Advent Prayer Journal
Do you hate to wait? Whether it’s instant oatmeal, high-speed Internet or the express lane at the grocery store, we want it now. And the weeks leading up to Christmas only accelerate the pace of life. Yet the rhythm of real relationship with the God of eternity cannot be rushed.
This year we hope you’ll join us on an advent prayer journey. Like the wise men of scripture who followed the star in search of the Christ-child, we’ll seek to personally encounter the King. The centuries-old practice of Advent invites us to embrace the waiting as we align our hearts to the true north of Christ’s coming.
In these pages you’ll find a thought and a scripture for each day. There’s space to jot down whatever God brings to mind as you talk with Him. We trust that the Lord will meet us in transformative ways as we spend a few minutes each day reflecting and praying through these themes. We know Christmas is a special time for children, so at the end of each week we’ve added a fun advent activity to do with the kids in your life.
This year as we wait in expectation for the arrival of Christ, let our souls join the refrain of God’s people throughout the centuries proclaiming, “Come, Lord Jesus. Come.”
Christmas Star for Kids
• Christmas Star template download at here.
• Yarn or twine (approximately 25 feet for each star)
• Cardboard, cotton balls or batting, glue gun and glue sticks, hole punch , scissors
WHAT YOU’LL DO
1. Download and cut out the Christmas Star template.
2. Trace the star onto cardboard and cut around the edges.
3. If you’re using batting, cut two pieces of star- shaped batting per ornament.
4. Make a hole in one of the points of the cardboard star with the hole-punch.
5. Loop a small piece of twine through the hole. This will be your ornament hanger.
6. Hot-glue the batting or cotton balls to both sides of the star-shaped cardboard.
7. Place a small drop of hot glue on the tip of one the star points to attach one end of the twine or yarn and begin wrapping the star.
8. Continue wrapping the star, periodically placing hot glue in spots where the twine or yarn may slip.
9. Once the star is completely wrapped, use a small drop of glue to secure the end of the twine or yarn.
Christmas Card Prayers
1. Find a spot to display Christmas cards from friends and family as they arrive. Spend time enjoying and reading the cards with the kids.
2. Take the cards down in January when things aren’t so busy. Place them in a basket or napkin holder where you will see them daily, perhaps at the kitchen table.
3. With the children, pick one card or letter each day and pray for the sender.
4. Optional: Send a note, text, or email to your friends and let them know you and the kids prayed for them. Don’t let this step keep you from praying if you don’t have time to write a note!
5. Ask God which people or situations He’s laying on your heart. In addition to praying, is there a way to include the kids in providing help, lending a listening ear, or sharing the joy with your friends?
6. Include the kids in thanking God for the people He’s brought into your life!
Follow The Stars
· Glow-in-the-dark stars to create a path from your child’s room to the Christmas tree
· Nativity set that includes Mary, Joseph, a donkey, other animals, an angel, a shepherd, wise men, and baby Jesus
· A cake with a candle
1. When the kids are in bed, make a trail of stars from their rooms to the Christmas tree.
2. Place different pieces of the nativity set long the path, ending with baby Jesus.
3. Place a cake (maybe angel food!) with three candles on top near the end of the trail.
1. When the kids wake up, help them follow the stars like the wise men did.
2. At the first stop, find Mary, Joseph and a donkey and read Luke 2:1-5. Collect the figurines as you go to the next stop.
3. Continue following the trail of stars to the animals and read Luke 2:6-7.
4. Find the angels and shepherds at the next stop and read Luke 2:8-20.
5. Follow the trail to where the wise men wait and read Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11
6. Approach the tree and have the kids focus on baby Jesus as you light the candle on the cake. Remind the kids that Jesus is the light of the world and that His birthday is the reason we celebrate.
7. Finish the search with worship by singing “Silent Night” or “Happy Birthday” to Jesus. Then blow out the candle and enjoy the cake.