Pray Away the Winter

When the cold and dark overwhelm, usher in a little Shakespearean summer via prayer.

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Posted in , Jan 31, 2017

Pray away winter.

Depending on where you live, winter can be a challenging season. It may bring gloomy skies and heavy rains. It may feature freezing temperatures and biting winds. It may include snow and ice. In some climates, winter is nearly synonymous with darkness and depression. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

William Shakespeare opened his history play, Richard III, by having the title character say, “Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sun of York.” In other words, now that his brother was king, winter’s discontent had given way to spring’s sunshine. It is a happy beginning to a play that quickly turns tragic.

But Richard’s famous line suggests a great way to pray during the long days of winter, and that is by applying Shakespeare’s poetry to your prayers.

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For example, if you’ve been plagued by colds or flu or other maladies, you might pray, “Lord, turn the winter of my discomfort into a glorious summer of health and vitality.”

If you’re enduring a season of financial strain, try praying, “God, grant that this winter of deficit and debt may become a glorious summer of recovery and generosity.”

Have the clouds and fog of grief invaded your home and heart in recent months? Then make your prayer something like, “Father, let this winter of loss and pain become glorious summer by the way You heal our hearts and restore our hope.” 

It’s a simple but delightful way to pray, especially when storm clouds gather and winter winds blow: “Now let the winter of ________________ be made glorious summer by ________________.” It helps you to honestly express the not-so-pleasant, wintry elements of your experience while envisioning a better, warmer future ahead.

And, when overcast skies or inclement weather get you down, you can even turn the pattern into a prayer of thanks and praise: “God, thank you that this winter of slush and snow will soon give way to another glorious spring and summer of sun and surf”—depending on where you live, of course.

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