Desert Time

desertWhy are we afraid of desert time? Why are we afraid and sometimes resistant to prayer time, to the quiet alone time with God?

Experienced teachers on prayer, like Fr. Ron Rolheiser, suggest that the desert “is the place where one does battle with Satan.” (Our Deepest Longing, pg. 53) Within our solitude we face our demons head on, and we are confronted by all of our baggage and dark spots. We resist going into the silence and quiet because we do not like what we see there.

Desert time is vital to a mature relationship with God. If we are committed men and women of faith, then God is going to bring us to the desert at some point to look deeply at ourselves and see all of us the way God sees us. This means we will have to confront the dark spots of our lives and the things we do our best to hide from God and from the rest of the world.

Jesus was no different. He was “led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.” (Luke 4:1–2). Jesus faced Satan and “then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.” (Matthew 4:11) We face Satan and our own temptations in our desert time, just as Jesus did. And just as Jesus was not alone in his desert battle, we are not alone either.

As we continue on our Lenten journey, let us be led by the Spirit to have the courage to head into the desert as Jesus did. We pray that during these weeks of Lent, God will strengthen us in our weakness the way Jesus was strengthened. As St. Paul reminds us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Jesus’ time in the desert prepared him to begin his public ministry. When we leave our desert time and confront our demons with God’s help, we are stronger. It is in the desert time—our time of prayer, solitude, and aloneness with God—that God readies us for our next steps.

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Becky Eldredge
Becky Eldredge is a writer and spiritual director in Baton Rouge, LA. The author of Busy Lives & Restless Souls and The Inner Chapel, Becky holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Education from Louisiana State University and a Masters in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University New Orleans. She has her Certificate in Spiritual Direction from Spring Hill College. Becky has been involved in ministry for more than 15 years, with the majority of her work in retreat ministry and adult faith formation. While ministry is one of her passions, her greatest joy is sharing life with her husband, Chris, and her children, Brady, Abby, and Mary.


  1. The Spirit led Him into the desert – how many times have I been led to the desert. Each time I experienced a dust storm, snakes, heat, lost, stones hurting burning my feet..I must keep going for knowing that by going thru the desert of my life..He’s waiting with the refreshing drink – Himself in the Eucharist and wine. Waiting patiently for me, as I stumble and tempted, with all the vanities of the world.. He waits for me to come – ready to lead me out of the desert dust storm of my life – where I weep and wash away the specks in my eye, He’s always there – it’s me that get’s lost searching for the oasis the world offers.

  2. I was touched by your reflection on Desert Time. I look forward to your reflections and other reflections from They have enriched the Lenten Season for me. 🎆 Blessings on you and your family.

  3. Thank you for sharing your insite of the desert prayer. Pray for me that I to will face my desert demons. And that I may returun to my daily life with my guardian angels to support me in my every day trial and that others may see the grace of God flow in my daily life.
    God bless
    Steve Beech


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