Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus Family Devotional

Marty Machowski
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Guide your family into the heart of Christmas with this gospel-focused, four-week Advent curriculum.

Prepare Him Room by children’s best-selling author Marty Machowski takes a biblical, theological approach to the Old Testament promises and New Testament fulfillment in Christ in a way kids can understand.

A tool for families hoping to focus on Jesus during the Christmas season, readers will have the resources necessary to counter the commercialism, materialism, and sentimentalism our culture celebrates each Christmas. Prepare Him Room includes an original Christmas short story and thirteen family Advent devotions—three for each of the four weeks of Advent and one more for Christmas—plus crafts, activities, and carols to sing together.

Prepare Him Room will change the way you and your family celebrate Christmas. A corresponding curriculum, Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus Advent Sunday School Curriculum is sold separately. A companion CD, Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus in Song, is also available through Sovereign Grace Music. Challenge your family to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.


Marty Machowski is a Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for over thirty years. He is the author of The Gospel Story Bible, Long Story Short, Old Story New, the Gospel Story Curriculum, the Prepare Him Room Advent devotional and curriculum, Wise Up family devotional and curriculum, Listen Up family devotional and curriculum, Dragon Seed, and The Ology. He and his wife Lois have six children and two grandchildren, and they reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

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"If you want to be purposeful about making this December more Christ-centered for your children, then look carefully at this little book. Marty Machowski provides the ideas, the plans, and the details: all you have to do is follow his lead. He will help your family have a more gospel-filled Christmas season."
Donald S. Whitney
, Professor of Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY; author of Family Worship: In the Bible, in History, and in Your Home

"Prepare Him Room is a tool to help families focus on Jesus during the Christmas season. Tying together the whole Christmas story from the prophecies concerning Jesus; to his birth, death, and resurrection; culminating in the return of Jesus, Marty Machowski challenges families to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas."
Sally Michael,
Cofounder of Children Desiring God; author

"Prepare Him Room is one of the best resources I've seen to counter the commercialism, materialism, and sentimentalism that our culture serves up each Christmas. Through Scripture, creative stories, crafts, songs, prayers, and activities, families will be able to reflect on Christ's birth and the gospel with wonder, gratefulness, and joy. It was a privilege to collaborate with Marty on this project, and I can't recommend it highly enough."
Bob Kauflin,
Director of Sovereign Grace Music

"Prepare Him Room is an endearing, well-conceived, and memory-making resource for the Advent season. Do you want a devotional guide that is certain to become a part of your family's Christmas traditions? Then this is it. More importantly, do you want a devotional guide that links the birth of Christ to Easter and the gospel story in a way that will deepen your family's biblical understanding and bid you prepare him room in your hearts and home this Christmas? Then look no further."
Debra Bell
, Author of the Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling

"Yet again, Marty Machowski gives us a solid, gospel-centered resource in his new book Prepare Him Room. I deeply appreciated the Advent devotionals that consistently pointed to Christ, and my children kept begging me to read the story of Christopher and the Bartimaeus house! In addition, new Advent songs by Bob Kauflin and activities for the children all make this a wonderful resource for every Advent season. Our family will treasure this for years to come."
Deepak Reju
, Pastor of Biblical Counseling and Families, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC; president, Biblical Counseling Coalition; author of The Pastor and Counseling and On Guard

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15 Reviews

  • 5
    Biblical, Simple, and Enjoyable for Each Member of the Family

    Posted by Lauren DuPrez on 01 04 2019

    When it comes to celebrating Advent as a family there are so many great resources available. It can be quite intimidating to find the one that is just right which is why I'm especially grateful for Prepare Him Room by Marty Machowski. This simple book is separated into four sections, one for each week of Advent. Each section is composed of three parts which is especially helpful because it removes the pressure from parents to feel like they need to do an Advent related activity every day of the season. The book also contains a four part story for children to enjoy along with the Advent activities. I really like that the book has actual activities that parents can do with young children that will excite them as they learn about the various parts of the Christmas story. Helpful aspects of the book include the Introduction and How To Use This Book sections. My husband didn't grow up celebrating Advent and I only celebrated it a small handful of times so we found the information contained in these sections to be particularly useful. Prepare Him Room is biblical, simple and enjoyable for each member of the family. I give it my highest recommendation and look forward to using it next year and in the years to come! I received Prepare Him Room compliments of New Growth Press in exchange for my honest review.

  • 5
    Great for the Advent season

    Posted by Amanda Holmes on 11 24 2018

    This is a fun book to pull out and use to illustrate the real reason behind Christmas! I love the visuals that the book provides, since they are simple to set up, and yet help to drive home the message. I also like that there is a story woven into the devotions. This is a fun book to pull out and use as a family to help make memories and put the true meaning of Christmas at the forefront of your mind. I received this book from the publisher. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.

