Miracles - Calling the dead to life.

Does it become easier to perform miracles by the Holy Spirit the more miracles God performs through you?

Which takes more faith, telling someone they are healed by the power of God the first time or watching your prayers/commands for healing be fulfilled by the Holy Spirit over and over again?

Is it faith that brings the healing the first time? Or is it taking a leap of faith? After seeing God perform miracle after miracle, is your faith greater because you know when you ask, you will receive? Does the measure of doubt relate to the measure of faith?

So often, I think we consider faith to be the conquering of our doubts, whereas now I wonder if faith is not only the doubting hope, but more the confident hope knowing that a miracle is not only possible, but that a miracle will happen.

Today I was reading through the first few chapters of Acts when I came across the story of the healing of the 40-year old crippled man by the power of the Holy Spirit through Peter and John. What struck me in this reading, wasn't the fact the man was healed, but rather how these two disciples and the man reacted.

Acts 3:8 reads: "He [the crippled man] jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God."

Can you imagine that sight? These three men jumping, walking, and praising God upon their entrance into and in the temple! What a sight to see! People had to have been wondering - what is all this commotion about, why are these people celebrating? Maybe even, why are these people disturbing the sanctity of my prayer. Then they would notice who was jumping - the crippled man and they would turn from their prayers to stand in "wonder and amazement at what had happened" and their prayers would change from outer prayers to inner prayers, truely worshipping the God of heaven.

And then, as they stood their in astonishment and surprise, watching this spectacle of a joyous miracle full of celebration, their thoughts and questions would be interupted with Peter speaking up, "Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?" Could have people been desiring this ability? Peter continued, "The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus." (Acts 3:12-13a)

I've seen miracles. I've been blessed to have the Holy Spirit perform many miracles as an answer to the prayers of myself and others. I know that God has the power to heal. I just wonder when is the right time to ask for healing? When is the right time to ask for a miracle?

Someday, I'd like to see someone sit up in a casket and praise God! Could you imagine!!! I sat there for a long time at Sierra's funeral considering if I should walk up to her casket and command her in the name of Jesus to get up and walk. What kept me from doing it? I don't know if it was more of the fear that she would rather then the fear that she wouldn't. I still think about it now and then. What if I had? What if God had brought her back to life how would life be different now? I remember sitting in the back of the church weighing the consequences of her returning to life. How would the media respond? How would it impact her family? Is her life better off since she is no longer here with us? How would it affect the kids at the schools? Would people be able to treat her the same or would she always be considered a ghost?

I once heard a story from a pretty reliable source about a man who had died who came back to life at the morgue. The church community had been praying for his life. He had not come to church prior to that point, but he was the first one there on Sunday morning and he proclaimed something along the line of "Why wouldn't I be here, I was dead and now I'm alive again!" He was alive in more ways then one. He had been spiritually dead prior to his physical death, and he had received not only physical life, but also spiritual! Now that is worthy of praise!

Another miracle moment that comes to mind is that of my aunt. She told me that she had heard that God had performed miracles through me and she asked me to lay hands on her and pray. I prayed, but I didn't pray in faith. I didn't like being commanded and I wasn't sure if God had called me to pray. Yet, when I look back, I know that she believed and had faith, so why didn't I pray more boldly? What harm would have it done either of us to ask for a complete healing and trust that God's will would be done? Since then, I have wondered if asking for God's will to be done is a week prayer request. Isn't God's will done anyways? Shouldn't we pray with boldness and lay our requests before God truely asking Him what we desire and what we believe to be best? He is God! He is good! His will will be done - so why not just ask what we want to ask and believe that He has the power and the desire to meet our requests? If we believe that He is good and that our requests our good, what are we afraid of? That he'll answer "no" and not grant the request? That God will say, "not now, but soon," and so we will have to wait patiently and swallow our pride? Or for me, "maybe God is blessing them by letting them go home to heaven early and sparing them the pains of this life."

God help us to understand your miraculous powers and to know how and when to pray for the sick. Amen.

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