Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

By Claudia Mair Burney

Tuesday, the second week of Advent

“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days He was tempted by the devil.” Luke 4:1-2 NRSV

If I had to guess, I’d have said that Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, straight way hit the road, preaching, healing, casting out demons, and restoring lives. But the Spirit led Him into the wilderness instead, where He hungers; is tempted; and challenged again and again. If you look at the word “wild”, one definition is: untamed. His enemy wasn’t the only one talking to Jesus there; the Lord had access to his God free from the distractions of the world. So often we think of our personal wildernesses as painful, unproductive places full of temptations, and a formidable enemy. But the Spirit leads us there to grow us, and prepare us for a greater work.

Father of mercy,

I began Advent, aflame with zeal, but suddenly I’ve been buffeted with unusual trials. I didn’t understand that this could be from you. Help me to see my wildernesses as the places where my faith, hope, love, and joy muscles are stretched, to prepare me for the glorious destiny you have prepared for me. Draw close to me, and help me to remember how Jesus relied on you in his wilderness experience. Without his example and grace, I will only fail.

“Come, Lord Jesus.”

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