Saturday, December 05, 2009

Prayer Room @ Christmas

Preparing a Place in Our Hearts

By Kathy Bruins

Creating a spot for individuals to get away from the craziness that comes with the holiday season can be a wonderful gift. We need places of refuge and reflection to nourish our spirits to help us reconnect with the true meaning of Christmas--Jesus. In a way, we are making room for the newborn King in our hearts and pushing out the things that seem to fill our minds and schedules during the season such as parties, gifts, plays, and food.

The prayer room should look inviting. Keeping the environment simple is key to giving a feeling of ease and comfort. A room that is too busy or cluttered may make a person feel more anxious instead of relaxed. Soft light through a lamp or flameless candles can set a peaceful mood. Some people may want silence, but others may find soft instrumental Christmas music pleasant, so have music available for those who would like to use it.

Create a simple manger scene by placing hay on the floor (on plastic) with a manger resting on top of it. Place soft cloth in the manger to represent the swaddling clothes Mary used to wrap Jesus.

On a half sheet of paper, write: "Imagine how Mary felt as she laid her newborn son in the manger and covered him with the cloth. She wanted so much for him, as any mother would. She knew her baby was special. Jesus was a gift from God. He is a gift to all of us. Think about the names of Jesus displayed around the room: Prince of Peace, Immanuel, King of Kings, and more. What do these names mean to you personally?"

Provide three gift boxes, representing the gifts the Wise Men brought. These boxes should be wrapped in white or other plain colored paper that can be written on. Have markers available, and hang a sign that reads, "Pray about what gifts you would like to bring the Christ child. Write them on the gift boxes."

When people are ready to leave the prayer room, invite each one to take a candy cane from a display (either a Christmas tree or jar). Have a gift tag with the words of John 3:16 attached to each candy cane. This will serve as a reminder of the true gift of Christmas that God gave to us in Jesus.

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