Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Prayer

Merciful and eternal God, heavenly Father! we Thy children thank Thee
from the depth of our hearts that Thou didst so faithfully keep Thy
promise and turn to us Thy kind and paternal heart, didst send unto us
Thine only-begotten Son, the highest Good, to be our Saviour, and to
assume our human nature, and thus didst render us acceptable through Thy
Beloved. O Lord Jesus! Thou eternal Son of God, we honor, praise and
glorify Thee, that Thou to-day didst become our brother and Emmanuel,
that is: God with us, didst out of unspeakable love befriend us and
clothe Thyself with our poor flesh and blood. Thou didst in nowise assume
the nature of angels, but didst honor the seed of Abraham, our human
nature, this poor earth, wretched ashes and worthless dust even so much
as to connect Thyself personally and inseparably with the same to all
eternity. Thou wast conceived holy and without sin, and born into this
world of a pure and chaste virgin; whereby Thou didst sanctify and
consecrate our Adamic, sinful and impure conception and birth, so that it
may not be harmful to us who by nature are children of wrath, conceived
in sin, and flesh born of flesh. Thou wast born in a stable, poor and
lowly; Thou in a manger didst lie, in poverty great, and of Thy crib,
though hard, no offence didst take, in order that Thou couldst enrich our
souls and make us lords in Thy heavenly mansion. Thou didst humble
Thyself, in order to exalt us; Thou didst appear upon earth, in order
that we in turn might come unto Thee in heaven. O God, Holy Spirit! our
most exalted teacher and comforter, we to-day offer unto Thee the
sacrifices of our lips and thank Thee with our hearts that Thou didst
reveal this exalted mystery of godliness; and as the angels proclaimed it
to the shepherds and chanted it on the plain, so let it still be preached
unto us through Thy Word and its servants. Glory be to Thee, O God the
Father, Son and Holy Ghost! in the highest, peace on earth and good will
towards men. Help, O faithful God and father! that we may be partakers of
the new birth of Thy dear Son, be relieved of our old sinful nature, and
be and remain new born children of Thy grace and heirs of Thy kingdom. My
Jesus, whom I count most dear, a clean soft bed prepare Thou here, to
take within my heart Thy rest, so shall I hold Thy memory best. Grant, O
God, Holy Spirit! that thus our Saviour be now and forevermore
spiritually born and developed within us. Help also, that by virtue of
this birth we may rejoice and be comforted amidst all temptations,
patiently endure and overcome all things, and with all the angels of God
praise, honor and glorify Thee, here in time and in heaven forever. Amen.

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