I recently tried to pray for someone and experienced an unusual feeling of hopelessness, which made me panic. I had this feeling like even if I prayed nothing would change.
This was a strange faithlessness for me.
My prayers continued but always with an undercurrent of, Lord, will my prayer to you really change anything in this person’s life?
We were in church, my heart heavy with the name. We sang a few songs, and then the music team read verses from Ezekiel 37:
“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
The worship music continued, and as I pondered this Scripture I felt the dirt of the valley floor under my very own feet. When I looked down it was the dry bones of the one I was praying for.
Very dry bones.
And God asked me, Christy, can these bones live?
Not will they, but can they. Can a body that seems hopeless come back again?
I mouthed Ezekiel’s words. Oh Sovereign Lord, you alone know.
“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.
Ezekiel heard a rattling sound…”
It is God who asks the question. It is God himself who looks at me and says, Is there hope for this one? If you pray, will it make a difference? Can anything change here?
This is the question God asks before he rattles the bones, replaces the sinew, and stands the bones upright and full of life.
I need to answer God’s question well.
Yes, these bones can live.
That person for whom have you been laboring in prayer –and you secretly wonder if there is hope for change –will you speak your faith in the power of God and answer yes to his question?
And because there is a yes, keep praying.