As we have done in previous Lent and Advent seasons, we are again blogging our way through the Lenten Lectionary Texts. In this season, our prayer is that we will bless and inspire you in your walk between the Now and Not-Yet of the Kingdom. We pray that our meditations will be life-giving to you in your journey.
A reading from the Prophet Ezekiel.
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O LORD GOD, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the LORD.”
So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the LORD GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they vied and stood on their feet an exceedingly great army.
This is the Word of The Lord.
A few years ago, we were given a book called Red Moon Rising by Pete Greig (@petegreig). This book chronicles the journey that Pete and his friends embarked on about 12 years ago to learn how to pray. For us, as for many many others, this book proved to be a turning point in our prayer life. A part of the story that Pete tells talks about today’s text. The Valley of Dry Bones. From this story, the slogan “UC BONES IC AN ARMY” emerged with then 24-7 Prayer community.
For us, as it has been for many others, Red Moon Rising was transformative in our view of prayer and in how we prayed. We began to pray more boldly and more simply. Our prayers shifted from asking God to bless what we were doing and toward asking God to show us where we could join in His working.
On a practical level, Red Moon Rising was a catalyst to launching us into a season of 24/7 prayer with the church (Asbury United Methodist in Little Rock, Arkansas) in which we were serving at the time. From Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday of 2011, a group of congregants signed up for hours throughout the day and night to sit in a travel trailer (aka The Trailernacle) in the parking lot and pray.
It was in that Trailernacle that God began to speak to us about the road that laid ahead. It was in that little trailer that He began to beckon us to walk with Him down the Ancient Path.
A strange, yet profound, phrase was the beginning of that walk for us. It was late one night, and as I stood in front of the map of the world and prayed, I heard in my spirit, “Keep your suitcase packed.”
It was in that prayer room that I challenged God to help us pay off $18,000 in student loans. By Easter Sunday, they were paid in full.
It was in that room that we began to pray, “Show us where You are already at work, and let us join in.”
And, He did.
Three years later, we’re in Edmond, Oklahoma. We’ve spent five months in Central Asia since then. We’ve spent a week in Guatemala. We’ve spent two weeks in Mexico. We’ve travelled tens of thousands of miles around the US. We’re about to travel a few more thousand miles around the southwest. We’re scheduled to go to Estonia and Belize this year. And, we’re planning for an 18-month tour of the 10/40 Window.
Since we walked out of the Trailernacle in the wee hours of Easter Sunday morning three years ago, we’ve met friends all over the world. Friends working in some of the darkest of dark lands. Friends who have given up everything to follow after Jesus. Friends who have said, “Yes, I’ll walk the Ancient Path with you.”
And, so, here in Edmond we sit. Amazed at the faithfulness and goodness of God over the last three years. Knowing that it’s merely the beginning of a long journey. A journey that will take to only places that God knows.
I challenge you. Shift the way you pray. Stop praying for God to bless your plans or your work. Start praying for Him to show you where He’s already at work, and asking Him how you can join in.
|Red Moon Rising: How 24-7 Prayer Is Awakening a GenerationBy Pete Greig & Dave Roberts / Relevant Books* A growing army of trained warriors awaits orders. They’re not in war-torn countries—they’re in rooms and churches worldwide, exploring the power of prayer and mission! Learn about the 24/7 prayer movement, its history, objective, and role in the days ahead. Highlighting important themes and featuring personal testimonies, it’s a dramatic call to enlist! 255 pages, softcover from Relevant Books.|