(Editor’s note: The Messenger invited fourth- to sixth-graders in every parish to write a Prayer for Christmas. Hundreds of prayers were submitted, and the first three entries were selected as exemplary among their classmates. They are: Kendra Vaughn, Emma Howard and Carolin J. Bouc. Then other notable prayers were added. Following are some of the prayers we received.)
St. Mary Parish School of Religion, Carlyle, Fourth Grade — Dear God, let the true meaning of Christmas come out of peoples hearts and be an example to people everywhere in the world. Let people remember the birth of Jesus and the special gifts we receive from heaven above throughout the entire year. Amen.
St. Teresa Catholic School, Belleville, Fifth Grade — I ask that you shelter everyone who is homeless for this Christmas, and that all the Christmas donation societies get many donations, such as Toys for Tots and the food pantry. That all children may have a very holy and happy Christmas with their families and their friends. Especially bless those who are very unfortunate or sick and have no friends or family. In this year of Mercy, may they always know they have our church and our family to help them. Lord, please also bless the military, that they may get home safely to their families and if they can not, may they have a wonderful Christmas. In your name we pray. Amen.
Caroline J. Bouc
Notre Dame Academy, Belleville, St. Mary’s Parish, Belleville, Sixth Grade — Oh Jesus, Emmanuel
Oh King of Kings.
Oh Messiah, oh Savior
Oh Prince of Peace
Oh Lord of Lords
Oh baby Jesus, Happy Birthday and have mercy on me.
Please bless me,
Please save me,
Please show me the way.
Lead me to your heart, and that’s where I’ll stay.
Other Notable Entries
St. Mary’s Catholic School, Chester, Fifth Grade — Snow, presents, Santa — that’s not what Christmas is really about. It’s about the birth of Jesus Christ, but it’s a lot more than just that. There’s Mary, three wise men, shepherds and angels. All these people made Christmas real. A lot of people think Christmas is Santa and Christmas trees, but it’s truly to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Notre Dame Academy, Belleville, Cathedral of St. Peter Parish, Belleville, Sixth Grade — God, guide me through this Christmas season. Help me to not be greedy, but to help others. Please help all the homeless, for they do not have the warm I have. Show me that I should care for all I have, and not what I want. As the first snowflake falls, help us to remember that Christmas is a time, not for gifts, but for Jesus. Amen.
Immaculate Conception Catholic School, Columbia, Sixth Grade — Dear Heavenly Father,
Please help us to prepare and await the coming of your son, Jesus Christ, in this season of Advent. Let us remember that when we light a candle on our Advent wreath, it is a reminder of our four weeks of waiting for the coming Christ, the light of our world. May it be a time of reconciliation and peace. In this time of preparation, may the love of Christ surround us. Lord, lead us to ‘the star’ that led the three wise men to Our Savior. Help us to turn away from all evil in this world so that we may have eternal happiness with your Risen Savior.
Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
Holy Trinity Catholic School, Fairview Heights, Sixth Grade — Jesus we pray that even though you were born in a stable and nobody would believe you were the Son of God, you gave up your life for all of us. Christmas isn’t just a time for presents. Christmas is the time to be with your family and celebrate Jesus Christ.
St. Joseph Catholic School, Olney, Fourth Grade — Thank you for all that you give us. We thank you for water, food, air, ground and everything we can think of. We love that you give us family like mom, dad, brothers, sisters and other family members. Something else we love you for is pets and for animals. Do we need toys and stuffed animals? No, all we need is you, God. You are great! Amen.
St. Agatha Catholic School, New Athens, Fourth Grade — Please be with me on Christmas so I will be safe everywhere I go. I pray that you have a good birthday. Please help everyone in the world to have a good Christmas. I know Christmas isn’t about Santa. It’s about you. Amen.
St. Teresa Catholic School, Belleville, Fifth Grade — I hope every child and parent will have a wonderful Christmas. I wish that every family will get together and love each other and that the children learn about the birth of Jesus. That the children also learn about how Joseph and Mary took care of Jesus so that he could save the world. I pray that people throughout the world will come to love each other and understand that fighting isn’t the answer. My hope is that children will comfort their loved ones by spending time with then so that they do not feel lonely. When my Grandpa died on Christmas Eve, I was told that it was a very special time because he entered the Kingdom of God on Jesus’ birthday. I hope that other people who are sick and dying and their families find comfort this Christmas season in knowing that Jesus is with them.
St. Joseph Catholic School, Olney, Fourth Grade — Thank you for my school, friends and my family.
Thank you for my life dear Lord you’re great.
I hope my brother, sisters and mom and dad stay safe.
I hope the pope AND BISHOP Edward Braxton stay safe.
Jesus keep everyone safe in this world.
All Saints Academy, Breese, Sixth Grade — First and foremost I would like to thank you for giving my family enough money to switch schools. I would like to thank you for helping me make friends here. I would also like to ask you to keep helping my family save money to move to a new house, and to keep up my grades. I would like to thank you for all of the food you have blessed me with and help me to think of others more often. Please, I would like you to help me be more connected with you. Help me to keep my old friends and new ones in my prayers. I would like you to keep my old math teacher of harm’s way and to keep him health.
Please help me be a better person – I would like you to help me be more kind and lovingly to others. I know you know I mess up, but yet you still love me through it all. Amen.
All Saints Academy, Breese, Sixth Grade — This Christmas, will be the first time without my grandma, Julie. She died from ALS, which is the same thing that Lou Gehrig died from.
God, I thank you for sending down Jesus and saving us. And thank you for my family, dogs, a house, clothes, food, a bed, a television, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, friends and life to fully live.
God, I know I will have a happy Christmas, because I know you’re always with me.
All Saints Academy, Breese, Sixth Grade — I am just wondering if you could make the Luth’s family loss a little less hard than it will be for them this year since their mom just died. They are great people and the kids are in 1st and 4th grade. They are very busy and I don’t know how thy can do anything without their mom. Their Christmas will not be the same without her. She inspired so many people by the way she fought and fought until it was just her calling to God.
I remember when my Christmas wasn’t the same when my Great Grandmas Barbara passed away, so I pray you can make theirs better.
Can you also help those young men and women fighting in the Middle East. We pray that they will come back safe to their family. We also pray that Donald Trump will end the violence and bring peace to our country.
Can you also help the mentally retarded and physically disabled people around the world and help them fight every day. We pray for those who are struggling with not finding a job and that they will figure out a way to support their family.
Please Lord help these people. Amen.