12 Days of NIGHT PRAYER for Christmas: 12/28

When do the Twelve Days of Christmas begin?   They begin Christmas Day itself, leading us to TWELFTH NIGHT, the eve of Epiphany, January 6.  Through these dozen days, Night Prayer will focus each evening on one of the many gifts we've received from God.  Tonight: the gift of faith...
On the fourth day of Christmas,
the good Lord gave to me:
    Faith in God above,
    Angels sent from heaven,
    Shepherds keeping watch
    and a Child born in Bethlehem town... 

I need to keep reminding myself, Lord:
    my faith isn't my idea or invention
    - it's your gift to me -
    and after your merciful love,
    it's your greatest gift to me...
Then again, Lord, without my faith,
    apart from the gift of faith,
how would I know your merciful love?
    your patient compassion?
    your wisdom and counsel?
    your word and your truth?
Apart from my faith,
    how would I put my trust in you?
    from where would come my hope
    and my confidence that
        all manner of things shall be well? 

Apart from my faith
    how would I believe in what I cannot see?
How would I believe in love, human and divine?
How would I believe in your presence
    before me, around me, within me?
How would I believe in you, Lord,
    or trust that you know and call me by name?

Apart from my faith, Lord,
    what would keep me from giving up?
    from throwing in the towel? from quitting?
        from trusting that you will meet me
        wherever I go, wherever I land
        and all along the way...
My faith is a gift from you, Lord:
    strengthen the gift you've offered me 
        and open my heart to receive it;
    deepen my faith within me,
        root my life in its grace and peace;
    charge and help me to share my faith
        especially with those who seek your face;
    refresh my faith from day to day,
        never let me take it for granted...

The gift of my faith opens my eyes
    and my mind and my heart to Christmas:
        to angels and shepherds,
        to stables and mangers,
        to Mary and Joseph and you, O Lord,
        the Child born in Bethlehem town...
Protect me, Lord, while I'm awake
and watch over me while I sleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace...

We Walk By Faith by Marty Haugen
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