While the rest of us are enjoying time spent with our families this holiday season, we would do well to remember two very important groups of people who aren't so lucky: military families and missionary families. Families of both military personnel and overseas missionaries have to spend a holiday with their loved ones being thousands of miles away from them, and the soldiers and missionaries themselves have to spend it likewise in a foreign land (often a hostile one).
So as the holiday season swings into full gear, remember to pray for these families. Some specific things to remember to pray for:
1. Safety for the soldiers and missionaries in the field. Many of them find themselves in places that are intensely hostile, pray for their continued safety.
2. Encouragement to the families, to remember what it is that their children, siblings, or parents are fighting for. Pray that they would cherish all the more the time they had and will get in the future with their family members.
3. The Gospel message spreading. Christmas is about the incarnation of Christ and points forward to the cross. There is no better time of year for the Gospel to be spread. Pray for soldiers, missionaries, and their families alike that the Gospel would work among them and save souls.
4. Encouragement for those in the field. Christmas can be a time of intense discouragement for those who find themselves in a foreign field far away from home. Pray that the Holy Spirit would warm their hearts, and remind them of their mission and of it's importance.
5. Lastly, pray for them to see their loved ones again. Maybe it won't be over the holidays, and for a lot of them it may be far in the future and for only a little while; but pray for them to be reunited with their families and enjoy the fellowship and love of their loved ones again.
Never forget those who are serving abroad to keep our freedoms and to advance the Kingdom of God. Pray for them always, but especially over the holidays. Merry Christmas to our soldiers and missionaries everywhere!