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A One-Word Christmas Prayer for Inner Peace

As the sounds and demands of the season mount, try this simple, soft approach.

Christmas calm
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The sounds of Christmas are ringing bells, joyful carols, and ho-ho-hoing Santas. But another, softer, sound can become a one-word prayer, an ushering in of inner calm and “peace on earth” for you this season.

It may have been one of the first sounds the infant Jesus heard from Mary or Joseph on that Christmas night as they “wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger” (Luke 2:7 NIV). After all, how many mothers in every language, land, and time have soothed their baby’s cries with a low and comforting one-word prayer of “shhhh”?

The Lord’s First Hours

How often did the Lord’s parents cradle Him with a long, soft “shhhh” in the first hours of His life? As they showed Him off to the visiting shepherds? When they trekked into Jerusalem eight days later to present their child in the Temple and name Him as they’d been instructed? Did Simeon pacify Jesus’ cries with that single syllable of a one-word prayer? Did Anna?

Shop Guideposts: Pray a Word a Day

We can’t know, of course, but it’s easy to imagine. And it’s easy to turn it into a simple one-word prayer especially when stress mounts. It can be a balm amid all the tumult. Or a prayer to God, a plea for the tranquility of Christ to rule in your heart (see Colossians 3:15). It can even be a gentle stop sign of sorts, a spiritual hand to hold up against the noise, a way of saying, “Peace, be still” (Mark 4:39 KJV).

‘Shhhh’ Throughout Your Day

Try quietly uttering this one-word prayer as you enter God’s house for worship. When you lay your head on your pillow after a long, hard day. As you let the phone call go to voicemail because you…just…can’t.

You may even try using this prayer during your daily routine, as you walk the dog or drop into your favorite chair and open your Bible. Let it subdue your racing mind, steady your breathing, slow your heartbeat. Offer it to all the distractions that tend to crowd out the beauty of the season and the presence of the Lord. Shhhh.

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