25 Bible Readings for Christmas

Christmas is coming. Had you noticed?

We are fond of saying that Jesus is the reason for the season, but do we live each day as if that were true?

During the bustle and stress of the holiday season, we want to encourage you to keep first things first. To help you do that, we have created 25 Bible Readings for Christmas.

Use these Bible readings as your own personal daily reminders or as part of a family time. These readings will only take a few minutes each day, but they will help you focus on the Reason for the season. 

Just choose your preferred format from the 3 options below, download, and start reading. (Increase your fun by using Sybil MacBeth’s Advent downloads with the 25 Bible Readings and color the verses!)



25 Bible Readings for Christmas (calendar version)

25 Bible Readings for Christmas (infographic)

25 Bible Readings for Christmas (list)

Check out the rest of our Countdown to Christmas here.

A Countdown to Christmas

We are going to do a different Advent Countdown to Christmas this year. Bible Study Journey will post 8 different times starting November 30 until Christmas Eve, giving you ways to count down to the blessed day of Christmas.

The month of December is most likely a very busy month for you. If you’re like me, you find yourself frantically making lists (and checking them twice) of everything that needs to get done, everything that you want to buy for each person you love, and all of the events you would like to attend. I always have longer lists than I have time, money, and energy for.

Every year I have the best intentions to scale back and make the season all about my love for Christ himself. I’ve done well with not going full commercialized crazy on gift buying, but I still struggle with slowing down and learning more about and remembering why we celebrate Christmas. I almost always overbook myself making food and crafts and fall short when it comes to making room for quality family time.

We at Bible Study Journey believe we’re not alone in desiring to find new traditions for spending time with loved ones or just being able to slow down and meditate on our Savior. We’ve come together to bring you Bible readings, activities, gift ideas, recipes, suggestions on how to serve, games, and advice to bring Jesus, Faith, and Family to the forefront of this holiday season. If you haven’t already done so, like our Facebook page and subscribe (in the sidebar) to the website so you don’t miss any of the great ideas! Feel free to share with all your friends and family.

We wish you a Merry Christmas!

Preparation for Christmas & the Daily Journey with God

I became aware of Sybil MacBeth’s work when I began researching topics for Project Prayer. She has a wonderful website called Praying in Color. I wanted to include her Praying in Color Advent ideas and handouts with you, so I reached out to her. As we wrap up Project Prayer and begin to look forward to Christmas, today’s Postcard was the logical place to have Sybil share with you. Please welcome guest blogger Sybil MacBeth.

Preparation for Christmas
& the Daily Journey with God

Advent is my favorite season of the year. As the world outside my house turns dark and cold in the northern hemisphere, my wistful reaction is to turn inward. I curl up in a comfortable chair, light candles, drink hot tea, and become nostalgic and contemplative. In many ways this is exactly what Advent is about. The word advent means “coming.”  During the four weeks before Christmas, we remember the coming of Jesus into the world over two thousand years ago and anticipate the coming of Jesus again at the end of history. But Advent is not just about the coming of Jesus in the distant past and in the far future, it is about his coming into our lives today, tomorrow, and every day. A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God,” says the prophet Isaiah. Advent is the time we burrow down and prepare the soil of our minds and hearts to receive Jesus anew at Christmas. It is a gestation time and the dress rehearsal for the way to live every day of the year.

Wake up. Watch. Hope. Prepare. Listen. Repent. Pay attention. Wait. These stirring and urgent verbs are the language of Advent, but they are also the daily, all-year-round vocabulary of Christians. Christians are Advent people. We do not just celebrate the past and wait for the final fulfillment of God’s kingdom in the future. We are active and incremental “waiters.” As a flesh-and-blood Savior, Jesus invites and commissions us to put our feet on the ground and join him in God’s kingdom-building pilgrimage on earth. Advent helps to prepare us for this seemingly endless and difficult work. It is no accident that Advent is the beginning of the Christian year. It is the preparation for Christmas but it is also our recommitment to the one-day-at-a time journey with Jesus and God for another year. Our Advent practices, reflection, Scripture study, and prayer hone and sharpen our spiritual tools as ready pilgrims on a 365-day mission with God.

Here are a few of my favorite Advent practices and activities. They help me to develop the daily discipline I need to be a pilgrim all year long. It is so tempting to jump right into Christmas mode as soon as Thanksgiving is over. These activities invite me to slow down and hold back– just a little.

