I’m a pastor – a “professional Christian” (wink, wink) – and I struggle with prayer. One of the methods I find helpful is praying through a Scripture. Let familiar words be an anchor, and let the Spirit and your own heart’s longings, “riff” on and develop the scripture into a personalized prayer. Let’s turn one of the most familiar Scriptures of the Christmas season into a prayer.
“For unto us a child is born, a son is given to us… And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Wonderful Counselor – I need your wisdom and guidance in my life today. You know where confusion reigns and you know all my blindspots. Direct my heart, mind, soul and body onto wise and righteous paths. Give me wisdom to handle all the decisions of this season, and all the relational demands of the holidays. Thank you for being a warm and loving counselor, full of grace and patience and understanding.
Mighty God – All powerful and Good God, thank you for rescuing us from all our foes and greatest fears. You are sovereign over my greatest problems. You are more powerful than my greatest stronghold. I confess my powerlessness and dependence on you, Mighty God. Thank you for showing us that true power and greatness does not dominate and intimidate, but bows low to serve and lift up those in need. Mighty God, help me to find rest in a broken and unjust world, knowing that you will make all things right by your power in your time.
Everlasting Father – Tender Father who never leaves or forsakes us, shower your fatherly compassion and love on those who feel like orphans today. For those who have been hurt or abandoned by their earthly fathers, fill that void and heal that wound. In a world where love is often fickle and fleeting, be that steady and steadying non-anxious presence we all long to have near us. Though Mighty in power, thank you for bending low and letting us call you “Abba” or daddy. Thank you for your loving hand always on our shoulder, and help us fathers become more like you with our children.
Prince of Peace – Oh, Prince of Wholeness, bring that peace that surpasses understanding, the peace the world doesn’t understand, the wholeness that you desire for your children. Bring healing and restore wholeness to all that’s broken in our world, and in our own lives and bodies. Bring peace to strained relationships. Bring peace to wounded souls. Bring peace to those grieving great loss. Bring peace to anxious hearts and worried minds. Thank you for our resurrection hope, and the promise that you will eventually “make all things new” in this life or the next. Let the peace of Christ rule in my heart and house today and throughout this blessed season.