  • 5
    Prepare Him Room

    Posted by Laura V. Hilton on 10 24 2018

    PREPARE HIM ROOM is a great Advent devotional for families at Christmas time. It includes instructions on how to make your own advent wreath,words to Christmas carols, activities for each week of advent, and Bible verses, the devotional story and thoughts, discussion questions, a prayer and application. This devotional for be the perfect gift for your favorite young family going into the season of Advent, or even a great gift for your own family. I could even see it working for a children's ministry group as they meet together on Sunday or Wednesday nights. It includes crafts with lists of supplies needed so you could prepare ahead of time. Recommended for young families and church groups. I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.

  • 5
    Excellent Christmas Family Devotional

    Posted by Michael C Boling on 10 11 2018

    The Christmas season is a wonderful time of family traditions to include putting up decorations, gathering together for a sumptuous meal, and unwrapping presents early on Christmas morning. Much has been said about the commercialization of Christmas and the tendency to forget the true reason we even celebrate the occasion. Marty Machowski in his helpful family devotional aptly titled Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus, returns the reader to the proper focus of Christmas, namely the incarnation of the Son of God and all that entails. As noted, this book is a devotional and thus is written in a manner that allows it to be used over the course of the Advent season as part of family devotions. Each week of Advent has three parts devoted to it by Machowski, each focusing on a particular element of the coming of Jesus. In an effort to maximize family participation in the devotions, Machowski provides suggested activities such as listening to Handel's Messiah or constructing an Advent wreath. Additionally, he outlines a Scripture passage which forms the crux of that week's devotion to include some very helpful commentary. I also appreciated the tips for conversation provided by Machowski such as the example provided by Mary the mother of Jesus and her trust of God's plan. The focus on praying together as a family with suggested prayer topics as well as hymns by which to join together in song and the suggested craft activity round out each week's insightful devotional material. Many may already have well established family traditions while others such as my own family are searching for ways to begin what hopefully will be longstanding traditions. Regardless of which of those spectrums you may reside, I highly recommend Machowski's book as something to either include in what you already do as part of your Christmas traditions or as a great place by which to start a worthwhile tradition. In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it is very easy to forget the reason for the season. Thus, having a devotional that will help return the focus to its proper place, namely on Christ, will help ensure your family is fully able to "Prepare Him Room".

  • 5
    This slim but potent book has been a wonderful additional to our family time in the evenings this ...

    Posted by Heather Lillie on 10 11 2018

    This year, we are reading thru Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus Family Devotional by Marty Machoswki. This slim but potent book has been a wonderful additional to our family time in the evenings this holiday season. It is broken up into the 4 weeks of Advent- there are three readings per week, which is actually a nice feature that allows grace for hectic days and I think makes it more approachable for busy families. The book starts with an intro and "how to use" page that goes over what exactly Advent is and how the book is set up to assist your family in making the most of this special time. Following this, is a tutorial on how to make your own Advent wreath. I appreciate that the devotions themselves aren't just simple readings, but very integrated lesson plans, really. Each one starts with a list of supplies needed to do the hands on activity so you can come prepared. You start off the devotional with some sort of short "warm up" to grab your kids' attention and act as an example later in the reading. Some examples are making chocolate pudding and looking at your little ones ultrasound photos. Then we dive into scripture reading and a "picture it" reading that leads us to dig a little deeper into the biblical text and helps kids to really picture what was happening. I have been really impressed with this part of the devotionals-they aren't just cliche thoughts on Christmas being Jesus birthday. Marty did a great job of providing some interesting and impressive facts from history and theology. I have been learning right alongside my boys and that is always a great sign of a true "family study book"! It has also provided some better answers to my little ones questions that have been organically coming up with Christmas approaching. I was pleasantly surprised to have our reading today dovetail so neatly with a question my oldest was struggling thru- how old is Jesus? Of course, we do make a big deal about Christmas being Jesus' Birthday and that he cane to earth as a baby, just like we all did. That coupled with the fact that my son just had a birthday last week and is very aware of ages right now, lead to "How old is Jesus?" I told him that Jesus doesn't have an age because he has been around forever, the same as God. He had a very hard time buying this answer since we have been talking so much about this season all being about Jesus' birthday-he must have an age?! The devotional today started with the Scripture John 1:1-5,14 where John writes that Jesus was the Word and He was in the beginning with God. I appreciated how Marty explains that the gospels of Matthew and Luke begin with a very literal account of Jesus's coming to earth, but John shows a different side of the story-as Jesus being the eternal Word of God. Marty explains, "When we think of Jesus, the Son of God, we think of his birth in a stable. But that is not really his beginning. Before Jesus was born, the eternal Son of God, whom John called the Word of God, lived with his Father in heaven. Then, when the time was just right, God sent his Son into the world as a baby...Jesus was Immanuel-God with us." I thought this teaching was so clarifying and a needed theological perspective to share with our kids. Next, we're given a few, simple follow up questions to help make sure kids comprehended the lesson and prayer prompt to use. To wrap up each devotional, a song is recommended to sing. I think it's so neat that there is a complementary cd to go along with this book, found here. This album is produced by Sovereign Grace Music and is just beautiful- my favorite Christmas cd of the year! Each devotional suggests one or two corresponding songs and provides the lyrics for them so you can sing along. A fun bonus to this already awesome book? There is a sweet, little Christmas story thrown in at the end of each week for some read aloud enjoyment! The story is called "Bartimaeus" and is about an orphan boy named Christopher who unexpectedly finds himself at the Bartimaeus House orphanage right at Christmas time and the new friends and adventures he encounters there. It has been a delightful little tale that seems a perfect fit for my little boys. All in all, I have found Prepare Him Room to be a blessing to help my family savor a very sweet season, indeed. I would like to thank New Growth Press for the opportunity to read and share about this wonderful book.

