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Too Busy This Holiday Season To Pray, Hope, or Wish You a Merry Christmas

Updated on December 13, 2010

It was a Friday Night Youth Service at my local church last week. I received an invitation to join their group for a young people’s prayer service. I would have normally turned down the invitation; I'm a busy 40 (something) year old professional woman who is responsible for duties in other areas of ministry, a mother, grad student, and full time employee. Christmas is only weeks away so I just don’t have time for additional ‘things’. Attending one more service, especially for a group of teens that probably doesn't want an 'old gal' hanging around anyway, would just be one more event on my overflowing to-do list. It’s too difficult to fit everything in. How can I help in planning a wonderful Christmas experience in my area of ministry if I don’t focus on the tasks at hand? I have to choose my attendance carefully as not to burnout from overload. However today I was already at church to meet with a small group of my closest leaders for Christmas planning. My meeting had just ended so there I was at the church with no excuse for not attending the youth prayer service, at least for a minute or two.

They had a little three member praise band at the front of their makeshift sanctuary/classroom. This was real worship, regardless of the size. The lights were dim and young people were praying for each other up front. There were also several youth in the back as well, just chit-chatting, laughing and playing around as some young people do. But, there in the center of the room was an awesome site... a large group sitting, watching, and some praying alone. Too timid to go up front, but wanting prayer. These are the ones I focused on.

I walked to a few of the young ladies and asked what their names were and if I could pray for them. “Yes, my name is….” as the Spirit led, I prayed. When I finished, one of the young ladies smiled shyly with tears in her eyes. I gave her a polite sideways ‘Christian hug’ and prepared to leave; I had attended and done my part in supporting the youth. Before I could back away completely, a young man, only a few feet away called out loudly;

“Hey! Hey! Could you bless me too? I mean, could you pray for me too, please? Pray for me too”

There was such desperation in his voice that I was stopped in my tracks. He could not have been more than 16 years old. Dressed in what could possibly be considered ‘gang affiliated’ colors and attire, matching his friends clothes who also stood close by watching. Most of them looked down at the ground, and smiled shyly or pretended not to care.

“What’s your name I asked” my name is…. as he lowered his head and closed his eyes. He could care less that others were watching, and he didn’t want to waste another moment talking. I prayed for him with fervency and a broken heart, as if I were praying for my own child, expecting God to pray through me. I didn’t know his needs, but I know God did.

My heart was broken in two. Without speaking more than a few words, I heard a cry for God’s help and provision. He may not have known how to go about this whole ‘Christian thing’, but he knew he needed the intervention of a Heavenly Father. This kind of request takes guts! To stand with peers watching, smiling, acting ‘cool’ and ‘unconcerned’. When we are desperate for a blessing and intervention of God in our situation, we will risk seeming ‘weak’ to call out “pray for me”.

Preparing for the Christmas season, the duties of ministry and meeting the needs of others is important, however it is easy to lose track to the reason we celebrate this season in the first place.

Here’s hoping you are nothing like me, busy busy busy, almost too busy with preparing for ministry that I nearly missed an opportunity to truly be a vessel for ministry.

Merry Christmas!

"First, I want all of you to pray for everyone. Ask God to bless them. Give thanks for them. Pray for kings. Pray for all who are in authority. Pray that we will live peaceful and quiet lives. And pray that we will be godly and holy. That is good. It pleases God our Savior. He wants everyone to be saved. He wants them to come to know the truth." (1 Timothy 2:1-4 New International Reader's Version)



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    • dayzeebee profile image

      dayzeebee 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      A blessed year to you steff. You are such an inspiring being. God smiles upon such a tender soul. Blessings:)

    • steffsings profile image

      steffsings 7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      Dave Mathews: Very true! I pray that we all slow down long enough to focus our true calling 'love God and Love others', during the holidays and beyond.

      Thank you for your comments.


    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      steffsings: This title has me so worried. I mean really, no time for God is a really scary thing if you stop and think about it.

      It grieves my soul and my spirit to think how uncomplaisant especially around Christmas people have become toward others. It is more about buying this or that to out do someone or throw a bigger party to outshine someone than it is in remembering the true celebrant, Jesus and the true gift He will later provide for the whole world.

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr. Carlotta Boles 7 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      Wonderful Hub steffsings, I know what you meant when you said, "My heart was broken in two. Without speaking more than a few words, I heard a cry for God’s help and provision. He may not have known how to go about this whole ‘Christian thing’, but he knew he needed the intervention of a Heavenly Father."

      Your so right, they do know when they need the intervention of a Heavenly Father! And my heart drops when they come into our Faith Based Access Site for help. Jesus saved us so we may help someone else become saved! AMEN!!! Your heart is GOOD!! I voted-up on your hub! Keep spreading the WORD! Come visit me when you get a chance. God Bless..

    • steffsings profile image

      steffsings 7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

      @Sara: I agree, the old saying "the you are our future" is true and we all must be a part of helping them find theirs. Thank you so much for your comments~

    • profile image

      Sara 7 years ago

      Awww Sis Steph, I teared up when I read this. You are such a blessing more than you may know. Our youth of today need prayer, and need to learn how to pray or ask for prayer. Most of them go home to a house full of chaos. And church is there only piece of heaven. You never know the gift you shared with that young man. The one prayer to help him get through the night, or to church on Sunday morning. Thank You!