Branching-Out

Twelve and Counting

Posted by Sharon Krause on Oct 1, 2023 6:00:00 AM

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We humans are very involved with numbers. We use numbers for identification, for communication, for evaluation, for measuring, and for much more. We count up, we count down. We add and subtract, multiply and divide.

 So, let’s count down to Christmas Day and consider how many weeks until we will celebrate our Savior’s birth. Did you count? I did. Twelve weeks from today is Christmas Day. We often use an Advent calendar to count down to Christmas. Let’s do more. I suggest, just for a prayer exercise, to devote each week a few extra minutes in our daily prayer time for some intentions that we say we are going to pray for but might postpone or even unintentionally forget because of distractions or busyness.

 Here are 12 suggested topics, but, of course, you can personalize to fit your needs and preferences.

 Perhaps for this first week of October, we can pray for the repose of the souls of those friends, or relatives of friends, for whom we have said we would pray. So many times I hear people say, “Our thoughts and prayers are with you,” and that is that. We can pray for the deceased friends and relatives and for comfort to families experiencing loss. We can even ask our Mother Mary, who experienced grief, to pray for the deceased.

  1. Week 2 could be filled with extra prayers for those people experiencing natural and manmade disasters and their aftermath–Maui and Libya, to just name two.

  2. Maybe for the third week of October we can add prayer minutes for peace in this world, especially in Ukraine. We can ask our Lord for peacemakers to encourage peaceful resolutions in nations that threaten and feel threatened.

  3. During the week of October 23, we might pray for more people to return to praying and worshiping God. We need to remember who really is in charge! I am sure we all have family members and friends who have lost their way to God’s truth.

  4. The week beginning October 30 could include extra prayers for innocent victims of crimes and various forms of abuse and war.

  5. We hear about thousands of homeless people. We can pray for wise solutions, and for safety and healthcare for these men, women, and children.

  6. The week of November 13 can be punctuated with extra prayers for health and wise preventive measures for us and for family members and friends.

  7. November 20 can start a week of adding a few prayers for safety for our first-responders and gratitude for all medical caregivers.

  8. The last week of November can include prayers for Pope Francis, our bishops, priests, and religious, and for an increase in vocations.

  9. So much in life seems to depend on spending money. As Christmas gets closer, we start spending money for gifts. We could say extra prayers for wisdom in financial matters for ourselves and for those in government.

  10. December 11 could start a week with added prayers for our military personnel. We are not at war and can forget all the sacrifices our service members make in peacetime.

  11. The week just before Christmas can be very busy. Of course, we focus on the miracle of God coming to earth in human form, but we can add some special prayers of gratitude for the blessings we have received over the past year. We might include those little graces that seem like lucky coincidences but are really God’s love strokes.

 

 

 

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Photograph by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash.

Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Royal Palm Beach, Florida. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.

 

Topics: Christmas, Advent, praying, Sharon Krause

Sharon Krause

Written by Sharon Krause

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