Christian Living

God of the Desert: A Lenten Prayer

Cole Arthur Riley | Black Liturgies

God of the Desert,

We are grateful that You are a God who does not lead us into a wilderness that you yourself have not met. That we belong to a God who knows what it means to be without is not lost on us. We confess that our patterns of consumption are marked by greed, injustice, and a desire to numb the aching parts of ourselves. Remind us that we are not enslaved to the shallow hungers which so often drown out the deeper desires residing in us. And as we unveil each desire, help us to believe in the sacred power of our own “no”, even that “no” which answers ourselves. Keep us from filling the voids of this life with habits that disguise our true longings. And let us learn that wholeness that comes from a deep connection to You, creation, and our own souls. 

Let ours be a fast that is grounded not merely in going without, but in a cosmic redistribution of provisions. That when we speak no to ourselves, we would also relinquish what has been given to us to those from whom the inequities of this world have taken so much. Help us to take honest account of our misplaced desires, and what they may be keeping from our neighbor. Let us become those whose fasting is marked not by self absorption but by doing justice, that we might find our own healing magnified as we erect new systems of provision and power in the world. 

And as we sense your hand of provision in our lives in particularity, we pray that a conviction that you are a God not of scarcity but of abundance would guide our fasting. Let this be a season where we do not become acquainted with deprivation, rather where we become capable of meeting satisfaction and provision in just ways. Move us toward a loving mutuality from which we might truly trust our longings to be satisfied.  Grant us imaginations for what comfort and delight might look like in the desert. 

Glory to the One who buried streams in the heart of rock. We look to you. Amen.