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6 Short Prayers for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Simple prayers to transform your Christmas this year.
Three red candle lit in prayer for Christmas eve
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Everyone wants to make the annual celebration of Christmas more meaningful. Some do it by attending service at their church. Some by observing a long-hold family traditions. Others may try something new this year. But anyone can make the holiday more meaningful with a prayer for Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve, like Advent, is a time of anticipation, when we await the day that celebrates Jesus Christ’s birth. Prayers can be a powerful way to prepare our hearts for this holy time. The best part is, it doesn’t even take much effort. It requires little preparation. Just six short, simple prayers can thoroughly change the way you experience Christmas Eve, and even Christmas Day, this year.

READ MORE: The Christmas Story in 5 Bible Passages

I like to pray the following six prayers at regular intervals—morning, noon and night—beginning on the morning of Christmas Eve and into Christmas Day. You may certainly choose to do something different, but I hope a prayer for Christmas Eve enriches your celebration:

1)  A New Prayer for Christmas Eve

Lord Jesus,
the day of your nativity approaches,
the day on which we commemorate
your birth,
your condescension,
your humble incarnation.

Please help me and mine
to approach that day on tiptoe,
with reverence and awe,
mindful of your holiness and beauty,
and grateful for the privilege
of finding
and approaching
and kneeling at
your manger, amen.

(Bob Hostetler)

2)  A Short Christmas Eve Prayer

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask you to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in your tender care,
And fit us for heaven, to live with you there.

(John T. McFarland)

3)  A Prayer to Wait for Jesus

Come, come, Jesus, I await you…

I am a poor shepherd; I have only a wretched stable, a small manger, some wisps of straw. I offer all these to you, be pleased to come into my poor hovel. I offer you my heart; my soul is poor and bare of virtues, the straws of so many imperfections will prick you and make you weepbut oh, my Lord, what can you expect? This little is all I have…I have nothing better to offer you, Jesus, honour my soul with your presence, adorn it with your graces. Burn this straw and change it into a soft couch for your most holy body.

Jesus, I am here waiting for your coming. Wicked men have driven you out, and the wind is like ice. I am poor, but I will warm you as well as I can. At least be pleased that I wish to welcome you warmly, to love you and sacrifice myself for you.


(Pope John XXIII; slightly revised)

READ MORE: 5 Advent Prayers for Hope, Joy, Peace, and Love

4)  Cradle Song Prayer

Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.

My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep;
I, too, must sing with joyful tongue
That sweetest ancient cradle song.

Glory to God in highest Heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given;
While angels sing with tender mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth.

(Martin Luther)

5)  A Christmas Eve Prayer for Baby Jesus

They all were looking for a king
To slay their foes and lift them high:
Thou cam’st, a little baby thing
That made a woman cry.

O Son of Man, to right my lot
Naught but Thy presence can avail;
Yet on the road Thy wheels are not,
Nor on the sea Thy sail!

My how or when Thou wilt not heed,
But come down Thine own secret stair,
That Thou mayst answer all my need–
Yea, every bygone prayer.

(George MacDonald)

READ MORE: A One-Word Christmas Prayer for Inner Peace

6)  A Thankful Christmas Eve Prayer

Great God and Father of all humanity,
thank you that because of this day,
this holy feast, in the words of Chrysostom,
the ancient slavery is ended,
the devil confounded,
the demons take to flight,
the power of death is broken,
paradise is unlocked,
the curse is taken away,
sin is removed from us,
error driven out,
truth has been brought back,
the speech of kindliness diffused,
and spreads on every side,
a heavenly way of life has been in-planted on the earth,
angels communicate with men without fear,
and men now hold speech with angels,

(Bob Hostetler, based on sermon by St. John Chrysostom)

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