Christmas is over. Decorations are coming down. Presents are finding their shelves and drawers.
But what can you you do with all of those lovely Christmas cards you’ve received this year? It seems a shame to throw them away. You could recycle them for crafts? Or use them as kindling?
Or here’s another idea…
We can’t remember where we first came across this little prayer-life hack or if we made it up ourselves (apologies for not giving credit if it’s your idea!). But we love it, and we’re going to try it this year.
Here’s what you could do with those Christmas cards. Why not gather them all up in a lovely box (maybe one of the many chocolate or biscuit tins from Christmas?) and then use them to pray, with your children, for your friends and family?
Pick a pace that suits your family (maybe one a day/week/fortnight?) and each time you come to it, take the card from the front, open it up and pray for whoever sent you that card. Then pop it to the back once you’ve finished (after doing some of our suggestions below…).
With ever increasing globalisation, many of us find that family and friends are scattered all over the country or world. Often we have little contact with them throughout the year, but we’d love our children to remember them, to feel a connection to them and (most importantly) to learn to love them by praying for them. Well this little idea might just help you achieve some of that, and we think children might actually find it really fun… opening up the box, taking out the card and seeing who we’re praying for this time. What’s there to lose?
Here are a few little ideas to take a little further…
Decorate The Box
Those of us with younger children may find we are awash with stickers at this time of year, or other crafty little bits and pieces. Well why not help your children take ownership of the Christmas Prayer Cards by getting them involved with creating the box.
Get them to bling it up with an array of stickers, glitter, pictures, or whatever takes their fancy. Here’s our preschooler’s attempt…
Make A Note Of What You’ve Prayed In The Card
When you open a Christmas Card, what you’re often greeted with are lovely felicitations to the right of the fold, but to the left of the fold is a blank space. Why not use that blank space to make a few brief bullet points of what you’ve prayed for this person/family? Then perhaps later in the year – maybe Christmas Eve, or New Years Eve, you could go through the cards to see how God has answered prayers. Or if you’re going through them at a greater pace, each time you repeat the card you can add thanksgiving for answered prayers or you can add new prayer points.
Let Them Know You’re Praying
To increase the sense of connection with the people you’re praying for, why not get in touch and let them know? You could ping them a quick message the day before to ask them what you can be praying for. After praying, why not get your children to contact them to let them know you’ve prayed? Something as simple as dropping them a text will do it, or if you’re looking for an activity to occupy your children then maybe get them to write a letter, make a card or send an e-card? Get them to be specific about what they’re praying, to help consolidate their appreciation that God is involved in the details of our lives, and loves to hear us pray about real things.
So that’s the Christmas Prayer Cards idea. What do you think? If you like it, why not give it a go? And maybe share this post with your friends on Facebook or on your church’s Facebook group so others can try it too?