What you pray . . . shapes what you believe . . . shapes how you live.
The Lord's Prayer is a beautiful, subversive passage of words given to the church by Jesus. It forms our imaginations and—given time—transforms us. And today, we are in desperate need of renewed imaginations. Christians are living in a wilderness of secularism. The historic Christian faith is seen as absurd at best and dangerously oppressive at worst. Followers of Jesus must begin to imagine life as a faithful minority who are ever seeking to subvert what is evil with good, what is hateful with love, what is corrosive with nurture.
In Liturgy in the Wilderness, Anglican priest D. J. Marotta shows how the Lord's Prayer provides a framework in our secular age for understanding, believing, and living in light of Jesus Christ. When we pray the Lord's Prayer, we're planting seeds that can split concrete. We're dripping water that can wear away granite. We're shifting spiritual tectonic plates that lie deep beneath culture, society, and the depths of our own hearts. When we pray the Lord's Prayer, our imaginations are stirred, moved, and transformed. We're taken apart and put back together. We're stripped of our idols, addictions, and false hopes. We're offered new words of trust and mission. And we begin to see the world differently—the way Jesus saw it.
With this book, Marotta awakens our hearts to the beauty, sustaining power, and bounty of the Lord's Prayer and shows us how to live faithfully in the wilderness.
"Dan's voice is a rare gem in Christian writing. He is theologically insightful and everyday applicable, catalyzing the imagination yet so clear and accessible. But his subject—the Lord's Prayer for our contemporary moment—is like a treasure hidden right in plain sight! Of course, this rich liturgy speaks to the individualism, independence, and scarcity mindsets of our hearts and culture. But it takes a gentle, pastoral mentor to remind us to live our deepest truths."
VP of Formation, Denver Institute of Faith and Work
"Having known and respected Dan for most of my life, I wasn't surprised to find beauty and wisdom in these pages. With vivid illustration and potent application, he patiently exposes us to the searching glare of history's most famous prayer, enabling us to see how we might be living, despite our professed beliefs, upside-down in a world made for God. Liturgy in the Wilderness brims with the kind of humor and insight that comes from a pastor who's spent considerable time with people. And in a frenetic age, this book offers a rare gift: the chance to slow down enough to envision what a gospel-orbiting life could look like, for the good of our neighbors and the glory of our Father, who art in heaven."
Lead pastor, River City Baptist Church, Richmond, VA; editor, The Gospel Coalition; author, Before You Open Your Bible and Before You Share Your Faith
"As the director of a mission sending agency, every part of our work is prayer dependent. From raising up and training new missionaries to helping them stay vibrant and effective in the field, there is no part of our work that doesn't 'breathe in and breathe out' prayer. In Liturgy in the Wilderness, Dan is helping all of us find that same rhythm—a constant return to peace and clarity that comes through the Lord's Prayer as we navigate the changing course of our lives and our culture. I, for one, am deeply thankful for Dan's insight and practical help."
Executive Director, Serge
"Liturgy in the Wilderness offers us a fresh and engaging perspective on the Lord's Prayer. Though this widely known prayer can be uttered in less than thirty seconds, this book shows us how it can—and should—impact every single area of our lives. Marotta takes us by the hand and guides us to see that while we may never get out of the wilderness, we can always move forward in hope. This book is thoughtful, filled with wise insights and engaging stories. And best of all, Marotta doesn't merely write about this important message in his book; he lives the message, too."
—J. R. Briggs
Author of The Sacred Overlap and Founding Director of Kairos Partnerships
"This book is like rocket fuel for ancient wisdom. It is winsome and funny. It is deep and real. Do you lack imagination? Does your faith feel fragile? You need to read this because then you can join this amazing countercultural mission: 'Congratulations. Thou hast been subverted.'"
—J. B. Simmons
Novelist and author of The Awakening of Washington's Church
"In a volatile world filled with noise, it can be tempting to search for some shiny new thing to relieve the anxiety. In this book, D. J. Marotta takes a fresh look at the Lord's Prayer and reminds us of what it is: an enduring gift for the ups and downs of our journey through the wilderness. A timely read for an age marked by anxiety."
Executive Director, RCLI (Richmond Christian Leaders Initiative)
"What a gift Dan Marotta has given those of us for whom "wilderness" feels like the rule rather than the exception of life! With the courage of a convert and the tenderness of a seasoned pastor, Dan draws a map for pilgrims of all kinds, shedding fresh light not only on the Lord's Prayer but on the subversive nature of liturgy itself. By the end of the book, I have a hunch the wilderness will feel a little less wild, and God's grace a little closer at hand."
Author of Seculosity and founder of Mockingbird Ministry
"How do we navigate the wilderness of modern life? How do we reimagine our place in the world? How do we allow the gospel to subvert and subdue our disordered affections? By joining Jesus in prayer. In this warm and engaging book, Dan Marotta invites us into the Lord's Prayer, leading us as a trustworthy companion on a hope-filled journey where the kingdom comes in the midst of the wilds."
—John W. Yates III
Editor of the Reformation Anglicanism Essential Library
"Desert comes from the Hebrew meaning 'disaster' or 'word.' Dan gets this! The deserts we find ourselves in are, in fact, disaster. But if we truly consent, they are the exact place where we hear God's Word over our lives best. Read this book and flourish in the wilderness."
Author of Being with God and The Enneagram for Spiritual Formation
"Unless our imaginations are unleashed as we ponder the words of Jesus, and we learn to love the ancient words of saints ripened over centuries of use, we will likely miss the deeper wisdom and greater vision God has for us in navigating the pathway of Christ. This book is remarkably fresh and stimulating."
—John & Susan Yates
Authors of Raising Kids with Character That Lasts
"I loved reading this book! Dan's writing has given me new understanding and appreciation for the Lord's Prayer. I've been praying these words for years, and this prayer has come alive in a new way. I am so grateful to have Dan as a friend. He has a joyful enthusiasm about his work and cares deeply about everyone around him."
Musician with The Porter's Gate Worship Project
"Before reading Dan Marotta's book on the Lord's Prayer, I didn't expect yet another treatment of it could be so theologically deep—insights into the kingdom of God and the problem of evil—and so immediately practical. For serious Bible students and those just beginning to learn to pray, this book is of great value."
Former Chancellor and Professor of Practical Theology at Redeemer Seminary (Dallas)