Prayer Desert

Lent is a special time of year, a holy time (you may have heard it said) for retreating to God in prayer, fasting, and devoting ourselves once again to following Jesus.

But what if what you actually experience is a desert?

I use the image of the desert to mean a so-called dry time, when rather than a "well spring" of prayer, thanksgiving, and closeness to God, what you find is empty space, rough patches, hardships, and silence.

Does prayer come easy for you this Lent, or do you find it hard to make the time, to want the time, to pray? Or perhaps you are praying, and all you find is silence and arid space?

One of my favorite things about the story of Jesus is that the desert, the wilderness, is where he goes to find God! Why shouldn't he? After all, the Israelites in the Hebrew scripture meet God in the desert, and they find deliverance again and again in the desert and desolate place. In Ezekiel, God promises in the desert, in the valley of dry bones, to bring those bones to new life. The desert is the exact place where God works to bring new life.

If you're in the desert this Lent, stop and consider that perhaps that is where God has called you to be, so that you may find God's Spirit already ahead of you there. What good might God be working through your time in the desert? You may just find wellsprings, varitable oceans, of new life once you enter fully into this desert season.

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