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Spirit of Christmas, The (version 2)

TWO CHRISTMAS PRAYERS

A CHRISTMAS PRAYER FOR THE HOME

Father of all men, look upon our family,

Kneeling together before Thee,

And grant us a true Christmas.

With loving heart we bless Thee:

For the gift of Thy dear Son Jesus Christ,

For the peace He brings to human homes,

For the good-will He teaches to sinful men,

For the glory of Thy goodness shining in His face.

With joyful voice we praise Thee:

For His lowly birth and His rest in the manger,

For the pure tenderness of His mother Mary,

For the fatherly care that protected Him,

For the Providence that saved the Holy Child

To be the Saviour of the world.

With deep desire we beseech Thee:

Help us to keep His birthday truly,

Help us to offer, in His name, our Christmas prayer.

From the sickness of sin and the darkness of doubt,

From selfish pleasures and sullen pains,

From the frost of pride and the fever of envy,

God save us every one, through the blessing of Jesus.

In the health of purity and the calm of mutual trust,

In the sharing of joy and the bearing of trouble,

In the steady glow of love and the clear light of hope,

God keep us every one, by the blessing of Jesus.

In praying and praising, in giving and receiving,

In eating and drinking, in singing and making merry,

In parents' gladness and in children's mirth,

In dear memories of those who have departed,

In good comradeship with those who are here,

In kind wishes for those who are far away,

In patient waiting, sweet contentment, generous cheer,

God bless us every one, with the blessing of Jesus.

By remembering our kinship with all men,

By well-wishing, friendly speaking and kindly doing,

By cheering the downcast and adding sunshine to daylight,

By welcoming strangers (poor shepherds or wise men),

By keeping the music of the angels' song in this home,

God help us every one to share the blessing of Jesus:

In whose name we keep Christmas:

And in whose words we pray together:

Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

A CHRISTMAS PRAYER FOR LONELY FOLKS

Lord God of the solitary,

Look upon me in my loneliness.

Since I may not keep this Christmas in the home,

Send it into my heart.

Let not my sins cloud me in,

But shine through them with forgiveness in the face of the child Jesus.

Put me in loving remembrance of the lowly lodging in the stable of Bethlehem,

The sorrows of the blessed Mary, the poverty and exile of the Prince of Peace.

For His sake, give me a cheerful courage to endure my lot,

And an inward comfort to sweeten it.

Purge my heart from hard and bitter thoughts.

Let no shadow of forgetting come between me and friends far away:

Bless them in their Christmas mirth:

Hedge me in with faithfulness,

That I may not grow unworthy to meet them again.

Give me good work to do,

That I may forget myself and find peace in doing it for Thee.

Though I am poor, send me to carry some gift to those who are poorer,

Some cheer to those who are more lonely.

Grant me the joy to do a kindness to one of Thy little ones:

Light my Christmas candle at the gladness of an innocent and grateful heart.

Strange is the path where Thou leadest me:

Let me not doubt Thy wisdom, nor lose Thy hand.

Make me sure that Eternal Love is revealed in Jesus, Thy dear Son,

To save us from sin and solitude and death.

Teach me that I am not alone,

But that many hearts, all round the world,

Join with me through the silence, while I pray in His name:

Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.



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