By Kim Butts
Sometimes, in the rush of the Christmas season, we do not always focus our thoughts, our hearts and our minds on Christ, the very reason we celebrate. As your family begins to look toward the celebration of the birth of Christ (the first advent–coming), take time each day to focus on the One we long to see face to face. Set apart a time of devotion together to anticipate and await with delight the coming of the Christ Child–God’s own Son! Don’t allow Him to get lost in the shuffle of activity–even as you physically prepare to celebrate.
Take time to prepare your heart for His coming . . . what is He calling you to do . . . how is He calling you to live for Him? These daily Scriptural prayers will help you to remain focused on Christ, and deepen your celebration together–far beyond physical gifts, delicious food, or decorations. Instead, adorn your hearts with adoration. Take the time to prepare for His coming through Christmas and then to celebrate His Coming through the end of the month as you prepare to step into a new year!
“Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem” (Zephaniah 3:14)!
Lord, prepare our hearts to rejoice! We want to be glad today, and to rejoice with all of our hearts. May we be filled with joy because we seek You and because You have saved us. Help us to sing and give You thanks as we wait for the coming of the Christ child. (See also: Psalm 13:5; 1 Chronicles 16:10; Psalm 28:7b)
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:1).
Lord, prepare our hearts to be set on things above because we have been raised with Jesus! We have new life because He came here as a baby, lived a sinless life, died on the cross and rose again!
Help us to set our hearts on things above as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
Lord, prepare our hearts to seek You! You have promised that we will find You when we seek after You with all of our hearts. We seek after You today, Lord, as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child. (See also: Deuteronomy 4:29; Psalm 27:8, 119:10, 58)
“But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you” (1 Samuel 12:24).
Lord, prepare our hearts to serve You. Help us to consider the great things You have done for us. We want to do everything for You alone, and do it faithfully as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child. (See also: Colossians 3:23-24).
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:5-6).
Lord, prepare our hearts to have a spirit of unity with other believers. Help us to have a spirit of unity so that we might glorify You and share everything we have with others. We want to glorify You, Father, in our family and in the Body as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child. (See also: Acts 4:32)
“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9a).
Lord, prepare our hearts to be fully committed to You! May we be completely focused upon You so that You can strengthen us as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child. (See also: 1 Kings 8:61)
“I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders” (Psalm 9:1).
“I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever” (Psalm 86:12).
Lord, prepare our hearts to praise You! You are worthy of all of our praise. May we tell of Your wonders and glorify Your name as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8).
Lord, prepare our hearts to be pure. Help us to run away from sinful desires. Give us the ability to call on You out of a pure heart that seeks after faith, love and peace. Keep us from foolish arguing. Help us to desire pure hearts as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child. (See also: Psalm 51:10; Proverbs 22:11; 2 Timothy 2:22-23)
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30).
Lord, prepare our hearts to be humble. Help us to learn from You because Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light. May others see Your gentleness and humility in us as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6)!
Lord, prepare our hearts to trust in You. We rejoice in You because we trust in Your holy name. May we always lean on Your understanding instead of our own so that our hearts will not be troubled. Help us to acknowledge You in all of our ways so that You will make our paths straight. You are our strength and shield as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child. (See also: Psalm 28:7a, 33:21; John 14:1)
“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22).
Lord, prepare our hearts to be sincere. Thank You for cleansing us from sin so that we can draw near to You. Help us to truly desire to know You better, and deepen our faith as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child.
“He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD” (Psalm 112:7).
Lord, prepare our hearts to be steadfast. Even in hard times, help us to trust You without question. Because our hearts can stand firm, we will sing and make music to You as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child. (See also: Psalm 57:7, 108:1)
“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8).
Lord, prepare our hearts to be prayerful. We call upon You, Father, because You are our refuge–our place of safety. Sometimes we don’t even know what to pray, but You have given us the Holy Spirit to help us. Teach us to listen to You, and to pray the things that are on Your heart. Give us a spirit of prayer as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child. (See also: Psalm 119:145; Romans 8:26-27)
“Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name” (Psalm 86:11).
Lord, prepare our hearts to be undivided so that we will fear Your name. Father, would You put a new spirit in us? Remove our hearts of stone and give us hearts of flesh. We will be Your people and You will be our God as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child. (See also: Ezekiel 11:18-20)
“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
Lord, prepare our hearts to be wise. We want to learn from You. Help us to listen to Your instruction so that all of our days will be pleasing to You as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child. (See also: Proverbs 16:23, 23:12, 15, 19, 26, 24:32)
“Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart” (Psalm 119:34).
