My church is praying for miracles right now. As a congregation, we have set aside the month of October, as II Chronicles 7:14 indicates, to humble ourselves, seek God’s face, and pray.
As I have endeavored to follow through with my October commitment, I’ve realized that there are many miracles that we don’t even pray for anymore.
Yes, God knows.
Yes, God cares.
But, will God answer?
We ask ourselves these questions as we ponder the prayers closest to our hearts. Vulnerability is required by those who would day after day, month after month, year after year make request for the same thing.
The mother of an autistic child prays for healing.
The sister of a mentally handicapped prays for answers.
The daughter of a man with cancer prays for more time.
The father of the wayward child prays for wisdom.
The pastor of the grieving congregation prays for comfort.
It is these miracles-unanswered that cause us to lose hope, lose heart, lose the intimacy of our Heavenly Father. Why? We grow discouraged. We decide God is not going to answer. We decide we don’t have enough faith. We decide it is too painful to even pray. We grow angry. When we boil all of our uncertainty down, we are just not sure God listens to “that” prayer, “these” miracle requests.
Listen to these words from Lamentations 3:15-25…
“He has filled me with bitterness, He has made me drink wormwood. He has also broken my teeth with gravel. And covered me with ashes.”
This prophet is grieving hopes unanswered, sadness of spirit, powerless faith, and death. Yet, he keeps writing.
“My soul still remembers ans sinks within me. This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope.”
Listen again, Downcast One! There may still be hope. Look up one more time!
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”
This new morning spoken of by the prophet goes above and beyond most of our needs for coffee everyday. This is the story of a man broken in spirit and body, who yet says that through all that God allows, he is still not consumed. Rather, he still looks to the God of unending compassions.
“‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I hope in Him!’ The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the LORD.”
This is what praying for miracles looks like. When we are so broken that we believe God has turned His back on us, we press in still to His mercies.
We give thanks. For the good. For the hard. For the impossible. For the beautiful. For the ugly.
For three gifts praised for…
Friends to walk beside and comfort
Friends to walk behind and support
Friends to walk ahead and encourage
For three hard eucharisteo…
A baby not conceived in my timing
A group of students with hearts seemingly hardened
Seeds buried that have yet to produce life
It is for these things that I give thanks, for these things that I pray.