In his later years, Ezekiel lived in Babylon during a time when all hope seemed to be gone: Jerusalem, the Temple, and the dwelling places of God's people were destroyed. Most of the healthy people of Judah had been sent into exile in a foreign land. In the middle of his people's great despair, God gave Ezekiel the vision of a valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37). Suddenly, at the command of Ezekiel, the bones came together into skeletons, then sinew and connective tissue were added, and then they were covered with skin. But these bodies were not living bodies. They were lifeless and hopeless until God sent his Holy Breath, the Spirit, to bring them to life. Too often as God's people we forget in the middle of our struggles that the power to truly live comes from God's Spirit. God's Spirit raised Jesus from the dead and God's Spirit can bring life to us, our church, our friends under attack and persecution, and even those in seemingly hopeless situations. Let's pray for God's Spirit to move with power in our lives, in the lives of those we love, and in God's people everywhere, especially those facing trials and persecutions.
Sovereign God, I believe you have the power to bring life where there is no life and restore life when it seems lost. So I ask that you move in my life, my family's life, my church's life, my friends' lives, and the lives of your people all over the world. Fill us and enliven us through the Holy Spirit. Especially strengthen and bring hope through the Holy Spirit to those facing hardship, struggle, grief, pain, and persecution.