When I first Learned the Power of Prayer
There are different kinds of miracles. Sometimes God will bless with the miracle of healing. This is what we see in the miracle of healing that Jesus renders to the ten lepers, the woman with the issue of blood and to Jairus and his daughter. Today, I want to look at another type of miracle. I call this miracle the miracle which is designed to confirm the presence and intent of God.
Over the course of my life there have been several signs I felt that God gave me which simply confirmed for me the reality of God. The first time it happened was while still in elementary school I prayed to God that a little girl in my class named Bonnie would find her lost lunch money. She was in tears and I felt sorry for her. In those days, the cost of a public school lunch was 40 cents. I did not know her very well. She was on the second floor of a stairwell full of kids. I was on the first floor at the back of the lunch line. I prayed right on the steps of the schoolhouse stairway that Bonnie would find her lunch money. Before the class walked into the lunch room, Bonnie had found her money! More significantly, I was hooked on the power of prayer! I felt God had given me a miracle and I have been praying ever since! As an adult, I have prayed for many things. I have prayed that divorced women receive new husbands – and it happened! I have prayed for childless women to get pregnant – and it has happened! Although not every prayer has been answered in the manner I sought, enough of the prayers have worked out in a way to confirm my faith and deepen my belief that God can do all things.
I thank you for taking the time to read my personal history and understanding of the importance of prayer. I encourage you to meditate on the question of when and how you ask God for a sign- a sign to show you that God is real. These signs are what many would call, miracles. The biblical lesson for today is the story of Gideon and how he challenged God to show him a sign, a miracle, if you will, to convince him that it was really God who spoke to him and not the voice of his imagination. At one point, Gideon raises the question, “if God is for us, why has this happened to us?” In today’s language we might raise the question like this: “God, I believe in you, but if you are really God, why am I so sick?” Or, “God, I believe in you, but if you are really God, can’t you put more money in my pocket, or give me someone to love?” It is at these points when we need a miracle to reassure us that God is real. I hope you will walk this journey with me and help me explore the topic of miracles as a sign from God.
Judges 6: 11 Now the angel of the LORD came and sat under the oak at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press, to hide it from the Midianites. 12 The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, “The LORD is with you, you mighty warrior.” 13 Gideon answered him, “But sir, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our ancestors recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has cast us off, and given us into the hand of Midian.” 14 Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian; I hereby commission you.” 15 He responded, “But sir, how can I deliver Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” 16 The LORD said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike down the Midianites, every one of them.” 17 Then he said to him, “If now I have found favor with you, then show me a sign that it is you who speak with me. 18 Do not depart from here until I come to you, and bring out my present, and set it before you.” And he said, “I will stay until you return.”
19 So Gideon went into his house and prepared a kid, and unleavened cakes from an ephah of flour; the meat he put in a basket, and the broth he put in a pot, and brought them to him under the oak and presented them. 20 The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened cakes, and put them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And he did so. 21 Then the angel of the LORD reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes; and fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes; and the angel of the LORD vanished from his sight. 22 Then Gideon perceived that it was the angel of the LORD; and Gideon said, “Help me, Lord GOD! For I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face.” 23 But the LORD said to him, “Peace be to you; do not fear, you shall not die.” 24 Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD, and called it, The LORD is peace. To this day it still stands at Ophrah, which belongs to the Abiezrites.
The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Jdg 6:11–24). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Lord, make me unashamed and unafraid to ask you for what I want. Remind me that you are always available, always open, always willing to hear even the smallest request. Lord, when I am spiritually frustrated and discouraged, give me a sign, any kind of sign. to remind me that you are real, your power is vast and your love is unquenchable. Through Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Nicholas Hood III: Sunrise over the River at Port Orange, Florida behind “Auntie Catfish” Restaurant
Prayers, Meditations, Photos and more from Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/
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