The Prayer That Started Christmas

It is always a joy to revisit the Christmas Story. In reading the gospel accounts of Jesus’ birth and accompanying Old Testament Messianic prophecies, I never cease to be amazed at the treasure trove of spiritual insight and principles revealed therein. After forty years of ministry and multiple Christmas sermon series, I would estimate I have probably given over 100 messages focused on those Scriptures. One would think whatever could be said, has been said, but every year my heart is stirred afresh with some new perspective on God’s salvation gift to the world of His only begotten Son!

This year I have found myself viewing the nativity through the lens of prayer. (You may have noticed that is a common perspective from which I view many things these days.) What I have discovered underscores once again the imperative of prayer, both in our personal lives and in the unfolding of God’s purposes in the earth. John Wesley, great revivalist of the 18th century, once made a very provocative statement. I have yet to see anyone disprove it. “God does nothing but in answer to prayer!”

Not surprisingly, therefore, we need only look at the beginning of the Christmas story in the Gospel of Luke, chapter one, to see that prayer was the catalyst that initiated God’s redemptive plan heralding the coming of Jesus.

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