A Prayer In The Desert

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Sometimes we feel alone in the world, as if we are lost in a vast desert and no one knows our suffering. In these times, we often go to prayer. Our prayers, in such times, are prayers of quiet and lonely desperation. We may shout out loud or in our minds, “Where are you God?” We know that God is our hope, yet our feelings of being alone in the world overwhelm us.

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Our faith tells us that we are never alone, that God is with us. We know this in our intellects, but sometimes our hearts, our emotions, get in the way of that knowledge and we cry out from the desert of our loneliness, desperate for the comfort of that relationship. The poem below attempts to capture that desire for relational comfort. In it the desert is a metaphor for loneliness, that feeling of being alone in our suffering. The act of prayer opens us up, prepares our souls to receive God’s presence, and to be comforted by it. It dispels the darkness, the isolation of our loneliness. In prayer we become aware of the reality that God is with us, in all times and in all places. We are never truly alone.

A Prayer In The Desert

Dry breezes rustle the tall palms.
The cool water of the wadi
Shimmers in the evening light.
Birds cease their singing in the trees
As night falls.
Stars spark in patterns
Across the infinite blackness of desert sky.
Alone, I cry out;
I give voice to my prayers
And hear them echo back to me
Larger, more alive
Than when they left my heart
And flew from my parched lips.
I am no longer alone.
The One-Who-Is, Who dwells
In the heaven of all space and time,
Enters me
And my heart bursts into ecstatic dance.

God within!
God without!
God in silence!
God in my very breath!

Amen!

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