  • 5
    Oustanding Family Devotional!

    Posted by JP on 10 11 2018

    Marty Machowski has quickly become a favorite author in my home. With an 11 year old daughter and twin 2 1/2 year old boys I am always on the look out for new material to help me point them to Christ. My wife and I also currently teach a 1st-3rd grade Sunday School class and have found The Gospel Story Bible to be an extremely valuable resource. Needless to say, I was thrilled to receive this new release focusing on the birth of Christ. Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus is the perfect resource for families and churches to use this Advent season to point children to God's Big Picture plan in the birth of Christ. His birth is so much more than the birth of a baby and Machowski skillfully relates Old Testament promise to New Testament fulfillment in this wonderful book. The goal of Prepare Him Room is "to take you on an Advent journey, exploring some of the most significant prophecies of the Bible-prophecies that foretold Christ's coming hundreds of years before it happened. Then, it will lead you through the fulfillment of those same prophecies tracing the redemptive plan of God all the way to Christ's second advent." Prepare Him Room is divided into 4 sections each with 3 parts. Each section covers a week, offering 3 devotions per week. The layout for each week covers three main topics: 1) God's Promise 2) The Angel's Announcement and 3) The Fulfillment of God's Plan. In Part One of each week God's Promise is examined. These promises are from: Isaiah 9:6-7, Isaiah 7:10-14, Micah 5:1-2 and Isaiah 42:1-7. This part of each week is set up to introduce children to various prophecies made in the Old Testament concerning Christ. Part Two, The Angel's Announcement, then turns the children's attention to the visits that Mary, Joseph and the Shepherds had as well as Simeon's announcement in the Temple. Part Three, then helps the children to see how God's plan didn't start in the manger, rather, God planned to save a people for Himself through Christ before the foundation of the world. In the fullness of time Christ came into the world and died, rose and ascended into heaven and will one day return. This is the big picture: God will complete His plan perfectly! Each week moves along this same path of Promise, Announcement, Fulfillment in a wonderful way to show kids how Christ coming to the world to secure redemption for His people is the central theme of the Bible. Each week also concludes with Bartimaeus: A Christmas Story. This is a heart warming story that plays out in an orphanage during Christmas time. This is such a nice addition to an already wonderful devotional book. I read through the story in one siting and look forward to reading it with my family and Sunday School class in the coming weeks. The Prepare Him Room Curriculum edition comes with a multimedia CD in addition to the book. The CD is loaded with lesson plans (PDF format) for three different age groups: Preschool (3-5 year olds), Lower Elementary (grades 1-3) and Upper Elementary (grades 4-6). Each lesson plan also comes in Color or Black & White which is helpful if printing color pages in large numbers doesn't fit in the church budget. These lessons break each week down for the teacher, showing what activities to do, what Scripture to read, what points to bring out, what to sing, when to pray, etc. Every section includes a time frame so the teacher can prepare ahead of time how they will flesh the lesson plan out in the classroom. This is definitely worth the purchase as it has so much to offer anyone who teaches in a classroom setting at church. I have already started looking through the lesson plans in anticipation of using it in the coming weeks. This is another outstanding work from Marty Machowski as he continues to provide the church with great resources! I highly recommend this book!

  • 5
    starsGood resource for Advent season for Family Worship time

    Posted by Terry on 10 11 2018

    Good resource for Advent season for Family Worship time. Does not have a reading for every day of Advent, but 3 or 4 per week. Does have activities and song ideas for Family times though. Fun times for Families.

  • 5
    Great author, good book!

    Posted by Brian Davis on 10 11 2018

    Me and my wife love all of Marty Machowski's devotional/study books. We have both of his OT and NT family devotional books and have been using them for years in our family Bible time. It just made sense to get this one to celebrate Advent.

  • 5
    Five Stars

    Posted by Matt on 10 11 2018

    outstanding family devotional and prep for Christmas

  • 5
    Highly Recommended!

    Posted by Chris B on 10 11 2018

    Excellent gospel centered Advent book. My kids really enjoyed it.

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