Our Prayer this Christmas

Our prayer this Christmas is beyond words.
You find it in the silence of the sleeping forest,
down under the ice.
You find it with the wind sweeping in cold gusts,
rattling the windows.
Our prayer is the snow that’s falling.
Inside, it’s the table being set, the preparations,
it is every twinkling light and piece of greenery.
Our prayer floats on the fragrance of food in the oven.
We pull this prayer with us 
as we remember Christmases long ago,
it rests on faces of people who live in our memory
and places we know by heart.
This prayer is facts and numbers,
you can see it on a graph;
it fills every newscast.
This prayer is profoundly personal,
it slides in drops down people’s cheeks.
This prayer is lodged
in the tightness between our shoulder blades,
it’s written in the wrinkles on our foreheads,
so many sighs express it.
As millions of faces appear on screens,
our prayer is the ache of absence
and the longing to have and to hold.
This prayer is found in hospitals, hostels
and refugee camps, in homes of every kind
and even in empty churches.
This prayer gathers above our beds at night,
in the morning as we open the curtains,
we see it growing in the sky.
You find our prayer in Bethlehem,
because we cast it there across the ages.
It is knit together with the song of angels
over the bed of a sleeping baby, hours old;
a tiny little blanket of hope.

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner www.leadinginworship.com” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at carol@leadinginworship.com

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  • Worship resources in a Mennonite voice for ears of all kinds

    Are you looking for resources for a Christian service? Feel free to use or adapt my prayers, poems and litanies. They are written in a Mennonite voice, for ears of all kinds. 

    Feel free to use these orally in a worship service (in-person or broadcasted)  , but if they are printed in a bulletin please use the following credit

    “Copyright Carol Penner  www.leadinginworship.com.”

    Contact me for use in newsletters or printed resources, I am happy to grant permission but I would like to know how my writing is being used.  You can reach me at carol@leadinginworship.com.