Early in the morning Abraham got up, took bread and a waterskin, put them on Hagar’s shoulders, and sent her and the boy away. She left and wandered in the Wilderness of Beer-sheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she left the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she said, “I can’t bear to watch the boy die!” So as she sat nearby, she wept loudly.

God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What’s wrong, Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard the voice of the boy from the place where he is. Get up, help the boy up, and support him, for I will make him a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the waterskin and gave the boy a drink. God was with the boy, and he grew; he settled in the wilderness and became an archer. He settled in the Wilderness of Paran, and his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
Genesis 21:10-24

Dear Lord,

As mothers, you built us inside and out to carry our children. Sometimes this carrying exhausts to the point of hopelessness. We wonder if you’ve forgotten us, out in this desert, thrown away for others you favor more.

We carry our grief and our brokenness; we falter straight-out. We are not who we think we should be for the people you have given us to tend.

But that is not what You say about us. You call to us, the mothers of the forgotten ones. You name our children Ishamael and Samuel, “God has heard,” so that we are reminded in the desert every day: WE ARE YOURS. We are not a mistake; we have been given these children as Your undeniable, perfect plan. You carry us, you carry our children, you carry our families through every wilderness.

When all is lost, you send messengers. When we thirst, a well appears.

How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

Psalm 139:17-18

We offer our children up to their real Father this morning, and we pray for peace. We pray for wells in the desert to drink from, to watch and marvel at your provision while we raise wilderness children. We pray for safe passage through to the promised land, for our children to live out their days in freedom, productivity, and purpose. We praise you for perfect timing. We praise you for the cleansing years of manna and tent-living rooting out our dependence on any thing other than You. Please forgive us for our idol worship, our weak lust for things, our need to stock up your blessings like starving orphans with no Father to provide for us. We pray for deep understanding of Your love, of Your esteem of us. Transform us with that understanding into daughters who walk through the world certain of our Father, certain of our purpose through Him.

Renew our hearts, Lord. Fill us anew with a hunger only for You.

Glory be to you alone.
Amen