Advent Calendars

My all-time favorite practice is creating an Advent calendar. I love the Advent calendar because it marks my one-day-at-a time walk with God. You can use any calendar template for December but I have created several free templates to download available from my website: prayingincolor.com. You can also make your own calendar templates. There are many ways to use them, but here are two ways:

1) Read a daily Scripture passage or one of the many wonderful devotionals available for Advent. Each day choose an Advent word to write in the space. Doodle around the word. Add color with markers or pencils. Ponder the word, listen to it, and ask God to speak to you through this word. Sit with it in silence.

2) Pray for a person each day. Write the name. Draw around it and add color. Use words for your prayers if you want, but think of each stroke of the pen or marker as a wordless prayer.  Release the person into God’s care and sit with them in silence.

I think of this calendar as a “countup” to Christmas and not a “countdown.” At the end of Advent you will have a colorful dictionary of Advent words or a beautiful visual prayer list.

Below is an example of last year’s calendar. I prayed a different Advent word each day.

Here are the six templates for Advent 2018.  You can download them for free from my Handouts Page. This year the season is only twenty-three days long and starts on December 2.


Color—Purple or Blue

Purple or blue are the colors of Advent. Whether you are a purple or blue Advent devotee, splash your house or apartment with Advent color. For me, a string of purple lights, a purple paper chain, or a purple ribbon on a wreath acts as a STOP sign. “Wait; it is not yet Christmas. Slow down. Enjoy this time of preparation.”

Plants and Bulbs

To teach children (and adults) about watching and waiting–but not waiting in vain—plant paperwhite narcissus or amaryllis bulbs at the beginning of Advent. Fill a clear container with potting soil or stones. A clear container makes the growth of the roots visible. Plant the bulb in the soil or stones with about half of the bulb showing above the surface. Place the bulbs in a warm spot near a window. Watch the daily, incremental growth of the plant. Daily watering can be the task of even a young child. Even as an adult, I never tire of watching the day-to-day progress of the green stalks and the ultimate flowering of the plant.

Quiet Corner

Create a place where people can go to be alone and quiet. A little table in a corner with a battery-operated votive candle, a few sprigs of greenery, a purple ribbon, and an old-fashioned three-minute sand- or salt-filled egg timer creates an enticing place for children and adults to be alone and quiet. Invite children to turn on the candle, turn over the egg timer, and sit in the mystery of dark and silence for three minutes.

Advent Tree or Bush

Go ahead and buy a Christmas tree during Advent but string purple, blue, or white lights on it. Use the tree as a large Advent calendar and pin an Advent word a day onto it. See if you can hold off on adding the Christmas ornaments until after December 20. Another option is to hang a long piece of string or ribbon on the wall and clothespin the words on it.


[From Bible Study Journey: I (Trisha) for one am going to try one of her Advent handouts this year. I just have to decide which one. What are you going to do? In the comments below, let us know if you try any of Sybil’s ideas. We would also love to hear how you celebrate Advent.]


Sybil MacBeth is the author of The Season of the Nativity: Confessions and Practices of an Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany Extremist and Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God. Sybil combines her lifelong love of prayer with her experience as a community college math professor to offer workshops on prayer for people with varied learning styles. For more ideas about Advent or praying in color, check out her blog on prayingincolor.com.

Check here for Sybil’s books.

If you visit Sybil’s blog, download her handouts, or purchase her materials, please mention that you met her here at biblestudyjourney.com!

If you are just joining us, check out our most recent series, Project Prayer. You can begin (or browse) the series here.



Project Prayer
Giveaway Winners
& Wrap-Up

The Project Prayer Giveaway Winners are
Susan Houston
Kim Thomas
Congratulations, Ladies!


Project Prayer Wrap-Up

We have spent 10 weeks exploring prayer, covering a variety of topics from Why Pray to When God Told Me No. We were also honor by guest bloggers Julie Shirkey (Renewing the Mind through Prayer) and Lynn Cowell (3 Prayers for Keeping the Enemy Away). We explored 23 Prayer Principles from the Prayers of Jesus, how Jesus Taught Us to Pray, and so much more!

We also created over a dozen downloads for you to use, including the 30 Day Prayer Challenge Journal and Visual Prayer Starters.

You can access all the Project Prayer articles here and all the downloads here.

Although Project Prayer is officially over, prayer will still be the theme Friday when guest Sybil MacBeth shares how to pray in color during Advent and other ways to focus on Jesus during the hectic Christmas season.

Help us get the word out about Bible Study Journey. Please consider sharing these pages on your social media.

We have enjoyed putting together this series, and we would love to hear from you!
Let us know what you learned from this series.
What you would like to do next?

