Sometimes you can read something over and over and still miss something important. Then reading it again, it’s like God takes his highlighting pen and makes what you’ve missed so vivid that you can’t ignore it. That happened to me as I was studying for this lesson.
As I re-read Ephesians 6.18 in my Greek New Testament, I saw a phrase which is missing in the English translations that I had. The verse reads in King James, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” However, the two words “praying always” are rendered in the original manuscripts “by all kinds of prayer and supplication praying in every season.”
It was the phrase “in every season” rendered in the Greek en panti kairw (en pante kairo) panti actually means “all or every kind of” and kairw means a specific period of time, but especially a season of the year.
As I read that, I saw a truth deeper than the simple words “praying always” conveyed. What I saw was that prayer belongs in every season that we pass through in our lives spiritually.
Sometimes we live in the springtime. We are growing. Flowers are blooming. The skies are clear except when we receive our showers of blessing. During these times of blessing, it is easy to forget to pray. It is easy to think that the only time to pray is when we need something. Think about your own children. How would you feel if the only time your son or daughter called you was when he or she wanted something. We need to maintain communication with God whether or not we have a visible need. It is good to share the green meadows with our Father as well as the frozen tundras.
Sometimes we pass through summer. Things get hot. We face the fires of tribulation. We feel our soul is parched for the living water. We, like David say, “As the deer panteth for the waterbrook, so panteth my soul after thee O Lord.” During these times, he sends the showers of refreshing and feeds us from his table.
Sometimes autumn enters our lives. The green of spring and summer begin to color our lives with reds and oranges and browns. We begin to reap the harvest of seeds sown during the lushness of spring and the heat of summer. And as the chill of winter teases us, we fall on our knees in thanksgiving for his goodness and pray for strength to withstand the storms to come.
Wintertime can chill our souls and threaten to freeze our hearts. The storms rage and we can be tossed by the winds. But we can crawl up into the arms of our savior and find a shelter in the time of storm. Spring or Autumn, Winter or Summer any season is right for prayer. As the old song says:
In Seasons of distress and grief
My Soul has often found relief
And oft escaped the tempters snare
By thy return sweet hour of prayer.