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A Spirit-filled Christmas

How may we experience the true Spirit of Christmas?

Let us affirm our participation with Mary and Joseph in the adventure that brought the kingdom of Heaven to earth. We begin with the annunciation to Mary:

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:35-38)

Another translation of Mary’s surrender goes like this: “May it be unto me as you have said.”

What a prayer! The Kingdom of God coming to earth includes this pivotal moment of profound surrender.

What does it look like for us as we surrender?

Richard Foster tells the story of Jim Smith, a brilliant seminarian who was assigned this passage for his meditations on retreat. For the first day, he observed the facts on the page. But on the second day, he surrendered. As Mary had surrendered, Jim Smith allowed the Holy Spirit to “take him down deep into Mary’s feelings, Mary’s doubts, Mary’s fears, Mary’s incredible faith-filled response.” In Foster’s words, “It was, of course, a journey into Jim’s feelings and fears and doubts, as the Spirit in healing love and gentle compassion touched the broken memories of his past.” (Richard Foster, Prayer, Finding the Heart’s True Home, page 155).

What about you and me this Christmas? To experience the fullness and power of the Spirit, we must walk in profound surrender. Focus on the words of Mary’s prayer. Make her words your own:

“May it be unto me as you have said.”

Take a few moments just now to enter in. Pray this prayer from your heart.

Now, use these words to pray surrender for those you love and serve.

“May it be unto ____________ as you have said.”


Dr. Wes Johnson

Executive Director

Awakenings Prayer Institute