Dear Father, I’ve been browsing the news headlines on various websites tonight. News is breaking out all over the world but I’m not finding anything in particular to pray about. The California fire comes to mind. I ask for You to pour abundant mercy and grace into the lives of all the victims of that fire. Alex Smith comes to mind. He is the Washington Redskins quarterback who suffered a serious injury today. I ask that You use this injury to draw Alex into a closer relationship with You. Give him many reasons to thank You as he experiences Your loving care in the months ahead. While I’m on the NFL, Doug Pederson comes to mind. He is the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles who praised You after the Eagles won the Superbowl in February. The Eagles lost by 41 points today and he is receiving intense criticism and hate from fans who seem to have forgotten what he accomplished last year. I ask that You draw close to him even as the team flies home from New Orleans. Strengthen His faith and may he experience Your comfort. Father, help him prepare the Eagles to give their best effort next week and may he be encouraged and uplifted at the conclusion of next week’s game. Amen.
Dear Father, the Hallmark Channel is broadcasting an unending succession of 33 new Christmas movies. Handsome man and beautiful woman meet and fall in love when the snow is falling gently. There is some misunderstanding that is easy to resolve before lasting heartbreak sets in and the couple is presumed to live happily ever after. Once the credits for the movie have run their course, the plot is regurgitated once more in the next movie. Same story and Christmas decorations but different characters and setting. Father, as I’m thinking of something alternative to watch, such as James Bond or a spaghetti-western starring Clint Eastwood, I do want to thank You that these Hallmark movies, filmed at low budget in the heat of the summer, are notable for what they don’t have – obscenity, indecency, violence, or corruption. We get enough of that on other channels and in the news. Many people have unending drama inside the walls of their home. These Hallmark movies are an escape for them into a world without lasting emotional pain. It is a world of smiling neighbors with beautiful teeth cheerfully singing Christmas carols together, each one enjoying their own paradise and a warm cup of coffee. Father, my prayer tonight is for the many people, most likely women, who are watching these Hallmark movies dreaming of a happy ending in their lives. They are both hurting and hoping, hoping the miraculous healing of their broken lives is but one magical Christmas wish away. Be their miracle. Sweep them off their feet with Your love. Heal their hurts and wipe away their tears as only You can. Jesus Christ is the man who can make all hearts new. Bring Him into the lives of thousands of Hallmark Channel devotees even this very Christmas. May they understand that their really is an amazing happy ending for all who surrender their lives to You. Amen.