“So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.” -Ezekiel 37:10
The Northwestern states in the U.S., specifically Oregon and Washington, have long been known as one of the most spiritually dead regions in the country. Some areas have even been called a church graveyard, since church plants have often not succeeded. There are a large number of atheists, intellectuals and “casual Christians” here. The culture celebrates just about everything that is contrary to Biblical values, so being an on-fire believer here is filled with challenges. Several years ago, God began speaking to me about the region of the Willamette Valley in Oregon where I grew up. He likened it to the Valley of Dry Bones from Ezekiel 37. This made so much sense to me, as I knew it was a very dry and dead place, spiritually speaking. With this revelation, the Lord commanded me to begin prophesying over these “dry bones” so they would come to life. It seemed like an impossibility for revival to sweep across this region, but no place is too tough for the Lord. I began to prophesy to friends and family as I felt the Holy Spirit leading me. I prayed and declared life and salvation over this valley for years. I often saw no change at all. At other times, I would see a few signs of life beginning to break through that gave me hope. Sometimes, I made mistakes. I encountered spiritual warfare on a level that was almost impossible for me to believe. I was verbally attacked by some people and completely cut off by others. However, I continued to hang onto faith that God would raise these dry bones to life and turn them into a vast army for his kingdom purposes.
This passage from Ezekiel 37:1-14, gave me a road map for partnering with the Spirit of God to raise these dry bones to life:
1 The hand of the Lord was on 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. 2 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. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
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.’ ”
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’ ” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.
11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’ ”
After years of fighting and laboring, I am overjoyed to share that the army of dry bones is being raised to life right now! People across the Willamette Valley and the Northwest are being filled with the fresh fire of the Holy Spirit. They are uniting across denominational lines. People are receiving Jesus and his salvation. Suicidal and depressed teens are being delivered. People are experiencing the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Others are receiving new giftings, like tongues, interpretation and prophecy. Reconciliation and forgiveness are happening. Homeless people are experiencing miraculous healings. The church is gathering in homes, fields and barns by the hundreds… or at least this is just starting to happen. Revival is beginning to break out in the Northwest and I am seeing miracles! God is faithfully fulfilling his promises to me and I am watching this once spiritually dead place burst with the excitement of new life. Keep an eye on Oregon and Washington because, while the world and many in the church have given up on this region, the whole world is about to be in awe of what God is beginning to do here.
The Northwest is not the only valley of dry bones across the U.S. and the world. Is your city, town, region or country dry and in desperate need of revival? You can begin to prophesy over your area as the Lord leads you and watch it come to life. I can guarantee you will experience spiritual warfare and attack, but your reward of joy will far outweigh the pain. Some practical strategies for raising dry bones as outlined in Ezekiel 37 are:
- Ask the Lord what area he wants to revive.
- Have faith that God can bring the dry bones to life.
- Prophesy life over the region and to the people as the Holy Spirit leads you.
- Watch and listen as the Lord begins to fulfill his words.
- Obey the Lord as he asks you to continue prophesying in faith, no matter how impossible it seems.
- Worship God and rejoice as you see him raise up an army of believers who are filled with the Holy Spirit.
- Prophesy the good promises of God over the people and encourage them with his love.
- Give God the glory!
Let’s partner with the Holy Spirit to bring revival! With our faith firmly fixed on Jesus’ strength, we will raise up kingdom armies with the words of God. With all that is happening in the world, there is no time to waste. We need revival NOW! I encourage you to begin to prophesy life over the impossible people and places where you live. Worship Jesus and sing over them,
“Come alive come alive come alive dry bones
Come alive come alive come alive dry bones
Inhale the light
Come alive come alive” (Come Alive by Hillsong Worship).
The dry bones will rise. The breath of the Holy Spirit will fill them. They will become an unstoppable army. We will overturn the plans of the enemy in the earth. King Jesus will get the glory. Overcomers, arise and prophesy!