Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
Luke 11:1-4 (ESV)

Winter can seem bleak at times, especially when we are seriously ill or someone we love has died. The season of winter isn’t limited to certain times of year. Winter can be the season of loss, of discouragement, or sometimes the last season of life. Winter can even describe those times when our ministry seems fruitless, or our spiritual life is missing passion.

I took a walk today after my friend in nursing care had died. The garden where I walked was beginning to look like winter, and the path through the garden was covered with brown lifeless leaves. Just as I had decided all color was gone until spring, I rounded a corner and saw the beauty of the tree above that winter still holds.

I remembered sitting by my friend’s bed and holding her hand only a few days ago. She asked me to pray for her in the winter of her life. I remembered the smile on her face and the way she took my face in her hands, appreciating the gift of prayer, given by a God who cares for us during all our seasons. In that moment the Lord brought color into my friend’s winter season.

Jesus taught us how to pray. He knew we would need Him in all seasons of life, but perhaps especially when the cold and dreary days of winter come into our lives. When we pray, it is as though we round a corner to see the beauty that winter still holds.

Lord, teach us to pray!

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