Easter Week Prayer: Friday
The Prayer Team of Reading City Church invites you to join together with your church body this last week before Easter to focus more intentionally on Praying for our families, Church, towns and the City of Reading. Each day, there will be a posting of a scripture and some prompts to pray. May we, as a body, unite our hearts in calling out to God.
Prayer: On this Good Friday, as we contemplate the cross of Jesus, pray these words about the resurrection of dry bones… Insert your own dry places and meditate on what the resurrection of Jesus means and how this speaks hope into our world.
Can These Bones Live?
God of grace,
we feel your hand upon us this morning,
saving us, loving us, encouraging us.
Jesus, you lived and walked among us,
you know us through and through.
You are familiar with our tombs,
the places where we have laid loved ones to rest,
and also those places where we are dead inside.
And you know the wars we fight,
personal and on a larger scale.
You have visited the battlefields, filled with corpses.
You ask us, “Can these bones live?”
and we think it’s impossible.
Death seems so final and powerful.
And so does racism, and sexism, and every other ism.
We feel buried under the problems of our world.
Thank you for being an impossibility specialist;
you bring new life where there is lifelessness,
you resurrect hope where we feel only despair.
We pray this morning for the peace of Jerusalem,
you walked its streets, you wept there,
and you died and were buried.
The rocks of Jerusalem opened
to release your resurrected body.
We pray that peace could come to that land,
that a way could be found that leads to peace.
Thank you that in our own lives,
you are working to bring new life.
For those who are sick, healing.
For those who are grieving, hope.
For those who are anxious about money, release.
For those who are fighting in their family, peace.
We hear the word of the Lord,
and feel a pulse, a breath of fresh air,
hope springs eternally at your command.
Help us to be an Easter people,
singing a resurrection song,
good news for all the world to hear.
We pray this confidently,
in the name of Jesus,
the Risen One,
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[b] 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 lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”