This challenge is now complete, please feel free to browse all of the
completed tasks via the Advent Challenge tab.
When I did the task picked yesterday I thought I knew exactly how it would go, I would thank God for all the blessings and gifts I have received and pray for those who would have little or nothing this year at Christmas. And to a certain extent that is how it went, at least to begin with.
After I had prayed and thanked God for everything He has blessed me with in my somewhat comfortable life and prayed for those who are not as fortunate as myself I began to pray for something I had not previously thought about. The scripture quote above from Matthew 10:19-20 is something I strongly believe in, the Holy Spirit can guide our words and provide us with the words we know we need to say but can not figure out ourselves. And so I believe that what happened next was a Spirit led prayer, which in itself I feel is a major break through in my personal growth.
The reason for this is that once I was praying I began to feel a need not to pray for those who wont be able to send gifts or feast in the way most people do at Christmas but to pray for those who do not have God in their lives. Surely this is a more pressing need in reality than the lack of material and worldly goods and possessions. There is a real need in the world for people who have nothing to be supported by those who can afford to give, but this is just as true if not more so for those who are poor in spirit.
This time of year is a great opportunity for us to tell people about our faith, it need not be in a forceful or direct way but it is a time for planting seeds. The seeds you sow this Christmas time may take many years to develop fruit, some may never develop at all but we should use every opportunity to grow God's kingdom when it comes our way. It may be that something as small as a kind act of helping a stranger in the snow, or singing a religious carol while going about your business gives you the chance to tell someone why Christmas is so important to you. As I said yesterday, be brave and courageous, be ready to act in faith when He calls. And remember that the Spirit of our Father will always supply the words that we need.
So the next task to complete is going to be task number 11. Support a Christmas appeal. Check back tomorrow to see what happens with this challenge, but until then, Merry Christmas.