“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail. “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.” Luke 1:26-38
With the Christmas season looking slightly (or a lot) different this year, are you anxious about how it will be for your family? I find that when my thoughts go down the worry path, praying keeps my thoughts, emotions and trust stayed on Jesus no matter what may be going on around me or in the world.
As I thought of Christmas this year, and how different it looks for a lot of us all over the world, my mind went back to the very first Christmas, at the time when Jesus was born. And as I read Luke’s account of the events leading up to the birth of Jesus, some lessons stood out to me that have become prayers I am praying for myself and others throughout this season.
In this account, the angel told Mary that she was highly favored, and her response was confusion.
Does this feel like you right now? Do you feel like being favored is furthest from the truth of how you feel right now like there is nothing good that can come out of this year? Do you feel beaten down by life and your present circumstances?
No matter how you may feel or what this season may look like to you, I want you to remember the words of the angel to Mary and say them to yourself throughout this season.
Why? This is exactly how God sees you and you need to see yourself that way too – blessed and highly favored. Glory to God!
If you are ever in doubt about the future, remember that God’s Word says, no word of God will ever fail, and every word of God will be fulfilled.
How can you ensure that anxiety does not rob you of the joy that the season brings? You can pray and you can keep your heart and mind focused on Jesus instead of the many things that are not right in the world right now.
So, as we get closer to Christmas, will you assume a posture of prayer and hold on to Jesus as your anchor this season, and beyond?
Here are some prayers you can pray this season, that will keep your thoughts on Jesus.
Lord, I am grateful to You for making me the blessed and highly favored of the Lord. Thank You for being with me as you are with my family this season, no matter how I may feel.
Lord, I pray that my thoughts will remain stayed on you this season, that I will never forget that You are the reason for this moment in time. My heart will not be troubled or anxious about the many unknowns that I may be facing right now.
As we celebrate Jesus this season, I pray for every family that has experienced loss this year, making this an especially difficult season for them. I ask that You comfort them, fill their hearts with Your love, peace, and joy. Help them to know that You are with them in all things.
Help me to embrace the Holy Spirit as He works on my heart, leading me to believe God’s best for me, my family, my community, and my nation. And as I look ahead to the future, may I say like Mary, “May Your word to me be fulfilled.” In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN.
Oluseye Ashiru and the Help Club for Moms Team