Prayers for Christmas

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

By Monica McGill , Cape Coral, Florida

WEB EXCLUSIVE

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?

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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.
 

You can request prayers to be said for your loved ones this holiday at OurPrayer where all requests are prayed for by our volunteers by name and need.

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Your Comments (4)

Cora and Grace, the story is live on our site now. You can always find it via the search function, but the direct URL is: http://www.guideposts.org/inspirational-stories/memories-can-be-restorative

I, too, have just read the article by Edward Hoffman and am looking to find it online. Is it possible to send it to me at: corky0301@att.net
Many thanks!

Hi Grace, that story is in the January 2012 issue. Some stories from that issue will begin to appear on the site this week (we don't post all the stories from a given issue at the same time), with others going live on the site in the ensuing days and weeks. Keep checking back; the story will be available to you before too long.

I have tried for quite a long time to find the article by Edward Hoffman in the December 2011 issue on your guideposts.org site--to no avail.
Please send it to me -- by email to my internet address, or let me know how I can read "This Way To Memory Lane" on your website.Also I can't even find it by googling his name..
Thanks Grace Goheen, Canada PS It's important to me !