how our lives are “ordered,” and what it means to “glorify God.” We will have great music and singing as we build toward the Christmas eve services.
Christmas Eve services are 3:00 (family service), 4:15 (family service with communion), 6:00 (traditional candlelight with communion), 7:00 (The Story Houston in the Activity Center with candles and communion) 8:00 and 11:00 (traditional candlelight with communion).
Remember. Invite someone to come with you. Be an angel (messenger) of God’s good news.
Sunday, December 20
God, thank you for everything that you have made. Thank you for all of the animals on the earth and the trees so that we can have air. You are great and powerful and I love you! Thank you for all of our blessings. Amen.
Prayer by Jace De Los Santos, age 8
Monday, December 21
Almighty God, who laughs with joy at seeing human beings, thank you for showering my life with innumerable blessings, especially those things which cannot be counted or measured. My cup overflows, for in you there is life abundant. May the blessings you have poured into my life flow outward into the world, to the glory of your Son, so all would know how generous you are. Amen.
Prayer by Rev. David Horton
Tuesday, December 22 – Personal Prayer Day
Families are made up of different personalities and have unique dynamics. Sometimes it is hard put aside differences and come together. Pray for your family members by name today; ask God to take care of each person and give them what they need. Ask God to grow your family and bless them. Pray for God to bring you all together in His name. Amen.
Wednesday, December 23
Gracious God, we come to you today with excitement in anticipation of the birth of your Son. God you have forgiven our sins and blessed us abundantly. We praise you, and we give our tithes and offerings back to you. May our offerings be pleasing to you, and may you multiply them to grow your Kingdom. Amen.
Thursday, December 24 – Christmas Eve Offering Prayer for Restorative Justice
God, we lift up to you the Restorative Justice Ministry. God, we ask that you would be at work in our prisons. We pray that you would help those involved to see your forgiveness and to feel your love. We pray God that you would use Restorative Justice to transform lives, families, and communities. Amen.
Friday, December 25 – Christmas Day
God, O God, your people have been praying that you would tear open the heavens and come down and save us. Today you have come, and saved us not with the power of a sword but with the love of an infant child. You came in love and grace, to be with us just as we are. Thank you, God. May you live and reign in each one of us, even me. Amen.
Prayer by Dr. Tom Pace
Saturday, December 26
God, we celebrated the gift of Your Son yesterday. Now, we pray that you would help us to remember the true meaning of Christmas. Send us into your world to give Christmas to everyone we meet. Amen.