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Tag Archives: praying for a miracle

Prayers to Stay Alive

The prophet Isaiah served as the spiritual advisor to King Hezekiah. On one occasion in Judah, Isaiah became a bearer of bad news, 2 Kings 20:1, revealing that Hezekiah’s illness will end his life. Not willing to go down without a fight, Isaiah records the words of this dying king. According to the context in Isaiah 38:2, upon hearing his death sentence, King Hezekiah turned away from the prophet, pouring his heart out to the Lord while facing a wall. Fourteen verses later, Hezekiah makes his intentions clear, “bring me back to life.”

Like a twittering swallow or a crane, so do I chirp and chatter; I moan like a dove. My eyes are weary and dim with looking upward. O Lord, I am oppressed; take my side and be my security [as of a debtor being sent to prison]. 15 But what can I say? For He has both spoken to me and He Himself has done it. I must go softly [as in solemn procession] all my years and my sleep has fled because of the bitterness of my soul. 16 O Lord, by these things men live; and in all these is the life of my spirit. O give me back my health and make me live! – Isaiah 38:14-16

Dying of old age is one thing, but when a rare disease threatens the life of child, parents become desperate. John Mark recalls a father who sought out Jesus, eager for him to come to his house. Before arriving, Jesus tells this ruler of the synagogue to keep on believing. Unfortunately, it appears that they were too late as news of this little girl’s death spread throughout Jairus’ home. Instead of accepting defeat, Jesus cleared the room, praying with his inner circle. Taking the laying on of hands to a new level, Jesus commands the spirit of death to leave this girl by proclaiming “arise”.

When they arrived at the house of the ruler of the synagogue, He looked [carefully and with understanding] at [the] tumult and the people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 And when He had gone in, He said to them, Why do you make an uproar and weep? The little girl is not dead but is sleeping. 40 And they laughed and jeered at Him. But He put them all out, and, taking the child’s father and mother and those who were with Him, He went in where the little girl was lying. 41 Gripping her [firmly] by the hand, He said to her, Talitha cumi—which translated is, Little girl, I say to you, arise [from the sleep of death]! – Mark 5:38-41

While father time will eventually be victorious, it doesn’t mean that you should accept a doctor’s diagnosis. When I was 16, I was told that I would never run again and most likely walk with a limp for the rest of my life. However, before my surgery for torn tendons and an ankle twisted 180 degrees in the wrong directions, Ken Horne and friends from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes laid hands on me in the hallway. Praying for a miracle, even the doctor who performed this procedure was surprised that I was able to run cross country my senior year of high school. When you refuse to accept fate, there are several examples of prayers in the Bible to help you stay alive physically and spiritually.

by Jay Mankus

Prayers to Emulate

According to a recent survey, 90% of the news in the newspaper and on television is negative because that’s what human beings pay attention to. Apparently, consumers of cable and local television have become so desensitized that stories on positive current events is either ignored or drown out by the latest crisis. If you don’t believe me, just check out the death toll of the Coronavirus posted on nearly every news site. This reality has led me to search the Bible for prayers to emulate in a world searching for answers and hope.

After these things, the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became sick; and his sickness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. 18 And she said to Elijah, What have you against me, O man of God? Have you come to me to call my sin to remembrance and to slay my son? 19 He said to her, Give me your son. And he took him from her bosom and carried him up into the chamber where he stayed and laid him upon his own bed, 1 Kings 17:17-19.

After listening to a sermon last weekend, I was reminded of the story of a poor single woman whose child was extremely ill. Sounds like a typical day in America, minus being unemployed and uninsured. After listening to the ordeals of this woman, Elijah feels compelled to do something. Sensing death was near, Elijah takes this boy into a small chamber and laid him upon a bed. Crying out to the Lord on behalf of this family, Elijah prays for a miracle, trying three times before finally reviving this little boy.

And Elijah cried to the Lord and said, O Lord my God, have You brought further calamity upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? 21 And he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the Lord and said, O Lord my God, I pray You, let this child’s soul come back into him. 22 And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah, and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. 23 And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the [lower part of the] house and gave him to his mother; and Elijah said, See, your son is alive! – 1 Kings 17:20-23

Elijah’s prayer reminds me of Jesus’ encounter with Jairus’ daughter, Mark 5:22-42. While on his way to check on this twelve year old girl, Jesus is distracted by the needs of others. A woman suffering from a bleeding disorder, slows Jesus’ journey. By the time Jesus reaches Jairus’ home, weeping family members spread word of this girl’s death. Unwilling to accept this fate, Jesus enters her bedroom to pray “Talitha cumi,” little girl arise from your sleep. Jairus’ daughter was instantly healed. The next time you find yourself in a desperate situation, don’t be afraid to emulate one of these prayers from the Bible.

by Jay Mankus

Praying Through as Time Runs Out

The earthly brother of Jesus refers to life as a mist, a vapor that appears momentarily before vanishing, James 4:14. To anyone who has been in an accident, diagnosed with a rare disease or given a slim chance to survive, time becomes the enemy. After a wave of emotions rush through your mind, many turn to prayer as a last ditch effort to beat the odds.