Lord, prepare our hearts to be obedient. We ask for understanding so that we can obey You. Help us to learn Your Word so well that we will not sin against You. We want to obey You as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child. (See also: Psalm 119:11)
“May my heart be blameless toward your decrees, that I may not be put to shame” (Psalm 119:80).
Lord, prepare our hearts to be blameless in our Christian walk. Help others to see that we follow You in all of the circumstances of life as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Proverbs 139:23-24).
Lord, prepare our hearts to be searchable. Father, may we always be willing to have You look closely at our lives. We need Your help to get rid of anything offensive. We need Your help to replace our anxious thoughts with thoughts that are pleasing to You. Lead us in the way everlasting as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).
Lord, prepare our hearts to be peaceful. Your peace goes beyond anything we can understand because You do not give like the world gives. Thank You for allowing our hearts to be at peace because of the power of the One You sent to us–the Counselor, the Holy Spirit. May our anxious thoughts be replaced by peaceful ones as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child. (See also: Proverbs 14:30; John 14:25-27; Philippians 4:6-7)
“My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart” (Psalm 7:10).
Lord, prepare our hearts to be upright. You have said that light is shed upon the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. May Your light shine upon us as we rejoice in You! We take refuge in You because You are our shield. You are God Most High. May we be counted among those whose hearts are upright as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child. (See also: Psalm 125:4, 97:11, 32:11, 36:10, 64:10)
“My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end” (Psalm 119:112).
Lord, prepare our hearts to keep Your decrees. We want to walk in all Your ways. Help us to keep Your commands by seeking after You only! Turn our hearts toward You, Father, as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child. (See also: Psalm 119:2, 36; 1 Kings 8:58)
“All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast” (Proverbs 15:15).
Lord, prepare our hearts to be cheerful. May we always find our joy in You, even in the midst of difficult times. Father, help our hearts to have a continual feast as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child. (See also: Proverbs 17:22)
“And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well” (Luke 12:29-31).
Lord, prepare our hearts to be free from worry. We know that worry will take our minds off of You, so help us to seek Your kingdom for all that we need. You are our provider as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child. (See also: Ecclesiastes 11:10)
“He answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Luke 10:27).
Lord, prepare our hearts to be loving. There is no other like You. Your Word says that to love You with all of our heart and soul and strength and mind is the most important thing. We are also to love one another deeply, from our hearts. Father, help us to love our neighbors as ourselves as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child. (See also: Matthew 22:37-38; Mark 12:32-33; 1 Peter 1:22-23)
“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
Lord, prepare our hearts to shine Your light just as You have come to shine among us! You have given us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God! May our hearts shine brightly in a dark world as we celebrate the coming of the Christ Child.
“Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir” (Galatians 4:6-7).
Lord, prepare our hearts to reflect the Spirit of Your Son. We can call You our Abba Father, because of Jesus. We belong to You as sons and daughters, not slaves. May we reflect the Spirit of Jesus to everyone we meet, as we celebrate the coming of the Christ Child.
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 3:3).
Lord, prepare our hearts to be faithful. Strengthen us out of Your glorious riches with power through Your Spirit so that Jesus will dwell in our hearts through faith. May love and faithfulness never leave us as we celebrate the coming of the Christ Child. (See also: Ephesians 3:14-19)
“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
Lord, prepare our hearts to tell others about You! There are so many hungry people out there asking questions. Give us boldness to tell others what You have done in our lives. Help us to always be prepared to reach people for Jesus as we celebrate the coming of the Christ Child.
“Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts” (Isaiah 26:8).
Lord, prepare our hearts to desire You. We wait for You, as we walk in Your ways. We will continually desire Your name as we celebrate the coming of the Christ Child.
“May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones” (1 Thessalonians 3:13).
Lord, prepare our hearts to be strong. We want to be blameless and holy in Your presence when Jesus returns. Please encourage us and strengthen us in every good deed and word as we celebrate the coming of the Christ Child. (See also: 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17; Psalm 27:14)
“And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17).
Lord, prepare our hearts to be turned toward family. Will You draw us together as a family (in our homes and in our churches) so that we will become a people prepared for You? Help us to be clean and pure before You as we celebrate the coming of the Christ Child and as we step into a new year of service in Your kingdom!
–Kim Butts is the co-founder of Harvest Prayer Ministries and the author of The Praying Family.
© 2012 Harvest Prayer Ministries. www.harvestprayer.com. (You are free to photocopy or send via the internet as long as this permission statement stays on bottom of page).