Slow down your breathing, until it is gentle, smooth, and soft. Let go of any tension in your body by relaxing your jaw, your shoulders, your fingertips, even your toes. Continue until you feel light, fresh, and free.

Read the following Scripture verse slowly, savoring each word:

At once the Spirit drove him out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him. (Mark 1:12)

Ask the Holy Spirit to make her presence known to you and to accompany you during this prayer experience.

Imagine yourself in a dry, arid place--a desert. Use your imagination to bring as many details about this desert as you can. Is it characterized by windswept sand dunes? Is the soil like gravel?

What beasts inhabit this desert? What frustrations, fears, disappointments, and worries are you facing in your life right now? Be mindful of your breathing--concentrate on taking deep, relaxed breaths. This will help your blood deliver oxygen to your brain, helping you deal with any increased anxiety you might experience. If you feel overwhelmed at any point, give yourself permission to stop the meditation; you can always pick it up at another time.

Imagine Jesus is with you in this desert. Ask him, "Where is God in all this?" How does he respond? What does he point out? How do you respond to him? What would you like to point out to him? Talk to the Lord about the things he points out--and the things you notice--out as one trusted friend to another.

As you leave the desert, does anything about it seem different to you? Talk to the Lord about this. Thank the Lord for any insights you might have received.

Close this meditation with a simple Amen.