Praying the Picture: Rev. Trev’s Reflection for August 2024

Ezekiel’s Picture of The Valley of Dry Bones 

4 “Then He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 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.’”   (Ezekiel 37.4-6) 

Imagining, Visualising and Then Making It Happen 

In 1948, Walt Disney had a great idea – Disneyland! He imagined, he envisioned the whole content and layout. It was a vision in his mind’s eye. His brother Roy helped Walt to unpack it using the words: “Tell me what you can see.” Then, with that vision ever in mind, by 1955, they made it a reality. 

What a fabulous gift, to dream, to imagine, to envision something that does not yet exist; to believe in it, to push forward by tiny incremental steps until, in an embryonic form, it begins to happen. How incredibly exciting when we are assured that the Holy Ghost, who gives us the vision, is with us, encouraging and empowering! The same Spirit that began creation, by moving over a formless, empty void (Genesis 1.2) 

Ezekiel Uses the Picture of the Dry Bones to Pray 

In our Bible reading above, Ezekiel’s vision, happened 10 years after Judah, and its city, Jerusalem, were destroyed by the Babylonians. The Jews had lost hope of ever returning to their own land. This picture of the LORD putting life into skeletons and rubble, encouraged the people to pray and pray for the day when the Promised Land of the Jews would be rebuilt, and live again. The prayer answering God heard them, and in 538 BC they were allowed to go home. 

Rev. Martin Luther-King and His Picture for Praying

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. MLK’s picture of standing on a mountain and looking into the future, became a platform for Black American and all other Christians to pray from. These prayers were answered, in the 1960s, by a movement towards freedom, justice, and racial equality in the USA.

Could You Pray This Way for Others and Yourself?

As we think about our three wonderful churches – St. Luke, St. Thomas, and St. Mary, could you begin to imagine the wonderful things that Jesus could do in each parish? Could you envision each church radiating light, love and care…. and filled with people being strengthened and blessed by God? Churches filled with local families, young and old, the retired, children and babies? As this vison forms in your heart and mind, bring your prayers to the Lord, the prayer answering God.

Imagine how Jesus could use you as a disciple, filled with power, praise and glory, overflowing with love and care for all those around you. Remember, the power of the Holy Ghost bypasses our family background, our education, and qualifications. Many of the greatest preachers, pastors and evangelists were humble people from working-class backgrounds, and often uneducated. (General Booth, John Bunyan, Mary Slessor, Gladys Aylward, Harry Moorhouse, Robin Gamble….) From imagining what God can do, mix your vision with faith, and then pray, in full expectation that the Lord will answer.