He (God) asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.'” Ezek. 37:3-6 (NIV)
Dear heavenly Father, what a perfect text to pray through so close to our celebration of Easter. Dry bones are scattered everywhere. Hearts and marriages, churches and pastors—there are a lot of people I care about in great need of the God of resurrection.
I’m so thankful it was you, not Ezekiel who asked about the possibility of life coming to the living dead. “Can these bones live?” you ask. The question is rhetorical, for nothing is impossible for you heavenly Father, nothing. I don’t know how you’re going to do it, but I abandon myself to today, trusting you to fulfill your great and gracious promises.
Father, pour out your Spirit of renewal on weary friends and “fried” colleagues in the ministry of the gospel—and on their churches and ministries as well. I know the stress and warfare, unrealistic demands and never-ending drama associated with vocational ministry. Few things are more difficult that sharing the gospel when it’s no longer good news to the messenger.
Likewise, Father, breath upon the dry bones of friends whose marriages resemble a graveyard more than a grace-yard. What but the love of Jesus can transform hard, hurting hearts into supple, gentle hearts? Who but Jesus can supplant self-protective willfulness with gospel willingness? Who but Jesus can turn cold antipathy into kindhearted intimacy?
These are my rhetorical questions, Father, for I have no other hope—there IS no other hope. As I pray for pastors and marriages, churches and friends—and for myself, I’ll not focus on dry bones, but I’ll look to Jesus—the author and perfecter of our faith. Astonish and astound us; renew us and glorify yourself. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ great and gracious name.