Prone to Wander: A Lenten Journey with Women in the Wilderness

Book, 2025, 216 pp
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Publication: January 2025
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God meets us in the wilderness.

Though most of us have never wandered a literal desert for forty years, we have all spent some time wandering in a wilderness of one kind or another. So, too, have many women across the pages of the Bible. In their stories of doubt and questioning, of dryness and distance, we can find guideposts for the inevitable wilderness periods in our own lives. As we enter into the wilderness season of the church year, this Lenten devotional by Joanna Harader explores the stories of thirty biblical women—from Eve to Mary Magdalene—who had their own such experiences. For some, the women inhabited a literal wilderness. For others, their wilderness was metaphorical. All were drawn closer to God, who does not leave us to wander alone.

Embark on a Lenten journey with these women in the wilderness through daily reflections, prayer practices, and questions, as well as Sunday blessings accompanied by beautiful hand-cut paper artwork by Michelle Burkholder. From the author of Expecting Emmanuel, Prone to Wander provides resources for using the book in group and worship settings.
As you consider these women who inhabited a swath of wilderness spaces, draw closer to the God who met them—and meets you—there.

Includes a worship guide, small group/study guide, and retreat guide.

(46 Sessons)

Contents An Invitation from the Author
Suggestions for Using This Devotional
A Note from the Artist
Ash Wednesday: Welcome to the Wilderness (Exodus 13:17–22)
Week 1: Eve Who Mothers All
Thursday: Eve becomes (Genesis 2:15–25)
Friday: Eve decides (Genesis 3:1–7)
Saturday: Eve cast out (Genesis 3:8–24)
Blessing for the First Sunday of Lent
Week 2: Hagar Who Names God
Monday: Hagar enslaved (Genesis 16:1–6)
Tuesday: Hagar names God (Genesis 16:7–16)
Wednesday: Hagar cast out (Genesis 21:8–13)
Thursday: Hagar encounters God (Genesis 21:14–21)
Friday: Hagar endures (Genesis 25:12–18)
Saturday: Hagar misunderstood? (Galatians 4:21–31)
Blessing for the Second Sunday of Lent
Week 3: Women Who Save Moses
Monday: Shiphrah and Puah save lives (Exodus 1:8–21)
Tuesday: Jochebed saves Moses (Exodus 1:22–2:10)
Wednesday: Pharaoh’s daughter saves Moses (Acts 7:17–22)
Thursday: Zipporah saves Moses (Exodus 4:24–26)
Friday: Miriam sings (Exodus 14:21–30; 15:20–21)
Saturday: Miriam challenges Moses (Numbers 12:1–16)
Blessing for the Third Sunday of Lent
Week 4: Women Who Claim Power
Monday: The daughters of Zelophehad demand justice (Numbers 27:1–11)
Tuesday: Deborah leads the people (Judges 4:1–16)
Wednesday: Jael kills Sisera (Judges 4:17–22; 5:24–27)
Thursday: Vashti refuses the king (Esther 1:5–22)
Friday: Esther guides her people (Esther 4)
Saturday: Esther saves her people (Esther 5, 7)
Blessing for the Fourth Sunday of Lent
Week 5: Women Who Love
Fourth Monday: Lot’s wife loves her home (Genesis 19:1–26; Luke 17:28–33)
Tuesday: The widow of Zarephath loves a stranger (1 Kings 17:1–16)
Wednesday: The widow of Zarephath loves her son (1 Kings 17:17–24)
Thursday: A woman loves her beloved (Song of Solomon 2:1–17)
Friday: A woman loves love (Song of Solomon 8:1–7)
Saturday: Exiled women love their homeland (Jeremiah 31:10–17)
Blessing for the Fifth Sunday of Lent
Week 6: Women Who Encounter Jesus
Fifth Monday: A Samaritan woman talks to Jesus (John 4:1–26)
Tuesday: A Samaritan woman tells her community about Jesus (John 4:27–42)
Wednesday: A woman receives grace (John 8:1–11)
Thursday: A woman seeks healing (Mark 5:21–34)
Friday: Joanna and Susanna support Jesus (Luke 8:1–3)
Saturday: A Syrophoenician woman challenges Jesus (Matthew 15:21–28)
Blessing for Palm Sunday
Week 7: Women Who Tend to Jesus’ Death
Holy Monday: Mary anoints Jesus (John 12:1–8)
Holy Tuesday: Female servants question Peter (Matthew 26:69–75)
Holy Wednesday: Pilate’s wife warns her husband (Matthew 27:15–26)
Holy Thursday: Women weep for Jesus (Luke 23:26–31)
Good Friday: Mary mourns her son (John 19:25–27)
Holy Saturday: Women bear witness to Jesus’ death (Luke 23:44–56)
A Blessing for Easter Sunday
Easter Season: Women Who Proclaim Jesus’ Resurrection
Monday: Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mother of James, and Salome in Mark (Mark 16:1–8)
Tuesday: Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” in Matthew (Matthew 28:1–10)
Wednesday: Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mother of James, Joanna, and “the other women” in Luke (Luke 24:1–12)
Thursday: Mary Magdalene in John (John 20:1–10)
Friday: Mary Magdalene bears witness (John 20:11–18)
Saturday: Women find new life in the wilderness
Blessing for the Second Sunday of Easter
Guides for Group Use
Worship Guide
Small Group/Sunday School Guide
Retreat Guide

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