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Prayers for Christmas

An inspired gift idea turned her shopping list into a prayer list.

Prayers for Christmas
Credit: Amenohi
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I looked at my gift list. I couldn’t possibly afford presents for all the friends and family. How had it gotten so out of control?

Lord, Christmas is getting too darned expensive. Help me think of budget-friendly gifts.

Some families do Secret Santas, where one person gets the name of one other person, and that’s it. Good for the pocketbook, but it seemed to me there had to be a way to give something to all the people I loved.

I talked it over with my husband and our kids. What was the one thing we could afford to give everyone? Our time! But how?

Then it came to me: prayer. I’d turn my gift list into a weekly prayer list. Each person would get his or her own week. I went out to the store and bought a calendar and filled the months with names. Then the kids hand-drew a little flyer, which I made copies of. We personalized each with a name. Next to each name was that person’s week, so they would know exactly when prayers were going up on their behalf.

The flyers got sent out along with our Christmas cards. I have to admit, I felt a bit sheepish about the whole thing. I couldn’t help wondering, Will they think we’re cheapskates? Worse, would they think we were nuts?


Right after Christmas I started getting phone calls and e-mails. “How did you know I needed praying for?” one friend asked.

“What a sweet idea,” said another grateful caller. “How on earth did you ever come up with it?”

How could I explain that prayer was the answer to prayer?

These days, people on our list send prayer requests right before their week. It’s become a family tradition, and budget-friendly too.


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