One Prayer and Three Gifts – By Dwight Nelson

With the commemoration of Jesus’ birth now just a few days away, here’s a gift exchange you can enjoy with God like no other holiday present.

Here’s how the exchange begins: “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). It’s one of those beautiful quid pro quo’s (you do this, He will do that). So tomorrow morning (or right now) give God the gift of your presence. I.e., draw near to Him. Seem too awkward? Actually it can be as simple as praying through a psalm. Someone once taught me to read a psalm a day as part of morning worship, and you too will discover that simply praying through a psalm can truly open your heart and draw you near to God.

But remember, God is offering a gift exchange—which means that for the gift of your presence with Him, He has a gift for you. Actually according to the promise you’re about to read, He offers a stunning trio of gifts! Count them: “If we draw near to God, He will [1] put a word in our mouth to speak for Him, even praise unto His name. He will [2] teach us a strain from the song of the angels, even thanksgiving to our heavenly Father. In every act of life, [3] the light and love of an indwelling Saviour will be revealed” (Prayer, p. 158).

Three precious gifts from Him to you every morning! First, you won’t have to worry ever again about having a testimony to give for Jesus—draw near to Him, and He will tuck that word into your heart each new day. Second, you’ll go through the day humming the words that the angels sing—what a duet, you and your angel make! And third, Jesus’ personal light and love will shine into you and through you to all you meet all day long.

No wonder Ellen White ends this triad of promises with this assurance: “Outward troubles cannot reach the life that is lived by faith in the Son of God.” Good news—no matter what the New Year will bring, you can live unreached by trouble, as you prayer-walk with Jesus—which beats any holiday gift, wouldn’t you agree?

Dwight Nelson is Senior Pastor of Pioneer Memorial Church, Andrews University

Note: To view this week’s world church prayer requests, click here!

To download & print this blog, practical application, & prayer requests, click here!

Practical Application: 

What are some other “gift exchanges” that Christ might want to make with you this Holiday season? Take some time during your devotional time with God and ask Him? As you read your Bible, He will show you many wonderful gifts that He wants to give you! Let’s open our hearts to receive these gifts, but more than that, to receive Him!

Inspiration tells us:

“The heart of God yearns over His earthly children with a love stronger than death. In giving up His Son, He has poured out to us all heaven in one gift. The Savior’s life and death and intercession, the ministry of angels, the pleading of the Spirit, the Father working above and through all, the unceasing interest of heavenly beings, all are enlisted in behalf of man’s redemption” (Steps to Christ, p. 21). He did not give just any gift, “He gave the choicest gift of Heaven, and [as a result] the treasures of Heaven are at our command” (1st Selected Messages, p. 324).

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for the amazing gift of Your Son! Thank You for the treasures of Heaven that come with this gift. May we not take You or Your Son for granted. Draw us close to You we pray. In Jesus’ Precious Name, Amen. 
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  • Joash M. Matonda

    Thank you for giving us all; you have given us the only best gracious gift, the only begotten son.
    We acknowledge and appreciate your loving kindness.
    May the glory, honor and praises be yours now and forever more in Jesus Mighty name we pray and belief!
    Thank you Jesus!

    • Akudo


    • Jeanette


  • Wojtek Janiuk


    • Akudo

      And Amen.

  • Akudo

    This song came my mind as soon as l finished reading this article this morning. It’s my wish that we all sing along beloved of the Lord.

    SDAH 306 – Draw Me Nearer

    I am thine, O Lord, I have heard
    Thy voice,
    And it told Thy love to me;
    But I long to rise in the arms of faith
    And be closer drawn to thee.

    Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,
    To the cross where Thou hast died.
    Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,
    To Thy precious, bleeding side.

    Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
    By the power of grace divine;
    May my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
    And my will be lost in Thine.

    O the pure delight of a single hour
    That before Thy throne I spend,
    When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God,
    I commune as friend with friend!


    • Desiree

      The desires of my heart. Amen.

  • Desiree

    Thank YOU Dear Precious Heavenly FATHER for the gift of YUOR SON,I do accept this gift,please come into my heart LORD JESUS and live through me and teach me how. Thank YOU for accepting me and using me to do YOUR will.I pray that YOU accept those who call on YOU and those who do not. Thank YOU for YOUR many blessings. In JESUS name I pray Amen. .

  • Natasha

    Thank you heavenly Father for this inspirational reading. Thank You for heavens ‘ most treasured gift. Heaven was bankrupt for a while, for a sinner like me, even while I was sinking deep in sin and shame. Though You knew I would make many choices against Your principles, You suffered and died on that tree. Oh blessed Jesus, consecrate me to thy service, may my soul look up with a steadfast hope and my will be lost in thine, please, draw me nearer as I spend time with You, I love You Adonai, only in Jesus name, amen, amen.

  • Ngozi Dyke-Ebirika

    Thank you Jesus for your gift of love.

  • Ros Farrell

    Thank you heavenly Father for the great gift of forgiveness and the peace that comes from You. Because of the precious gift of Your dear Son who came
    to take away the sins of the world we obtain mercy and grace. May I always remember that it is His sacrifice that gives us all hope. Amen

  • Letty Kaltonga

    Graces Heavenly Father, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You and Thank You very much for that Special Awesome Christmas Gift You gave us Your beloved son for our salvation. We pray please draw us close to You as our gift to You this Christmas, Loving You with all our heats, with all our souls and with all our strength in Your wonderful precious name Jesus our LORD Amen.

  • Marilou Zollins

    I want to share this song that I have sung with my guitar many times during the Christmas Holiday at different churches. It is a prayer and very beautiful:
    Dear Lord I want to thank you for what you’ve done for me,
    for all these many Blessings in a world that’s filled with grief and misery.
    No matter where I may wander I’m always in your sight,
    and so my thanks to you my Lord upon this Christmas night.
    If all my prayers are not answered than Lord I will understand,
    there are others more deserving others Lord who need a helping hand.
    I pray you’ll always guide and keep me ever in your sight,
    and so my thanks to you my Lord upon this Christmas night.