I Prayed have prayed
Father, I ask during Christmas Day for your spirit to capture our hearts like never before. May we experience the real reason for the Season today!

You might not know the story behind why the famous carol Christmas Bells was written. “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” was composed on December 25th, 1864 by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882). He is one of the most widely known and best-loved American poets of the 19th century.

As I was researching the carol, I found the real inspiration for this beloved Christmas song. This poem reflected the personal pain and loss of his wife, his son was severely wounded in the war, and the nation was deeply divided and suffering from the Civil War.

As you read the poem you will find that above all he held on to the power of God in his life. Great lesson! As we face many challenges in this life, never lose hope. As you read this carol, you feel Longfellow’s struggle. It is similar to what many today feel as we face all kinds of personal and national challenges.

Following is the carol, with all the key stanzas that I hope encourage you this Christmas and direct your focus during these historic challenges to the Lord who is the author of our hope!


I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
and wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”


Best wishes for a Merry Christmas! Be sure to visit the new Pray for America’s Leaders website to pray for  your state leaders and those from all over the Nation! And join us live on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:15 pm ET —IFApray.org/LIVE or call (667) 771-7910 2452#.

Photo by Maximilian Zahn on Unsplash

How are you praying this Christmas? If this article encourages you, please share with a friend.



Comments (5) Print


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

December 29, 2021

My favorite Christmas Carol

Mildred Wint
December 23, 2021

The “black, accursed mouth” refers to the cannon, not a person.

Marlene Vandenbos
December 23, 2021

It seems to me verse 4 could have been omitted, it takes a beautiful song into the gutter. It appears Longfellow blamed the slaves for the Civil War?

Darlene Estlow
December 23, 2021

This is so beautiful and gives hope at the end. We forget the nation has been so divided in the past and how hate ruled, but God is our hope and we cling to him for his hand of mercy to bring peace and unity to replace hatred and division. Thank you for posting this.

Brian lynch
December 23, 2021

This is a great song, and it is so interesting to hear the back story about it. Longfellow didn’t see very much in the natural that gave him reason to believe that God was still in control. The ugliness of self-centeredness on man’s part certainly had revealed its ugly head in the circumstances of his life. We need to hold on to the reality that circumstances are never permanent, and are subject to change. We need to hang on to the reality that God never changes, and that His great and powerful love for us NEVER changes, regardless of this life’s temporary, fickle circumstances.


Partner with Us

Intercessors for America is the trusted resource for millions of people across the United States committed to praying for our nation. If you have benefited from IFA's resources and community, please consider joining us as a monthly support partner. As a 501(c)3 organization, it's through your support that all this possible.

Dave Kubal
IFA President
Become a Monthly Partner


Click below to share this with others

Login to Join the Conversation

Create an IFA account or login to comment, pray and interact with our community.