It’s Christmas, and everyone’s celebrating. Or, at least it seems that way.
Actually, many people will struggle through this weekend, and they need our ministry and our prayers. In the busyness of the holidays, don’t forget these folks:
- Families who lost a loved one this year. The first Christmas without a loved one inevitably feels like a hole in the heart. The loss is magnified when the family gathers minus one.
- Families with a loved one serving in a war zone. All the televised Christmas greetings from servicemen and women remind them of their family member who’s based some other place in the world. Every day brings fear, but Christmas sometimes makes it worse.
- Pastors and church members in divided churches. The season is to be a time of rejoicing, but pastors and laity serving in fighting congregations struggle finding that joy. Holidays don’t usually create a ceasefire in squabbling churches.
- Families in poverty. They want to provide Christmas gifts for their kids, but they just don’t have the money. Churches rightly minister to many poor people during the holidays, but many more remain. The poor are still with us.
- Christians living in secret sin. Christ came to free us from bondage, but some believers are still losing the battle. Some are living in adultery even while they have family Christmas parties. It’s hard to celebrate anything when you know you’re a hypocrite.
- Couples in a deteriorating marriage. They might “fake” their happiness when around family members, but their efforts are only draining. Good memories of previous happy Christmases only compound the pain.
- Parents with estranged children. Few things are as sad as the parent who waits for a visit or a phone call from a child, but that contact never comes. No matter how many holidays pass, the pain remains.
- Unbelievers under conviction. Unbelievers who’ve heard the gospel but who have not yet chosen to follow Christ may find Christmas challenging. Every mention of Christ’s coming only deepens their conviction – which is a good thing, actually.
- Followers of other faiths. Of course, Christmas is probably NOT be a struggle for them, as they don’t believe in Jesus anyway. Some have never even heard of him. That’s all the more reason, though, that we must pray for them.
Take some time right now and pray for anyone you know who fits one of these categories. Your gift of intercession can become life-changing.