As we move through Advent this year, we are reminded that one of the names of Jesus is “Immanuel – God with us”. To say that Jesus is God with us is to say something important about the God who we pray to as we read through this prayer calendar. The apostle Paul tells the first Christians to be bring all their requests to God – “and the God of peace will be with you”. (Philippians 4:9)
When we pray, we are never alone. Whether you read this in a busy space surrounded by people, or in a room by yourself somewhere, you are not alone because God is with you. We pray, not by ourselves, but with God, who sees us and knows us. We pray in the name of Jesus, who promised his people that he is with them to the end. And we pray, knowing that God’s Holy Spirit is present with us, helping us and guiding us every day.
This month, as people pack into the Carol services and Christmas celebrations across the diocese, we will hear and sing about Immanuel, who came to be with his people, and is with us now. We pray for each other, and for everyone who gathers in our parishes this Christmas time, that everyone will know how close God is, and know what it means that he is with us.
Revd Charlie Peer
Strategic Programme Manager