Vol. 29 - December 2011 - Merry Christmas!

Thank you for your prayerful support. God bless you in this season and the year to come.

In Christ, Lowell and Peggy Snow

In this issue:

A prayer-time for Christmas day worship service

Ministry News -

Other Christmas goodies from Lowell's Archive

We still have openings for spring 2012

Please help me spread the Prayer Guide message. Forward this newsletter to others.

 

A Prayer-Time for Christmas Day worship service

December 2011, by Lowell Snow – www.leadingprayer.com

[Instructions at conclusion]

[Introduction]

We’ve come to this place of worship today for one very special purpose – to celebrate the incarnation – the coming of Almighty God into this sinful world as a human baby that would grow up to be our savior – Jesus Christ.

Let’s spend the next few minutes praying silently together in an attitude of appreciation and adoration of our Lord.

Would you bow your heads with me now as I guide us in this time of silent prayer? Please bow with me now.

[wait 3 seconds]

[Scripture Meditation:]

With your heads bowed; listen to these words from the Christmas story:

Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; [Luke 1:30-32a, NKJV]

[wait 2 seconds]

[Visualization:]

Continue with your eyes closed and try to imagine the scene of the angel talking with Mary. This is not a vision. She actually saw and talked with the angel Gabriel. Try to imagine what Gabriel might look like?

[wait 2 seconds]

He doesn’t have wings, but he’s one of the most magnificent beings ever created by God.

[wait 2 seconds]

Now think about Mary standing there, looking up into the face of Gabriel. What does she look like?

[wait 2 seconds]

A young Jewish woman; dark eyes and hair; olive skin; modest clothing.

[wait 2 seconds]

With your heads still bowed and eyes closed; try to imagine what she is thinking – what she’s feeling.

[wait 2 seconds]

All her life, she has heard prophesies about the coming messiah. Do you see the excitement in her face?

[wait 2 seconds]

But now you see a shadow of concern cross her face. Listen, as her conversation with Gabriel continues:

Mary asked the angel, "But how can this happen? I am a virgin."

The angel replied, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. [Luke 1:34-36 New Living Translation]

[wait 2 seconds]

Think about it. The angel tells her that this baby will be – in a very literal way – the son of God.

[wait 2 seconds]

What do you see on Mary’s face now?

[wait 2 seconds]

Fear? Wonder? Confusion? Maybe all of those feelings.

[wait 3 seconds]

With your eyes still closed, try to put yourself into that moment in history. Mary is probably the first person on Earth to comprehend that the baby Jesus would be God incarnate.

[wait 2 seconds]

Prophets had predicted the virgin birth, but they really didn’t understand that it was to be an incarnation of Jehovah as a human being.

[wait 2 seconds]

In a moment, you are going to talk to Almighty God. As you prepare your mind – let the amazing reality that He actually became a human being, fill your mind.

[wait 2 seconds]

As Mary stood in wonder before the angel Gabriel; see yourself now standing in front of God.

[wait 2 seconds]

[Guided silent prayer]

Would you pray silently right now and praise God for coming to earth as a baby.

[wait 5 seconds]

Thank Him for giving up the glory of Heaven to come here;

[wait 5 seconds]

Thank Him for being a child; a teenager; a working man.

[wait 5 seconds]

Praise Him for some of the wonderful miracles He did.

[wait 10 seconds]

Thank Him for some of the teachings He gave that have helped you live a better life.

[wait 10 seconds]

Many Jewish men were crucified, but Jesus was much more than a man. He was perfect, holy, God – that’s why His death paid the eternal price of sin and provided salvation.

[wait 2 seconds]

Thank Jesus for salvation.

[wait 5 seconds]

Is there anything in your life that you need to apologize to God for?

[wait 2 seconds]

Something you’ve said or done that’s not pleasing to Him?

[wait 2 seconds]

Pray silently now and ask His forgiveness.

[wait 10 seconds]

Much of our Christmas celebration revolves around our families. Pray silently now for the members of your family. Pray a simple prayer for each of them individually.

[wait 15 seconds]

The holidays are difficult for many people. Pray silently for someone who is having a hard time this Christmas.

[wait 10 seconds]

The last thing Jesus asked us to do before He went back to Heaven was to go into all the world with the gospel. Lets pray silently now for the missionaries around the world that have dedicated their lives to this task.

[wait 2 seconds]

If you know missionaries by name, pray for them and their family specifically.

[wait 10 seconds]

What is your greatest need? What struggle are you facing that you need God to help you with?

[wait 2 seconds]

Talk to Him silently about that now.

[wait 10 seconds]

[Benediction:]

As we close our prayer time, pray silently the following words of adoration, first said by Mary, the mother of Jesus:

My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded my low estate and he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. [based on Luke 1:46-49 KJV]

[wait 2 seconds]

In the wonderful name of Jesus we pray – and all the people said – Amen.

______________________________________

 

Instructions for guiding the prayer time:

If this is the first time you’ve led a guided prayer time; read over sections 1 and 3 in   Prayer Guide – A Manual for Leading Prayer; listen to a guided prayer time on my web site, DVD, or CD; and then practice reading this one out loud. Feel free to copy it into your word processor and edit it however you want.

If you’re leading a worship service; you might ask for instrumental music to be played very softly in the background. This background music should not have a recognizable melody. Some musicians can play beautiful chord progressions that work well. Others will find it easier to play the chords of an unfamiliar hymn or song.

The prayer time should come at the heart of worship with at least one song before and after. Try to eliminate ‘dead time’ before and after the prayer time. Click here for more help or see Appendix 2 in the back of the Prayer Guide book.

As you lead the prayer time - [Don’t read the instructions in brackets]

As you read the scriptural meditation - emphasize any words in   bold. (not applicable to this prayer time)

As printed, the prayer time takes about eight minutes.

.

____________________

 

Ministry News:

Other Christmas goodies from Lowell's Archive:

Healing for A Broken Heart

I wrote this short story during the Christmas season as I wondered about all those families who lost children in Bethlehem.

Esther walked just as fast as her legs could go without dropping the water pot balanced on her head. Her face and hair were wet from the water that had sloshed out when she climbed over the neighbor’s garden wall. She didn't mind. It was not often such a little girl had such big news!

"Grandfather, Grandfather"! There was no response. She poured the water into a bowl on the porch of the workshop behind the house. Leaving the pot, she turned to run toward the house. "Wait just a minute young lady"...

__________________________________________________

The Littlest InnKeeper - A Christmas story

I started working on this story years ago when I wondered how Joseph and Mary ended up in a stable on the night she was to give birth. The thought occurred to me that a child might think of such a thing and it grew from there. Hope you enjoy it.

The full story (six chapters)

Condensed and illustrated by my grandchildren

___________________________________________________

Newsletter Dec 09 - A Christmas prayer time for the family

 

Schedule a prayer conference now for next spring:

I still have openings for spring, 2012. Please consider hosting Prayer In the Real World. Every church needs a prayer conference and now’s the time to get it on the calendar.

Three ways to contact us:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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