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Asking God for a Miracle (Because He Can Say Yes)

Asking God for a Miracle (Because He Can Say Yes)

Ask, and it will be given to you. — Matthew 7:7

Life is not fair, but God is good. We never know what life will bring, but I have learned time and time again that I can bring whatever life throws at me directly to God.

In Matthew’s teaching on the Lord’s Prayer, he gave us a longer version and more instruction regarding prayer. Here, Jesus taught that we don’t have to go on and on when we pray because our Father already knows what we need before we even ask. You might be wondering, Then why even ask?

The answer, Jesus said, is that while God already knows what we need, we won’t know what He will do about it until we ask.

God is not in the business of answering prayers we do not pray.

So no matter what you need, ask God for it.

He might say yes.

As a pastor, I have repeatedly seen God do miraculous wonders when I had lost all hope. Over the years, I have pastored thousands of people who have come through the doors of Sandals Church. Every one of them is special to God, but a certain few are dear to me. They are the ones who, through thick and thin, for better or worse, stayed with me when others didn’t.

The challenge of starting a church when you are so young is that you have absolutely no idea what you are doing. My talent for speaking outweighed the depth of my faith. My vision for what God wanted to do through me was completely blind to what He first needed to do in me. So I am eternally grateful to God for His patience and for many people who followed me even when I was not yet the leader they needed me to be.

One of those people is Natasha. When Sandals Church first started, young people poured through our doors. As we grew, there were always more people than we had room for. Sandals Church moved locations thirteen times in the first three years. Our unofficial motto was, “Come worship with us if you can find us.” Well, Natasha found us, and she stuck with us.

A brilliant young woman and a swimming star with a bright future, Natasha met the love of her life in high school and had dreams of marriage and children. One day, out of nowhere, she began feeling tired and unable to complete tasks that a few weeks prior had been easy for her. Even though she was in incredible shape, she was always fatigued. Something was wrong, terribly wrong.

At nineteen years old, she found out she had cancer.

Natasha was assured that her cancer was treatable. Being young and naive like most teenagers, she didn’t worry too much about it. Her confident doctor assured her she would be done with cancer after one round — maybe two — of chemotherapy. She would then be free to go on with her life.

This was not the case.

Ten years later, Natasha sat in my office with tears in her eyes and asked a very valid question: “Why won’t God heal me?” She’d fought cancer for ten years. She’d received the best treatments possible — some proven, some experimental. She had a doctor who cared for her and an attentive hospital staff. But now her doctor said there was no longer hope. Natasha was told she was just unlucky — they had no idea why her particular cancer was so stubborn to treatments that had worked for many others. There were no more treatments to try.

Natasha didn’t understand. She was no longer a teenager and no longer naive. She knew very well that her life was on the line. After ten years of fiercely battling for her life, she had lost hope and the energy to keep fighting. She was at the end of her rope.

I had to concede that I didn’t understand either. Natasha sat in my office, ravaged by years of chemotherapy, not looking like a young woman should. She was devastated by the ups and downs, all the promises that the next treatment (or the next) would be the one to cure her. Weeping, she handed me a picture — an MRI of her entire body. The image looked like a Dalmatian dog because her body was covered in black spots. I asked if the black spots were cancer, and she nodded. They were everywhere — clustered around many of the organs in her chest and abdomen.

She said, “I don’t have long, Pastor. I need a miracle.”

Natasha, myself, a few other pastors, and her husband bowed our heads in prayer, asking our Father in Heaven for a miracle. We all prayed. It is only with her permission that I share what was said, which was so painful, raw, and heart-wrenching that it will stay with me forever. Natasha found her soul cry.

In chapter 2, I mentioned my own soul cry.

  • A soul cry is when there is nothing left between you and God. You are done with the games; you have nothing to hide. You just need to be heard.

There is something powerful and haunting about a soul cry. Its sound makes every other noise in life disappear. As you realize the depth of suffering another person feels, your own problems and suffering seem shallow and insignificant. In these moments, you accept how incredibly blessed you are to have the life you have.

When I heard Natasha cry out to God, she no longer seemed frail. The room had to make space for her spirit as she spoke to our Father, who is Spirit. She yelled, “I don’t want to die!” The first scream was powerful but simply made room for what was to follow. A lioness came out of her petite frame, and its voice rattled the room. “I don’t want to die!” She began to beat the drum of her request before the King of kings and Lord of lords. Every downstroke in the drum of her voice led to another more thunderous beat. Natasha was going to be heard.

Even as the lone woman in the room, she grew fiercer with every request. “I am not ready to die!” she yelled.

To the observer, it may have looked like a wild woman screaming into the air. But as believers, we knew she was being heard by God. She became the pastor, and I became the student. We were all in awe of her strength and were moved to tears. We had no words. Nothing more needed to be added.

I anointed Natasha’s forehead with oil and said, “Lord Jesus, I know You can hear her; I beg You to heal her; I pray this in Your holy name, amen.”

Amen is a word we all say but few of us understand. It is a word so powerful it has never been changed. When the Bible was translated from Hebrew and Greek to Latin and English, most of the words it contains were translated. Amen was not. Amen is amen in Hebrew. It is amen in Greek. It is also amen in Latin and obviously in English as well. Amen means to agree that truth has been spoken. It means what we have said is real and raw. Some people play games when they speak to one another, but we should never play games when we talk with God.

Natasha had been real. She’d been raw. We all agreed with the prayer and believed that truth had been spoken, so I said amen.

It has now been years since that night we prayed, back when Natasha was given only weeks to live. She is still alive and on staff at Sandals Church. She is here because when the hospital said there was no hope left, she went to the One who is the source of our hope!

Why do we pray? We pray because God might say yes.

What do we have to lose when there is no other source of hope? Take a chance and reach for Jesus. There is real power in His name. He is God’s one and only Son, and He can say yes.

I know it’s hard to trust Jesus with your request. I realize that, like Natasha, you may have prayed for healing many times, and many times it might not have been granted. Don’t give up! Jesus taught us to keep asking and to keep knocking on Heaven’s door for what we need. He said,

Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. — Matthew 7:7–8 NLT

If you feel discouraged, remind yourself that your repeated prayers are prayers of obedience. There will be times when you feel unheard; you have to find the strength to pray through it. Again, I cannot promise you will get a yes, which agrees with what Jesus taught in this passage.

What are we seeking? An answer! What door do we want opened? Heaven’s, so we can be heard! According to Jesus, if you keep asking, you will be answered. He is not guaranteeing the miracle you want, but you will receive the miracle you need.

That miracle is the miracle of being heard.

Excerpted with permission from Every Day a Miracle by Matthew Stephen Brown, copyright Matthew Stephen Brown.

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Your Turn

Do you need a miracle? Cry out to Jesus! Keep praying! God is in the business of miracles, but He doesn’t answer what we do not pray. God loves you and responds to your soul cries. Keep at it because He can say yes! ~ Devotionals Daily