I was in my car praying the other day, praying that God would use me however he saw fit, whether it was performing miracles on the street, writing a blog, or just teaching those around me; when it hit me. You know, I've always just assumed that miracles no longer happen, but I've never actually taken the time to look it up and see if they do or not. So, I made a mental note that after I got out of the gym and was waiting for my car to be inspected that I would look into it on my phone; yes I have one of those smart phones, lucky me huh?
Opening up my phone browser I just put something simple in like recent miracles and I get plenty of hits, so I start browsing through the results. Skipping over the first couple, I come across one that has a great number of accounts that happened around the same geographical area. I can't remember the location of the church or anything like that, but I'll recap to you a few of the miracles which I found. Following the Jewish tradition of praying at 3:00, a group of believers were praying in their church; as they continued to pray, those who were passing by stopped to stare above the building, they couldn't believe what they were seeing. Above the church swirled a tornado of fire that vanished as soon as those who were praying inside finished. When they exited the building, they were approached and asked how they did this, but none of the believers knew what the onlookers were talking about.
A friend of the pastor's, who lived in the area, had a husband who was doing some work on their house one day; as he was coming down the ladder he lost is footing, falling to the ground, he landed in such a way that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Upon hearing this, the pastor and a few of the members of the church came to see the man at the hospital he was located at, entering his room they all began praying over him and fasting. For three days this went on, I'm not sure if it went on continuously or not, they didn't say, but after three days the man got up from his hospital bed and walked out of the hospital. The same type of thing happened to a father with a son who was possessed by insanity. The child would unknowingly sing and dance by himself at random times throughout the day. When the father brought him before the church, they prayed and fasted for several days; after this time period, the boy was completely healed and acted like any other normal child his age.
This next story is by far the coolest, the others just kind of pale in comparison to this one, you know how it is, save the best for last!
In Egypt, there was a Muslim man who killed his wife just for reading a Bible, he then proceeded to bury her along with their infant child and 8 year old daughter who were both still alive! After doing so, he then proceeded to report that a fellow family member had murdered them. After 15 days had passed, another member of their family died, but when they went to bury the body, they found the girls buried in the same place; still alive, after 15 days! Of course the man was sentenced to death for his crimes, but the fact that the girls were still alive isn't even the coolest part of the story.
Upon digging the girls up and getting them to safety, the eldest girl, who remember, is 8 years old, was asked how on earth they survived for that long period of time. She responded that a man in white shiny clothes, with bleeding holes in his hands, came to provide her with food, as well as waking their mother up to nurse the younger child. Can you believe that? That's not only one miracle, but several in the same story, performed by none other than Jesus Christ himself. Obviously the story couldn't be a lie, the girl is too young to come up with a story like that, plus they would have undoubtedly died; but Jesus kept them from death.
After reading that story I just had to stop and think about it for a moment, I had to try and envision how all of that must have happened and what it must have been like. I can't even picture lying in a small cramped space under ground, no air, no food, lying next to my dead parent along with an infant sibling who I had no way to provide for. What do you do in that situation? After giving up all hope, a man appeared out of nowhere, in this coffin with us, with food and the ability to bring my parent from the dead and nurse my baby sibling; then disappear again. I have a hard time even thinking about that, I can't comprehend it, but Jesus is that powerful and amazing.
Looking back over these stories and my own life, I can remember hearing when I was a little younger about those who were in the hospital with incurable diseases. The doctor would give them a determined amount of time to live and once that time had passed, they would return to the hospital to see what was going on; the doctor would then check them out and have no explanation about where their disease went, how they were cured, or even what was going on; they were dumbfounded. I'm sure that many of you have also heard of similar stories in your lifetime, the fact is that these are not just stories, they are miracles. We tend to overlook these situations and stories, mainly because we're not a part of them, and no one in particular actually performs the miracle; like Jesus himself did in the Bible. We tend to belittle the miracles that happen and not count them among the great things that Christ did in his time here on earth; but that doesn't change the fact of what they are and how amazing it is.
One of the things that I want you to take away from this message today comes from the opening miracles, which were all brought about healing through prayer. Prayer is a powerful tool in the hands of true Christian believers with a great deal of faith; and even more powerful when the number of those praying increases. It amazes me that these believers were so strong in their faith that they spent days on end fasting and praying over these individuals, not giving up until they were healed by the power of God. These acts are truly inspirational to me, and should be to you as well; next time you think that something is impossible, have faith in the power of God and come before Him in prayer.
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