A Christmas Prayer

In celebration of Christmas, we are pleased to share this prayer from the church archives. Written 60 years ago by the Rev. Dr. John Sutherland Bonnell (1893-1992), this Christmas Prayer was published in the December 1957 edition of in The Fifth Avenue Voice, the church publication. Dr. Bonnell was senior pastor of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church from 1935 to 1962.

Almighty God who, by the birth of thy Son, has given us a great light to shine in our darkness, vouchsafe unto us now the precious gift of faith whereby we may know that the Son of God is come.

We thank thee that Mary and Joseph were guided to the town of Bethlehem, reminding us of thy providence that watches over us.

We thank thee that our savior lay a helpless infant cradled in a manger, that we may realize his human kinship with us.

We thank thee that the revelation of his Advent was made to humble shepherds watching over their flock by night, that amid our daily tasks we may ever be alert to the revelation of thy presence.

We thank thee that he was born in poverty, that we may know that none of thy children is ever outside the circle of thy compassion and love.

We thank thee that at Christmas, wherever there are hearts willing to receive him, the Christ child comes to dwell. Take from us all narrow and bitter thoughts, all resentments and ill will, all selfish forgetfulness of the needs of others, that we may enter thy kingdom as a little child.

In keeping Christmas in the spirit of love, may we find that we have kept Christ -- and are kept of him.

In his blessed name we pray. Amen.


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Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church