Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Pumpkin Prayer

As I was reading a friend's blog today about the Christian origins of Halloween, it caused me to think about my own feelings for the day. Though it may have had Christian origins, Satan has certainly distorted this day into a day that glorifies evil. The images are all around us. If I see another commercial during prime time television for Universal's Night of Horror, I'm going to lose my mind! But in our home, we have refused to allow Satan to steal the joy away from our children over something they don't even understand. And if I didn't let them participate, I may be just fueling the fire to rebellion later. To them, it's all about wearing a cool costume and getting candy. That's innocent enough. However we don't live under a rock, so I know they will be exposed to the evil images and the witches, ghosts, goblins, spiders, and the other eerie creepy visual reminders of how Satan has yet again taken away the glory from God on this holiday.

Because we can't escape the season, why not embrace it in your own way? You CAN focus on the God who has given you much to be thankful for during this season of thanksgiving and harvest. You may have seen this pumpkin carving illustration before, but I think my children are finally old enough to incorporate this tradition into our halloween plans, a little modified of course.

Being a Christian is just like a pumpkin! Let me try to explain, I brought this pumpkin here to help me illustrate what I mean. (Proceed to carve the pumpkin.)

First, God picks you from the pumpkin patch and brings you in from the field. The Bible says He selects us out of the world. We are in the world, but no longer of the world.

He then washes all the "dirt" off the outside that we received from being around all the other pumpkins. All the outside influences of our former life must be cleaned up. Old things are passed away and all things are become new.

Then, He carefully removes all the "yucky stuff" called "sin" out from the inside. Look at this! Yuk! Sin will not have such internal power.

He then changes us from the inside out by the Power of His Word. That's why it is important to go the church and learn about God's Word.He carefully removes all those seeds of doubt, hate, greed, and fear. He replaces them with the seeds of faith, hope and love.

After Jesus is invited inside, you begin to experience the changing power of God's love in your life.Then He carves a new smiling face. Our countenance is changed by the power of His presence in our life. We then become so grateful. It can even show on our face!

Now we are going to light this candle inside. Look! This pumpkin now reflects the light from inside out. So too, when Jesus, who is called the Son of Light, lives inside of us, He shines through our life for all to see. We can let His light reflect through us to reveal His presence. "Let your light so shine before men that they may be able to see your good works and glorify your Father, who is in heaven."

So you see, we Christians are really like this pumpkin! We will never be the same with Jesus inside of us. We can say like this jack-o-lantern, "Thy presence, my light!"

You can also use this prayer in conjunction with it. You can also have them draw pictures of their pumpkin and share the gospel with their friends. We love to do this each year after the pumpkins have outlived their outdoor decorating potential.

The Pumpkin Prayer
{cut off top of pumpkin}Lord, open my mind so I can learn new things about you.

{remove innards}Remove the things in my life that don’t please you.Forgive the wrong things I do and help me to forgive others.

{cut open eyes}Open my eyes to see the beauty you’ve made in the world around me.

{cut out nose}I’m sorry for the times I’ve turned my nose at the good food you provide.

{cut out mouth}Let everything I say please You.

{light the candle}Lord, help me show your light to others through the things I do.

Amen
By: Liz Curtis Higgs

6 comments:

Jenn95 said...

I feel the same way about Halloween. I don't like what it has turned into. It blows my mind that people in my neighborhood decorate their yards and houses as much (sometimes more) than they do for Christmas. I'm talking entire graveyard scenes complete with orange lights, a wrought iron fence and ghosts hanging from the trees! It's really creepy.

Jennifer

circus of love said...

I found those same ideas last week. I printed them out to do sometime this month. John is speaking at some fall festival in Orlando I think...so we will spend "the" evening with him.

Stephanie said...

I have seen the pumpkin...cleaning out comparison before but not the prayer. I love it and it is such a wonderful tool to use with our children. If you don't mind, I will probably use the prayer on my blog as well. Thanks Heather!

kristi said...

I have always loved that pumpkin prayer. Having a child with a Halloween birthday, we focus on the Christian part of the day and the season of being thankful!

Rhonda C said...

I love that and I love you!

laytonfamily said...

it's crazy the outdoor decorating extremes now-a-days. I also don't appreciate places like Walmart having the SCARY face lifting "decorations" right on the main drag for both my children to witness the eyes popping off, face peeling off, head falling off, and blood - so gross!