Christmas has passed, but I still find myself pondering the unexpected Christmas gift I received. It came from the very act of giving.
Since I live so far away from my mom and siblings, I decided to try something different this year for Christmas. Instead of giving them tangible gifts, I decided to give them the gift of prayer. This was inspired by Paul’s words in Philippians 1:3, “I thank my God every time I remember you.”
I bought a Christmas ornament for each of them. I picked out ones which would remind me of them every time I saw them hanging on the tree.. For example, my mother’s ornament is a stained glass nativity scene because I think of her faith when I think of her. I have a book ornament for my sister since her first book will be released this year. You get the idea.
Every night since I put up the tree, I have looked at each of these ornaments and thought about the person it represented. I then prayed specifically for them. I have done this every night since the ornaments first were hung on the branches.
After a few days of praying, I noticed how much closer I felt to each of them despite the distance between us. Then, after a week of praying, I started feeling this deep connection to each of them. It was as if I was right there with them, holding their hands in mine or placing my hand on their shoulder and praying with them.
This was a beautiful, wonderful, unexpected gift. It all came from giving, from prayer. At a season when it can be sad to be far away from my family, these “gifts” brought me so much closer.
The gift of prayer. It’s a magnificent gift and it’s ours to freely give.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16