Pastor Prayer - Bitter Winter

God of Generosity,
Even though the air outside is bitter cold, even though the trees are bare, even though I walk out of my door and immediately want to hurry back inside... Father, this world is still one full of Your kindnesses. The sun still came up this morning, sure as your faithfulness. The food in our pantries, the warmth of our homes, these are your provisions for us. And as surely as tomorrow comes after today, we know that You will soon bring spring.

Father, this is true of the world outside our windows. It is also true of the world inside our hearts. Many of us feel like we are in winter. The nights seem long and the daylight fleeting. We feel whipped by the bitter cold of disappointment and grief.

Meet us in the winter of our hearts. Show to us Your kindness. Remind us of your faithfulness. Feed us with Christ and warm us with the presence of Your Spirit. Make these our provision. And reassure us that, as surely as winter melts into spring, so shall the darkness ultimately give way to the light of the glory of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Father, in this season we remember especially those for whom the winter of life is particularly bitter. Comfort those in our midst and our communities who are grieving the loss of those they loved. Heal those who are sick or injured. Support those courageously fighting as the weight of age grows heavy. Give all of them Your help in the present and the hope of spring to come.

We also think of those for whom the winter of their lives and the winter season join to cause particular suffering. For those without homes, or who are struggling to heat them, we pray that You would give them protection. For those who are poor this holiday season, generously provide, and teach us to be for such people both Your protection and Your generosity. Teach us as Your people to share Your posture of provision.

Father, hear these our prayers. You are a God of steadfast love. Let the knowledge of that love and its unshakeable character keep us all until we see You face to face. We pray all of this in the name of Jesus Christ, that first shoot of the spring to come.