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The Angel of the Lord came like thunder to the shepherds’ hillside on the first Christmas Eve. With his startling voice, he had to tell them not to be afraid. "Fear not, for behold I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all people! For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord!" The heavenly host must have flashed like lightning in the sky. "Glory to God in the highest, peace good will to men."

You may not imagine that you could ever have the same thunder and lightning for the darkness of these days. But this power is available to you. The thunder of Christmas is the presence and power of God. God has put His power in your hands. You come to this Christmas with the thunder and lightning of prayer.

You can pray for people all around you crowding into stores scrambling for gifts. You can pray for your neighbors. Pray for each of your family members. God has allowed you to know their needs more intimately than others.

You may know someone who is alone this year. Your may know someone grieving over a lost child or the loss of their life-long marriage partner. You may love children and others who are too caught up in the materialism of our celebration to be touched by the meaning of Christmas.

You may know children whose lives are hard, especially at Christmas. Many of them live in countries other than your own. Pray for ministries to them. You can hold a Christmas Child shoe box in your hands and pray personally for the girl or boy who will receive it.

If you start praying like this you need to put your faith God who came down at Christmas. Some of you who are reading these words do not know Christ personally. You must put your faith in Him. You cannot have God's power in your life or even His forgiveness without the grace Jesus bought for you on the cross. And those of you who know Him personally will need to spend time alone with God in prayer and the Scripture to saturate yourself in the perspective and promises of God's love. Otherwise, you will be overwhelmed by the spiritual conflict.

The thunder of Christmas and the power of prayer only come from God Himself. If you have not come to know Him, and if you are not spending time in His presence you will not have power to unleash on the world you live in.

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Comment by David Young on December 21, 2016 at 1:22pm

Amen, Melva.

God bless us everyone!

Comment by Malva Birch on December 21, 2016 at 11:58am

David, thank You for the encouragement of praying for strangers. The book "Praying for Strangers" by River Jordan is one of my favorites. I'm rereading it again right now. Who knows what God is going to do - one day we'll find out (and probably wish that we prayed more!). 

Christmas blessings to you and yours.

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