Cornucopia of Thanksgiving


Read Psalm 107 here.

Oh thank you Father, our Lord in Heaven.

I want to bring you a praise of thanksgiving for not just what you have done for me but for who you are. I want to thank you for your mercy because I do not deserve your love. I thank you for your forgiveness, your grace to me is astounding. Your promises are true and are with no expiration. There is nothing I can do to break your love for me. I pray that all I do is for your glory. Thank you for loving me even when I fall way short of that desire.

Lord, I pray for those who may read this prayer. I pray that if they don’t know how great you are you show them your love in an undeniable way. I pray that their relationship with you grows deeper every day. Please reach out to them and let them know you are there. Show your glorious works in such a way that there is no denying your awesome power.

I stand on your promise that your kingdom cannot be shaken. You will always be there, guiding me and giving me the way to peace and blessings. I pray that I will see and recognize all of your blessings Lord, even those that have a sting. I am truly thankful for the times that you have showed me your love through the trials that seem so unbearable. Your strength is there when I am weak.

I thank you for listening to my cries, my hopes, my dreams and my desires. I thank you for the answers whether they are what I had imagined or not. I thank you for your sacrifice and the gift of your son, Jesus Christ. I thank you for your guidance through the Holy Spirit. In love and admiration I give you my heart, in the name of

the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.


The Prayer of a Righteous Person

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. ∼James 5:16 (ESV)


What is prayer? Earlier in this passage in verse 14, when the elders pray for the person who is sick, the Greek word for pray is proseúxomai. It means “to exchange wishes… literally, to interact with the Lord by switching human wishes… for His wishes as He imparts faith.” (Bible Hub, HELPS Word-studiesWhere James says “the prayer of a righteous person” the Greek word for prayer is deésis which refers to a “heart-felt petition, arising out of deep personal need (sense of lack, want).” (Bible Hub, HELPS Word-studies)

Prayers spoken out of a deeply felt need are deésis. When we reach the point in our deésis where we can say in all honesty, “Not my will, but yours, be done, O LORD,” our prayers have become proseúxomai. My friend Carlyn exemplified this idea when she was battling the cancer that eventually took her life. Her heart-felt petition, or deésis, was for her cancer to go away, but she exchanged that wish for God’s wishes–she turned her deésis into proseúxomai when she accepted God’s will, even when she didn’t understand it. 


James tells us that these types of prayers, when made by a righteous person, are powerful. The Greek word, díkaios,  means “righteous, observing divine and human laws; one who is such as he ought to be” (Bible Hub, Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). If we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are in a right relationship with God. We are what we “ought to be.” We have “become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Being righteous means simply that we are walking in faith, and because we are walking in faith, it is reflected in how we live our lives. We are righteous because we are walking with Christ.


The Greek word translated power is from the root word ischuó. It “embodies strength that ‘gets into the fray’… engaging the resistance. For the believer,… [it] refers to the Lord strengthening them with combative, confrontive force to achieve all He gives faith for. That is, facing necessary resistance that brings what the Lord defines as success…” (Bible Hub, HELPS Word-studiesAll these prayers have the power–the strength–to enter (or remain in) the battle and to resist anything which stands against God.

Why are we given this kind of strength? In order to accomplish God’s will. The evil one will try to cause us to doubt. He will try to wear us down. But discussing our wishes with God, and accepting His wishes for us, will help us to resist those attacks and to stand firm in our faith until God brings about what He defines as success. 


The final part of the verse is as it is working. This is the Greek word energeó which means “energize, working in a situation which brings it from one stage… to the next, like an electrical current energizing a wire, bringing it to a shining light bulb.” (Bible Hub, HELPS Word-studies) Prayer turns on the switch, so to speak, that allows the power to flow to the one who needs it. These prayers, or wishes, are working to move the situation to the next stage through God’s energizing power.


Now it’s time to put all that Greek together into a paraphrase of this verse: The heart-felt wishes of a person who is in a right relationship with God–who is walking with Christ and is willing to exchange their wishes for God’s–have a great quantity of strength to withstand resistance and to move the situation through God’s power to the next stage in God’s plan.

The heart-felt wishes of a person who is in a right relationship with God – who is walking with Christ and is willing to exchange their wishes for God’s – have a great quantity of strength to withstand resistance and to move the situation through God’s power to the next stage in God’s plan.


If you are walking with Christ, you are that righteous person. As you pray, make sure you are not only taking your wishes to God but also exchanging them for His will. Know that when you do, He will give you the strength to stand and to move through your current situation to the next stage in His plan.

