Behind the gifts: A crafty creative prayer exercise

As a kid I loved Santa. He was truly magical – the way he somehow snuck into our tiny San Francisco condo which didn’t even have a chimney for him to come down, how the Christmas lists I left for him on the tree disappeared the next morning, and how he always ate and drank the banana and milk I left for him right before Mom, Dad and I left for midnight mass on Christmas Eve (Yes, a banana – one year I decided he probably had had enough cookies and I wanted to give him a healthier option – so that became our little tradition).

Santa was my favorite part of Christmas not because of the gifts he brought (Honestly, on more than one occasion he didn’t get my presents right; he would get “close but not quite”), but because he was kind and I loved the notes he would leave me. He was encouraging and forgiving, never putting me on the “naughty” list.

I probably wrote to Santa until I was older than most kids but I loved, trusted, and wanted to keep believing in him. When I found out Santa’s true identity – i.e. my dad – I loved “Santa” even more.

This past Sunday at the Christmas Tea, five girlfriends and I sat together and pondered the greater Who who really is behind all of our gifts and blessings with this creative prayer exercise. May you begin the countdown to Christmas in awe of the Giver of good gifts!

O Come Let Us ADORE Him

Adore

Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary

  1. (v. t.) To worship with profound reverence; to pay divine honors to; to honor as deity or as divine.
  2. (v. t.) To love in the highest degree; to regard with the utmost esteem and affection; to idolize.
  3. (v. t.) To adorn.

Materials:

  1. 5 Strips of paper
  2. 1 Fillable ornament
  3. String or hook to hang ornament
  4. Letter stickers

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Below is an acronym of the word “ADORE” of a few names and attributes of God. Spend some time mulling over the definition of each one (click on the word), read the scripture, and write your answer to the followup question on a strip of paper:

Abba  For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15Describe a moment or event when you experienced this kind of intimacy with God this year.

Deliverer  I love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:1-2 ) Where have you seen God’s deliverance from a hardship – either in your own life or a loved one’s in 2016?

Omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (present everywhere)  O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. (Psalm 139:1-6 How have you been overwhelmed by God’s power, presence, and/or knowledge?

Redeemer  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. (Ephesians 1:7-8How has knowing you are redeemed brought healing or freedom to you?

Eternal  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8Write a prayer of thanksgiving to God for who He is.

Roll up each piece of paper and drop them into your ornament.

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Lord,

Thank you for Your goodness and faithfulness towards us this year. May remembering your gifts and blessings ultimately draw us nearer to You, and to want You above all.

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