One of the great privileges that comes from being made a member of God’s family is prayer, because now we can come to God not as aliens but as sons and daughters. Because of this, we’re encouraged to come to God in prayer, knowing that our Father knows all about us and loves us and cares for us and encourages us to come. Furthermore, He promises to answer our prayers that are pleasing to Him. The Holy Spirit helps us in our prayers by interceding for us before God, even when we do not know what we should pray for, or how.

In a sinful and increasingly unrighteous world, we may feel that we lack power. It can seem as if the evil all around us is winning. But before Jesus’ ascension, He told his disciples, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth” (Acts 1:8). And with that message and that assurance they literally went out and transformed the world. 

When Jesus came to be a wonderful counselor and then by the resurrection and ascension return to heaven, He did not leave us without wisdom. Rather, He continues to provide the wisdom we need. James talks about it. He says, “Do any of you lack wisdom?” Any of us who have any wisdom at all at that point say, “Indeed we do! We lack it a great deal.” And then he says “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who upbraideth not but giveth to all men liberally (or generously), and it will be given him.” And he goes on in that same chapter to say, “Every good gift comes from God.” If you value wisdom, ask God for it, and He will give it to you. It comes through Jesus Christ, our Wonderful Counselor.

What happens when a baby is born? Well, if you’re close to the family, you often bring a gift. Here’s a case where the child Himself brings gifts because, by virtue of who He is and what He should do, He brought gifts to men. What’s very striking about these gifts is that they match our needs, which is what I hope to show as we look at them one at a time. 

And then finally there is the title Prince of Peace. That title more than any other is associated with Christmas because it’s what the angels were talking about. They said “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” You and I need wisdom. We need power. We need this kind of all-embracing home. And we also need peace, because in ourselves we are not at peace. James describes the wicked—which is what we are apart from the work of Christ—as a troubled sea that has no rest. Somebody has said that the chief problem with the human race is that human beings don’t know how to sit in their room and be still. We’re always up to something. We’re always restless. We’re churning around inside. We just cannot sit quietly and contemplate God and be content. Jesus is the One who comes to bring peace because He Himself embodies peace, and give His peace to us.