Christmas Eve celebrates the most important event in history: The Creator entered creation to save it. God expressed his great love for humanity by becoming Immanuel (which means “God with us”) on the first Christmas in Bethlehem. Christmas Eve prayers can help you experience the peace and joy of God’s presence with you. By praying on Christmas Eve, you can take in the wonder of Christmas and enjoy God’s gifts to the fullest. Make time for prayer this Christmas Eve. When you pray during this holy night, the true meaning of Christmas will come alive for you. Here are 4 inspiring Christmas Eve prayers for you and your family.
A Prayer to Take in the Wonder of Christmas
Dear God, help me experience Christmas wonder on this holy evening. May I feel awe for the ultimate gift you’ve given humanity. Reach out to me so I can perceive your wonderful presence with me. Help me perceive the everyday miracles of your work around me during this most wonderful time of the year.
May the light of hope you offer help me transcend my worries and inspire me to trust you. Light broke through the darkness of night as angels announced Jesus Christ’s birth on the first Christmas. As I look at Christmas lights tonight, may I remember the wonder of that Christmas, when shepherds received that good news from your messengers. Let every burning candle and twinkling light bulb in my home remind me that you are the light of the world. When I’m outside this evening, remind me to look up at the sky. Let the stars I see help me ponder the wondrous Star of Bethlehem that guided people to you. This Christmas Eve, may I see you in a new light because of wonder.
As I savor the wonderful foods of Christmas, may I be inspired to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). When I eat a variety of wondrous foods at Christmas dinner tonight, remind me of your awesome creativity and generosity. Let the Christmas candy and cookies I eat remind me of the sweetness of your love. I’m thankful for the people around the table with me on this holy night. Bless us all as we celebrate together.
May the Christmas carols I listen to help me encounter wonder. Music is a universal language that goes beyond words to express your messages. When I hear Christmas music, let it resonate in my soul and evoke feelings of awe within me. Let me feel free to enjoy playful fun, with childlike wonder, when Christmas songs move me to do so. Encourage me to turn up the volume for Christmas carols, and even sing and dance along, with the wonderful awareness that you’re celebrating with me.
A Christmas Eve Prayer to Say as a Family before Bed
Happy birthday, Jesus! Thank you for coming from heaven to earth to save the world. Thank you for being with us now through your Holy Spirit. Lord, it was your love that led you to be with us. Help us to respond to your great love together. Show us how to love ourselves, each other, and you more. Inspire us to choose words and actions that reflect your wisdom. When we make mistakes, help us learn from them and ask for forgiveness from you and those we’ve hurt. When others hurt us, may we not let bitterness take root in us, but instead forgive them with your help, as you call us to do. Give us peace in our home and in all our relationships. Guide us so we can make the best choices and fulfill your good purposes for our lives. Help us notice signs of your work in our lives together and be encouraged. Fill us with hope for our future as a family together with you.
As we prepare to sleep on this holy night, we trust you with all of our concerns and ask for your peace in return. Inspire us through our dreams this Christmas Eve. When we wake up tomorrow on Christmas morning, may we experience great joy.
A Prayer to Let Go of Stress and Enjoy God's Gifts on Christmas
Jesus, our Prince of Peace, please clear worries out of my mind and calm my heart. As I breathe in and out, let my breath remind me to appreciate the gift of life you’ve given me. Help me exhale my stress and inhale your mercy and grace. Through your Holy Spirit, renew my mind so I can shift my focus away from Christmas commercialism and toward worshiping you. May I rest in your presence and enjoy uninterrupted time in prayer and meditation with you. Thank you for your promise in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Your presence with me is the ultimate gift, which leads me to true peace and joy.
A Prayer of Thanks on Christmas Eve for Christ Our Savior
Wonderful Savior, thank you for incarnating on earth to save the world. Through your redemptive earthly life that began on Christmas Eve and finished on the cross, you have made it possible for me – and all of humanity – to connect with God for eternity. As 2 Corinthians 9:15 declares, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”
I would still be lost in sin without my relationship with you. Thanks to you, I’m free – free to live with faith rather than fear. I’m grateful beyond words for all you’ve done to save my soul from death and give me eternal life, Jesus. Thank you for loving me, forgiving me, and guiding me.
This Christmas Eve, I’m celebrating the good news of your birth as I remember the angels announcing it to the shepherds. I’m pondering your incarnation and treasuring it, as your earthly mother Mary did. I’m seeking you and worshiping you like the wise men did. I give you thanks for your saving love, tonight and always.
Christmas Eve Bible Verses
Matthew 1:23: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means “God with us”).
John 1:14: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Isaiah 9:6: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Luke 2:4-14: So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Luke 2:17-21: When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Praying on Christmas Eve connects you with Jesus as you prepare to celebrate his birth. When you pray, you can discover the wonder of his presence with you. That will help you open the gift of Christmas on this holy night and beyond.
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Whitney Hopler is author of the Wake Up to Wonder book and the Wake Up to Wonder blog, which help people thrive through experiencing awe. She leads the communications work at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. Whitney has served as a writer, editor, and website developer for leading media organizations, including Crosswalk.com, The Salvation Army USA’s national publications, and Dotdash.com (where she produced a popular channel on angels and miracles). Connect with Whitney on Twitter and Facebook.
This article is part of our Prayer resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.