And going a little farther, He threw Himself upon the ground on His face and prayed saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will [not what I desire], but as You will and desire. 40 And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and He said to Peter, What! Are you so utterly unable to stay awake and keep watch with Me for one hour? – Matthew 26:39-40

While prayer was designed by God as a proactive force to form hedges of protection, many Christians procrastinate. Waiting for a sense urgency to be conceived, Jesus’ own disciples are led late at night to pray for the future. However, tired bodies prevail, lulled into a false sense of security. After Jesus is arrested, Judas commits suicide and their fearless leader is sentenced to death, urgency arrives. While Peter denies knowing Jesus, I’m assuming some disciples were praying for a miracle before time ran out.

So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time, using the same words. 45 Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of especially wicked sinners [whose way or nature it is to act in opposition to God]. 46 Get up, let us be going! See, My betrayer is at hand! – Matthew 26:44-46

Keith Green’s 1978 song Asleep in the Night was controversial at this time of it’s release. Just like the apathy demonstrated by Jesus’ disciples in the first century, many Christians continue to live their daily lives playing defense, reacting to hardships, trials and tribulations. Instead of praying through until runs out in a proactive manner, crying out to God often becomes more like wishful thinking. This bad habit must be broken by praying in the Spirit, Ephesians 6:18, so that Christians can begin to regain footholds lost to the enemy, Ephesians 4:27.

by Jay Mankus

The Message Behind the Song Miracles

Chris Quilala of Jesus Culture wrote a song over a decade ago that changed his life. A member of the worship team of Bethel Church in Sacramento, California, the inspiration behind the song “God of Miracles” was born out of the loss of his son. At 37 weeks, Chris’ wife lost their son before he was born. While praying for a miracle, things didn’t turn out quite as he expected. This tragedy forced Chris to ponder, “Can I still proclaim the truth that God is our healer, who raises the dead?”

And His name, through and by faith in His name, has made this man whom you see and recognize well and strong. [Yes] the faith which is through and by Him [Jesus] has given the man this perfect soundness [of body] before all of you, Acts 3:16.

In the beginning of 2020, I came across a you tube where the pastor of Bethel Church mentions Chris and his wife’s testimony. As a father with three children, my heart grieved for this couple, forming a special bond each time I now hear this song. Last week, I found the lyrics of Miracles to be an effective and powerful prayer. Early Tuesday morning, I started to panic, sensing that something was wrong internally. I wasn’t sure if it was my back, spleen or ribs, but I was struggling to cope with a shooting pain.

While You stretch out Your hand to cure and to perform signs and wonders through the authority and by the power of the name of Your holy Child and Servant Jesus. 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were assembled was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they continued to speak the Word of God with freedom and boldness and courage, Acts 4:30-31.

Following my first tele doctor appointment, my symptoms were associated and related to a pulled or strained back muscle. After a couple of days of medication and treatment, mainly using a heating pad, I was healed by a God of miracles. I can’t comprehend nor do I understand why some prayers are answered while others go without a clear response. Nonetheless, I went from a man not knowing if my wife should drive me to the hospital to nearly pain free one week later. My only explanation for this healing is a God of Miracles.

by Jay Mankus

God of the Impossible

If you follow, read or watch the news, it’s hard to remain positive.  Like the down trodden in this life, hope can disappear for extended periods of time.  Thus, many are left alone, stuck in an impossible situation praying for a miracle.

He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you,” Matthew 17:20.

For some the story of David and Goliath is nothing more than a fairy tale, a figment of one’s imagination.  Yet, history conveys the truth found in the Old Testament, 1 Samuel 17.  While David’s size was an obstacle, a midget compared to the giant mocking God on a daily basis, his experience as a shepherd prepared him for this battle.  Against all odds, David shot down Goliath with his sling shot opening the door to become king of Israel.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father,” John 14:12.

When Jesus traveled throughout the Middle East during the first century, doubt was prevalent.  Doing the impossible was a dream blocked by the mountain known as reality.  Thus, Jesus found it necessary to regularly talk about the power of faith and belief.  As Jesus began to cure, heal and perform miracles, the impossible seemed to be within reach.  Therefore, don’t let doubt keep you trapped.  Rather, cry out of Jesus so that the God of the impossible will return to perform another miracle.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Mystery of Praise

Unless you are a morning person, most people take time to wake up.  This lack of energy makes the likelihood of praise to be displayed as a natural occurrence.  As for me, only when the right kind of music is present or a tune prompts my heart does a spirit of praise arrive.  Beside this perfect setting, praising God is a mystery.

To carry out the sentence written against them— this is the glory of all his faithful people. Praise the LORD. – Psalm 149:9

According to the book of Hebrews, its impossible to please God without faith.  Thus, when you read the prophecies of the Bible, you can’t view each with skepticism.  Beyond the words from this ancient book, one must believe God will eventually fulfill each promise.  Although doubts will arise if a prolong time passes without any fulfillment, yet praise is conceived when individuals see the the Bible come true like the words of Psalm 149:9.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see, Hebrews 11:1.

If someone spends days, months or years praying for a miracle without any results, any desires to praise God often fade away.  Families who have lost a member to a killer disease experience arid periods, void of joy.  Subsequently, many venture off, putting God on hold until they can comprehend of what just happened.  Although the wait is agonizing, the hope of a prodigal returning to their senses brings angels to praise God in heaven and rejoicing souls on earth.  May the mystery of praise not serve as a stumbling block to pursuers.  Rather, may the Holy Spirit revive your heart with a new sense of appreciation for the hand of God at work in this life.

by Jay Mankus

 

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