Praying… for Santa

The mystical night approaches quickly now, full of mystery and magic. And so it is that a boy, a young Palestinian Christian, prays to God for Santa to be able to cross the border checkpoints and come to visit even them.
This prayer was read a decade ago at World Vision’s annual Day of Prayer, one of several Children’s Prayers that day. I saved it at the time and have never forgotten about it.  In fact, I prayed it just the other day for the children of Syria, that nation now torn asunder with its children strewn beyond its borders. As silly as I might have sounded to the others in the prayer circle, it just felt right.
There’s something very special about children’s prayers–their immediacy, practically, innocence…faith. 
I invite you to read this short prayer slowly, perhaps at the pace it would have been written, as it would have been felt. I could imagine it being prayed by candlelight, after darkness falls on Christmas Eve, this Night of Nights.  May we pray it in our hearts this Christmas for all God’s children…
Prayer written by Bisan Mousa, aged 7 from Talitha Kumi Lutheran School in the West Bank
   O Lord Jesus, protect us from danger, and distance the bombs away from our homes, because they have been destroyed and we are forced to leave our homes for the street.
   O Jesus, distance the evil from us and the missiles and the rockets so that we can go back to living peacefully and so that Santa Claus can come to us. Our teacher told us that at the military checkpoint, the soldier did not allow Santa Claus to enter Bethlehem. We want Christmas to come and want to decorate the tree like the rest of the children in the world.
   O Jesus, give us courage and strength to overcome fear and to live in peace and tranquility and freedom in our beloved land and precious Palestine.
Peace and tranquility and freedom on earth; goodwill toward all.

Christmas Eve 2013

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