Miracles… a subject that raises eyebrows, both from Non-Christians and Christians alike. I don’t know what you think of when you think of miracles: Perhaps you believe in them, maybe you’ve experienced one (and I don’t mean praying and finding a parking space), perhaps you feel uncomfortable as miracles don’t make sense or perhaps you’ve had bad experiences, images of a dodgy television evangelist making false promises comes to mind.
Miracles however were a huge part of Jesus’ ministry, we see Jesus throughout the 4 Gospels displaying miracles alongside his message of the good news. Miracles from calming storms, feeding thousands of people with a handful of food, walking on water as well as my favourite, turning water into wine!
Then on top of all this we read about Jesus healing people from all sorts of diseases, pains and injuries, he even raises 3 people from the dead (possibly more, but only 3 are recorded). In fact nearly 20% of the Gospels are dedicated to the healings that Jesus did.
Jesus’ initial followers
Jesus encouraged 72 of his followers during his time on earth to go out, “Heal the sick, and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now.’” (Luke 10:9) and when they returned, they came back full of joy declaring, “even the demons obey us when we use your name” (Luke 10:17). Later in the final week before Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection he shares with the disciples something frankly remarkable, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (John 14:12-14).
In the book of Acts, following Jesus’ accension back to heaven. The Holy Spirit falls on the disciples and here we see a huge transformation in these guys who had been nervous wreaks following Jesus’ crucifixion. They are suddenly bold in their message of sharing the good news, they are healing people, they are casting out demons, they are even raising people back to life! Jesus promise is true for them, Jesus is doing some incredible MIRACLES through them. (Reference – just check out all of the book of Acts!).
Lots of Questions
So in view of this very very brief overview of the miracles that we see through Jesus and his initial followers, it’s given me lots of questions over the last year.
- Did Jesus really mean that any believer could do the things that he had been doing, including miracles?
- If we pray in Jesus’ name, will he do anything, such as heal people through us or give us signs?
- If we have this much power, then why are us followers of Jesus not using this power?
- If Jesus and the disciples needed to demonstrate miracles alongside sharing the Gospel (the good news that the kingdom of God is here), is it possible to effectively share the Gospel without miracles?
The BIG Question?
The big question for me, is could and would Jesus work through someone like me? A guy who worries far too much about what other people think about him. A guy who struggles with comparing himself with others. A guy who at times can be a bit of a mess as he struggles with parenting, controlling his temper and has the awful habit of saying the wrong thing!
I have great pleasure in telling you, YES JESUS CAN!
My Journey since February 2017…
Since I attended the Naturally Supernatural conference this time last year (mid Feb 2017). I have been keeping a journal of the prayers I have been praying for people as well as the prayers I have coached people through (explaining to people how to pray and talking them through it as they pray) Looking over the last 12 months I have been so encouraged.
I know it’s not about numbers, but recording this stuff gives us a memory of every individual God has touched through our prayers. It is exciting to see the power of God at work. These answered prayers tell stories of lives that have been touched, and in some cases transformed by the love and healing power of God.
This has been my prayer journey over the last 12 months:
I prayed 121 prayers (This is just the prayers that could be tested on the spot, e.g. pains, injuries, broken bones, signs, not illnesses or prayers that couldn’t be answered on the spot). Of those 121 prayers:
- 48 were completely answered (examples included healing of broken bones, pains in various areas of the body, shattered spine)
- 32 were partially answered (pain went down to at least a 5 out of 10 or less)
- 41 were not answered at the time
On top of this I coached 28 people through praying for healing for people. Of the 28 prayers:
- 12 prayers were fully answered
- 8 prayers were partially answered
- 8 prayers were not answered at the time
I believe these results are nearly accurate (in some occasions I’ve forgotten to write in my journal for a few weeks after the prayers and so I may have missed out the odd few).
Ultimately this means that over 100 people have been touched by God. Prayers have been completely or partially answered, or people have been encouraged as they have been coached through praying. These people have experienced the power of God within them, through them, and most importantly, these people have experienced God’s love for them. This is such exciting mind-blowing stuff. Stuff which Jesus invites us to be a part of.
This is all completely Jesus, there’s nothing unique about me, Jesus is just willing to use whoever makes themselves available. The main thing that I’ve started doing since that Naturally Supernatural conference in February last year is just praying for the ridiculous. So let me encourage you to just go for it. Pray big, radical, epic prayers. Prayers in which only Jesus can answer!
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