Advent is a time of waiting with eager expectation to celebrate the birth of Jesus. As we wait and reflect on the overwhelming grace of so great a gift, we can also prepare our hearts and the hearts of our loved ones to receive this precious gift of grace.
Some time ago I read an article by Bob Hostetler in “Pray! Magazine” (www.praymag.com) who suggested different biblical virtues to pray over our children. I have taken that idea and adapted it to help us prepare for Christ’s birth by praying biblical virtues for all those God has given us as well as for ourselves.
Below are a list of virtues and corresponding Bible references for each day of Advent that we can pray for ourselves and our loved ones. May this prayer journey bring you and your family to a place of true worship and gratitude as it fills your heart and life with His joy and peace this Advent season.
Salvation – “Lord, thank you for the salvation found in Jesus Christ. Let you salvation rule through all the earth.” (Acts 4:12)
Growth in grace – “I pray that we may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)
Love – “Grant, Lord that we may learn to live a life of love, through the Spirit who dwells in us.” (Ephesians 5:2)
Integrity – “May we willingly and honestly offer you, our integrity.” (1 Chronicles 29:17)
Love for God’s Word – “May we love your word so much it is never far from our mind. (Psalm 119:97)
Justice – “Empower us to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before you.” (Micah 6:8)
Mercy – “May we strive to be always merciful, just as you are merciful.” (Luke 6:36)
Respect (for self, others, authority) – “Father, grant that we may show proper respect to all people as you command.” (1 Peter 2:17)
Faithfulness – “Let love and faithfulness never leave us but bind these twin virtues around our necks and write them on the tablet of our hearts.” (Proverbs. 3:3)
Purity – “Create a pure heart within us, God, and let that purity of heart be shown in our actions.” (Psalm 51:10)
Kindness – “Lord, may we always try to strive to share acts of kindness and goodness with all we meet.” (1 Thessalonians 5:15)
Generosity – “Grant that we may be generous; eager and willing to share, and so layup treasure as a firm foundation in heaven.” (2 Corinthians 9:6)
Peace-loving – “Father, help us make every effort to do what leads to peace.” (Romans 14:19)
Joy – “May we open our arms wide to receive the joy of Jesus Christ.” (John 15:11)
Perseverance – “Lord, teach us to persevere as we run the race marked out before us by keeping our eyes on Jesus.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Humility – “God, please cultivate within each of us the ability to show true humility in all we do and say.” (James 4:10)
Compassion – “Lord, as you crown us with love and compassion, clothe us with your compassion so we may be compassionate to others.” (Psalm 103:4)
Contentment – “Father, help us learn the blessing and the secret of being content in any and every situation through Him who gives them strength: (Philippians 4:12-13)
Faith – “Plant the seed of faith deep in our hearts that it may find root and grow in our lives with ever increasing depth and scope.” (Luke 17:5-6)
Hope – “Fill our hearts with hope even in times of struggle because we know the Holy Spirit has been poured into our hearts and will not disappoint us.” (Romans 5:4-5)
Biblical self-esteem – “Spirit, empower us to develop a healthy strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Prayerfulness – “Grant, Lord, that our days may be marked by power of a prayerful life as we learn to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” (Ephesians 6:18)
Gratitude – “Help us to live lives that are always overflowing with thankfulness and always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:20)
A heart for missions – “Lord, please help us to develop a desire to see your glory and marvelous deeds declared among all peoples as we seek to make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
Celebrate the King!
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
AMEN and AMEN!!
Written by Jolene DeHeer