So many people praying for a miracle, praying for healing, praying for the cancer to go away or at least to go into remission. Praying for relationships to be healed. Praying for enough money to pay the bills or maybe a lottery win.
Praying for a miracle.
And then, when the requested miracle doesn’t come, so many people crying to God: “Why are you doing this to me? What have I done to deserve this?” and cursing him, or worse, swearing he doesn’t exist.
But God answers all prayers, including those made in the agony of the soul. You might not get the exact miracle you requested, but you will get a miracle. God will intervene, if you ask him to. Through divine intervention, he’ll give you the strength to endure whatever it is you’re going through, whatever it is you’ve brought on yourself, whatever it is you have to suffer. There’s your miracle. The miracle is in the power of your strength to endure, which you wouldn’t have had if you hadn’t prayed to God for help. Your strength to endure is God working through you. There’s your miracle.
People ask me if God works miracles in my life, and I say yes, every minute of every day. Every minute of every day God works through me. Every day I witness his intervention, because I constantly ask for it and thank God for it. Every day I see his miracles.
I may not get precisely what I ask for, but I do get what God knows I need to stay on the path Home. And sometimes he’ll throw in a little something extra, something he knows I’ll know could only have come from him, just to make me laugh. God loves it when he can make us laugh.
The night before Jesus was crucified, he prayed to God that there would be some other way for him to complete his mission without his having to be crucified. He didn’t want to be crucified. He didn’t want the agony and very public humiliation of that kind of death. But note that he qualified his prayer with “not what I want, but you want”, and he prayed the same prayer three times in succession, showing us that we need to be persistent in prayer, so that God knows we mean what we say and that it’s not just a passing fancy.
Jesus didn’t get specifically what he asked for; he was crucified. But immediately after Jesus prayed, God sent an angel to strengthen him. There was the miracle he needed – not the miracle he wanted, but the miracle he needed to get through what he had to get through in order to get Home.
Our strength to endure whatever we have to endure is not our strength; it doesn’t come from us, no matter how strong we think we are. That strength to endure comes from God. That is divine intervention. That is a miracle.
So whatever you pray for, pray like Jesus – qualify your prayers by telling God not to give you what you want, but what he wants. God loves you even more than you love yourself, so if you give God leave to give you what he wants rather than what you want, you’ll always come out ahead. Yes, Jesus had to deal with being crucified, but he was crucified while also strengthened by God to endure it. Imagine how much worse it would have been for Jesus without God’s help.
I know how bad things can get when you don’t pray for God’s help, because I lived the first 36 years of my life on Earth without praying to God, and I stumbled from one disaster to the next. I was constantly an emotional basket case, constantly flailing in pain, and constantly casting blame like an AK-47 spraying bullets.
But on that day when I finally called out for help, not even knowing who I was calling to, God heard, and he answered immediately. He offered me the option of choosing to forgive or choosing not to forgive, showing me the outcome of each choice and shining a bright light on the choice to forgive as the right one and the one that would stop all my pain. Thank God I cried out for help that day. Thank God God heard me, and thank God he answered.
God always hears our prayers and always answers them. Always. There is never a time when he doesn’t. When you give God leave to intervene, he might not do exactly what you want him to do, but he will do what’s best for you. That’s his job description as your Heavenly Father.
So pray to God like Jesus prayed – not demanding, not expecting, not threatening or negotiating, but humbly giving into God’s will for you, whatever that may be.
That’s how you pray, and that’s how you get the miracle you need.