How Dry Valleys and Dead Bones Come Alive

When prayers are not enough

Thomas E. McDaniels
Jan 11 · 5 min read

Words like “valleys,” “dry,” and “dead bones” sound terrifying. These are words that describe tests, trials, and dead or dying things.

Death is a feeling we experience when losing our first love. Remember? Or maybe we lost a mom, a dad, or a loved one. Or we experienced the loss of a career, job, or our BFF ended a relationship.

Death sets in. Our heart is beating, but our emotions shatter and, inside, death reigns. We are numb, lifeless, and hopeless.

Even when surrounded by death like Ezekiel experienced.

The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:1–3, NKJV)

The metaphors are obvious. Valleys are opposite the mountaintop. Dead, dry bones are terrifying. This sounds like a horror story.

And looks like one. God leads Ezekiel to a valley full of dead, dry bones. Terror on steroids.

Has God ever led you to a dry place?

Have you been through a valley with a sense of death all around? No fun.

Obviously, this is an assignment for Ezekiel. God will assign us to places, people, and things that need life. That life can come through us.

In the middle of a valley, have you ever heard a ridiculous question?

Something like: Can these dead bones live? Probably not.

Let’s check Ezekiel’s reply

So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.” Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus, says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”’” (Ezekiel 37:3–6, NKJV).

His answer: “O Lord, you know.” How true is that?

Have you ever been so dry and so low that you cannot see your way out of the valley? Ezekiel felt that way.

The challenge is obvious. Being surrounded by dead bones is a super challenge. But God gave Ezekiel a strategy. A strategy with the power to bring life back to our dead situations.

Ezekiel must see more than natural eyes can see

This place is dead, dry, lifeless, and decaying! But God sends Ezekiel into it with a plan to resurrect what was dead.

What’s dead in your life?

Dead dreams, dead relationships, dead-end job, or maybe a dead marriage? God says: “I can bring it back to life.”

How? With your words.


Yes, watch.

Ezekiel must say more than his mind can conceive

God tells Ezekiel to prophesy. Prophesy means to speak by inspiration or prediction. Obviously, Ezekiel is operating in faith beyond the natural realm. The kind of faith that requires looking beyond the obvious, and speaking beyond the norms.

God said: Speak to the bones!


Yes, speak.

Remember what the Bible says: Death and life are in the tongue’s power (Proverbs 18:21). We struggle to believe this.

Death and life are a power that our tongues possess. We see this every day. We see life released through encouraging words, and death released through negative words. When the boss encourages us and compliments us, we feel life in us again. Joy springs into our soul, and our attitude shifts.

And the opposite. When a husband tells his wife she looks overweight, death goes off in her. And she may just kill him for saying it.

Words carry power. They are containers of death and life, hope or defeat.

So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling. And the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. Also 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 breathe, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. (Ezekiel 37:7–10, NKJV).

Ezekiel had to trust God more than he understood Him

He trusted God even when he did not understand.

Ezekiel prophesied as commanded! Talk about obedience. Maybe your marriage is over. The job choice is final. The promotion given to another.

But God says: “Prophesy.” Can you obey? Will you obey?

The scripture is written for our admonition. Written to challenge us beyond what our eyes can see.

When God wanted dry bones to live and form an army, he sent a man foolish enough to say things he could not believe. Ezekiel spoke life, and the bones responded. Remember, your words are containers of death and life.

Death and life are in the tongue’s power, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21, NKJV)

Get those lips to moving.

Thank you for reading this post. You can find other inspiring articles at my website.

This story is published in Koinonia — stories by Christians to encourage, entertain, and empower you in your faith, food, fitness, family, and fun.

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Stories by Christian writers to encourage, entertain, and empower you in your faith, food, fitness, family, friendship, and fun.

Thomas E. McDaniels

Written by

Aspiring writer and the guy behind Former writer for and currently write OP-Eds for Fox News. I truly enjoy



Stories by Christian writers to encourage, entertain, and empower you in your faith, food, fitness, family, friendship, and fun.

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