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Christmas is almost here and I am starting to get fed up of hearing the same questions over and over again! My wife and I have two daughters and I’ve already lost count of how many times I have heard the questions – ‘Are you ready for Christmas?’, ‘Have you put your decorations up yet?’, ‘Have you written your letter to Santa?’.

But there is one question I have heard just as often that got me thinking – ‘What do you want for Christmas?’. It reminds me of the question that God posed to Solomon - “Ask what I shall give you” (1 Kings 3:5).

As Christians in Wales, how would we answer a similar question – ‘What do you want for Wales this Christmas?, or indeed for 2019?’.

The members of Waleswide would all be in agreement that our desire and our prayer for Wales would be to see vibrant, gospel preaching, mission minded churches the length and breadth of the nation. From the populous cities to the most rural of rural Wales, we would love to see local churches reaching the lost with the ‘good news of great joy that will be for all the people’ (Luke 2:10). That a Saviour has been born, that He has lived the perfect life we should have lived, has died the horrible death that we deserve to die, and has been raised to life again. That now he rules and reigns as the King of kings and the Lord of lords, and that he is willing to be our Saviour, our Shepherd, our friend and Lord.

If that is our desire, if that is how we would answer the question ‘What do you want for Wales this Christmas?’, then what should we do?

Simply, we should pray. God the Father isn’t like the ‘Father Christmas’ that children learn about; he doesn’t give to us according to our goodness (or our lack thereof). God the Father answers so that he might be glorified in the Son. ‘If we then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more will our Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!’ (Matthew 7:11).

That is the reason that Waleswide met to pray in Dolgellau on the 15th of November. We met to thank God for the work he has done (and continues to do) in the town and the surrounding area, but also to ask him to send his Spirit in the coming weeks, months and years; to ask that he save men and women, girls and boys and build his church for the glory of his name.

We had a wonderful time of worship and prayer with Christians from all over Wales, but we do not kid ourselves that the praying is done, recognizing that we ‘ought always to pray and not lose heart’ (Luke 18:1).

So, would you join with us this Christmas, in the New Year and beyond, in praying that God would build his church? That he would send labourers into
his harvest, and that the people in every city, town and area of Wales would see the witness, work and joy of vibrant local churches where they are?

‘And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us’ (1 John 5:14).

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