[This post was adapted from Elijah: Lessons on God and Godly Living from One Flawed Human to Another.]

You can follow or browse the complete Project Prayer series here.

Don’t forget the Project Prayer Giveaway. It ends at 11:59 pm on Monday, November 19!


The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved. ESV Text Edition: 2016
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV) is adapted from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. All rights reserved. Crossway is a not-for-profit organization (a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers) that exists solely for the purpose of publishing the good news of the gospel and the truth of God’s Word, the Bible. A portion of the purchase price of every Bible is donated to help support Bible distribution ministry around the world.

Prayer Quotes

Today’s bonus is a wonderful graphic
filled with quotes on the subject of prayer.

Download it here.


If you are just joining us for Project Prayer,
you can begin (or browse) the series here.

Don’t forget to enter the Project Prayer Giveaway
to win a beautiful framed print and note card set
by Bible Study Journey contributor and photographer, Cindy Snyder!
Download all the Project Prayer extras here.


3 Prayers to Pray for Keeping the Enemy Away

I was honored to attend a breakout session conducted by Lynn Cowell at last year’s She Speaks conference. Shortly afterward I participated in the launch for her new study, Make Your Move: Finding Unshakable Confidence Despite Your Fears and Failures. Lynn is a gracious, godly author and speaker who’s love for women is obvious in every word she uses. She has graciously accepted my invitation to share ways we can pray for our children. Please welcome our guest, Lynn Cowell.

3 Prayers to Pray for Keeping the Enemy Away

by Lynn Cowell

“Lord, how did we get here?”

I know it isn’t good to ask God our Father “why” when we are praying, but as I prayed for my kids and their friends, I did wonder … how did we get here?

As I reflected on the pathway my family has been on, I saw one thing clearly: I had not been as clued in as I should have. 1 Peter 5:8 tells it this way, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (NIV) That someone is our children and the next generation of the Church.

I saw clearly: I hadn’t been alert; paying attention and being on the lookout for the enemy’s movement in our lives. Yes, I had been praying, but I wasn’t fully aware and attentive; wide-awake and keen. In fact, sometimes I had allowed fear to keep me from seeing, or at least admitting, what I didn’t want to see or know.

Let’s learn from my mistakes together and start here:

3 Prayers to Pray for Keeping the Enemy Away

1. See the enemy at work.

While Satan is not wiser than our Father, he does have a plan and that plan preys on the weaknesses of our children, especially when they are young and immature. Pray that you and those you love will spot his work and recognize his plans.

2 Corinthians 11:3, “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” (NIV)

2. Wisdom for a course of action.

Sometimes as moms and mentors, our place is to pray for our loved ones and trust God to do what only He can do, but it can also be our place to get involved. Pray for the wisdom to know what to do, when to do it and when to get out of the way.

James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (NIV)

3. Strength so the enemy is defeated.

Our children do not have as much experience as we do in partnering with the Holy Spirit. Pray that they will cry out to God for the strength they need to choose Him every single day.

James 4:7, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (NIV)

Praying for our children doesn’t mean we have to be on our knees all day long, but it does mean that we need to be aware of what is taking place in the spiritual realm. Our children are growing every day, let’s pray that we will be growing in our walk with the Lord as well.

For more prayers to pray for your children, click here.


Lynn Cowell is a Proverbs 31 speaker and the author of several books, written for women of all ages. Her newest Bible study for women is Make Your Move: Finding Unshakable Confidence Despite Your Fears and Failures and for young girls, Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You. Lynn calls home North Carolina, where she and her husband, Greg and the occasional backyard deer are adjusting to life as empty nesters. Along with their three adult children, the Cowells love hiking, rafting and anything combining chocolate and peanut butter.


If you are just joining us for Project Prayer, you can begin (or browse) the series here.


Don’t forget to enter the Project Prayer Giveaway to win a beautiful framed print and note card set by Bible Study Journey contributor and photographer, Cindy Snyder. Sign up for this giveaway ends in 10 Days (Monday, November 19, 2018)!
Download all the Project Prayer extras here.



Project Prayer Giveaway Reminder

Only 12 days left to sign up!

Deadline is Monday, November 19, at 11:59 pm.
Don’t forget to enter the Project Prayer Giveaway to win a beautiful framed print
and note card set (We have 2 sets to give away!) by Bible Study Journey contributor and photographer, Cindy Snyder!


If you are just joining us for Project Prayer, you can begin (or browse) the series here.
Download all the Project Prayer extras here.