Before many Christians around the world slip into bed at night, they take time to offer prayers to God for His many blessings. They thank Him for His protection, their children, and their families, for providing a roof over their heads, and for the things accomplished at work. They mention friends and the names of those who have specifically asked for prayer. They think about and pray for the soldiers, the leaders of this nation and the world, and for individuals who have lost loved ones or are in areas suffering from natural disasters and devastation.
When they awaken in the morning they offer prayer and praise to their Savior and Friend. The fact that they are able to talk with Him suggests that they have been presented with another opportunity to share God's love with someone and to pray for them. During the day, many take time to pray and give praise to God. How blessed we are to be able to offer prayers on behalf of ourselves and others.
The Bible contains many inspirational gems that help to strengthen our prayer life. Here are just a few:
• Pray continually—1 Thessalonians 5:17, NIV.
• Do not be anxious about anything. but in everything. by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God—Philippians 4:6, NIV.
• Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.—James 5:16, NIV.
• I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing—1 Timothy 2:8, NIV.
• The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray—Peter 4:7, NIV
The holiday season is here again. It will soon be time to exchange gifts with family friends, and coworkers and share with others who cannot reciprocate. Many will acknowledge the greatest gift given to man, the birth of the Savior who was born in a manger, and stories about his birth will be told over and over again.
As we get caught up in holiday celebrations we can turn this season of giving into a memorable experience by sharing a gift of prayer. Instead of just praying for individuals, here are some creative ways to give prayer as a gift:
1. Send a card in the mail.—Choose an individual or family in your church, community, on your job, or someone you are impressed to pray for and send them a card letting them know you are praying for them. Include a verse of Scripture and a personal note.
2. E-mail a prayer.—Create a personalized e-mail prayer with an inspirational thought and Bible verse and send it to someone for whom you are praying.
3. Adopt a child, teenager, youth, or young adult.—Our children, teenagers, youth, and young adults are experiencing some stressful times. They need to know we are praying for them. Adopt one, two, three, or more and express a genuine interest in them. Call them and pray with them and find out how things are going for them: Ask about their exam schedule and make it a priority to call and pray with them before and after their exams. I am sure they will appreciate it.
4. Pray for a department in your church.—There is so much work to be done in preparation for Jesus' return. Praying for a department in your church would be such a blessing to them and to the church. Let the leader of the department know you are praying for them.
5. Give a gift box prayer.—In addition to exchanging tangible gifts, include a prayer and inspirational thought in a gift box and share it with someone. Prayer is priceless!
6. Share bookmarks and other cards with those with whom you have prayed.—Purchase bookmarks or other cards with encouraging words about prayer and distribute them each time you pray with someone. It will be a great reminder of your prayer.
7. Give books on prayer as a gift.— Check with your local Adventist Book Center (or visit them online at for books on the subject of prayer and share them as gifts.
. . . Let us make prayer a priority as we prepare for the second coming of Jesus and remember, If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land—2 Chronicles 7:14, NIV.
Reprinted with permission from December, 2005 Atlantic Gleaner. Ednor A. P. Davison is editor of the Atlantic Union Gleaner and communication director for the Atlantic Union Conference.