'Twas the night before Christmas in a church made of stone
Sister Bessie was cleaning each pew, 'til it shone.
She straightened the hymnals and swept all the floors
She cleaned all the windows and polished the doors.
She prayed as she dusted, "please, Lord, show me now
A gift to the church I would give; tell me how."
When what to her wondering eyes did appear?
A crumpled-up prayer list to make her quest clear:
She’d pray for each name on the prayer list that night
She’d pray if it took her until the dawn’s light.
So humbly, she knelt at the altar and prayed
Her heart was so burdened; for hours she stayed.
"Oh heavenly Father, my thanks for Your love
And thank You for giving us grace from above.
Though I'm longing for heaven with anticipation,
I'm grateful for all of your lovely creation.
Tonight I am bringing these prayers to Your throne:
Please stay close to Harvey, who’s now all alone.
For all who are sick, like Rosella and Rand,
I ask You to touch them with Your healing hand.
Please be with Diego, whose mother has died
And help Charlie Jones as he struggles with pride.
The Waynes fear their marriage is splitting apart
And Caroline Winters has fear in her heart.
Please send out Your Spirit to lost souls like Mary
And stand right beside single mothers like Carrie.
Please help those in prisons; in nursing homes, too
And please send the rent for that dear Mrs. Woo.
Dear Father, I thank You and now say Amen
Please guide me in Your way ‘til we talk again.”
She’d given her gift and her heart was sincere
She’d prayed from the heart for those people so dear.
And though some may think that a prayer isn’t great
And can’t do that much to change any man’s fate,
The prayer of this servant brought healing and grace
And helped bring a bright smile to many a face.
Though they'll never know of her efforts that night
Her prayers for their burdens would help make them light.
So Godspeed, dear Bessie and bless you tonight.
Merry Christmas to you and to you a good night!
James 5:16b - The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (NIV)
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