Do miracles still happen?
Yes, they do.
Before you read further, here’s a quick disclaimer: The miracles described in this article are evidence of our good God, His power, and His love, not my proficiency in prayer. They happened because He is all He says He is.
The same God who parted the Red Sea, gave sight to the blind, healed lepers, and raised Lazarus from the grave is still in the miracle-working business. With that said, keep reading…
It took a while for me to be sure about God’s ability and willingness to grant a miracle. When I was a girl, admittedly more than a few years ago, the story of Peter, John and the lame man in Acts 3 thrilled me.
In my mind’s eye, I saw Peter grab the lame man’s hand and say, “I don’t have any money. All I have is Jesus but He’s more than enough. In the name of Jesus, stand up and walk.”
When the lame man leaped up and began to walk, jump about, and praise God for the first time in his life, my heart cheered.
It was dramatic and showy.
A miracle for me—not possible?
I wanted to see a dramatic and showy miracle, too.
“Not possible,” trusted advisors told me. “The miracles were all used up getting the church started.” Used up? No power left?
It didn’t seem fair and it left a longing in my soul no sermon could fill. Although a sinner set free from the stranglehold of sin might be miracle enough for most people, I wanted a tangible miracle.
One I could see and feel. A God who didn’t have enough power for me seemed like no god at all and, before I realized what I was doing, I began a long journey away from my faith.
It took more wandering than I’m proud of to find my way back to God. When I returned to Him, I dug into Scripture like only a woman starving for truth will do and began to experience the Lord in a personal way.
If God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, then He can still do what He did before, even if the yesterday was more than 2000 years ago. Right? Multiply food?
Set captives free from sin or demonic control? Calm a storm? Heal a deadly illness? Stop time in its tracks? Yes. He did all those things and He still does—not to put on a dramatic show but to accomplish His purposes and bring glory to Himself.
The Miracle of Multiplied Corn
“And this is the confidence that we have before Him: that whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” 1 John 5:14
The first miracle I remember happened almost by accident at the county fair senior adult luncheon. My job was to spoon corn on the plates. The corn pan emptied faster than I thought possible.
Only a few cupfuls of corn remained but the line still stretched for what seemed like miles. “Lord,” I whispered, “We need a miracle if we’re gonna give all these people some corn.”
It was a prayer of desperation laced with a lot more “maybe” than faith.
As I spooned corn onto the last plate, I stared at the spoonful or two of corn left in the pot and wondered. Did God really stretch the corn? Was it a miracle? Do miracles still happen?
I wasn’t sure I could believe it, but there was no other explanation. My faith began to grow as did the boldness of my prayers and I began to see God move in even more unexpected ways.
The Miracle of Turned-Back-Time
“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” Matthew 19:26 NASB
A few years later, I served in the prayer room at a four-day Christian discipleship retreat. We prayed huge prayers and saw God do amazing things.
Women repented of their sin and were set free but, as if freedom was not a big enough miracle, something happened Sunday morning that took my breath away.
Because of a closing event, it was imperative that we finish with every activity by 4 pm but we were already behind schedule by thirty-five minutes. There was no way we’d make it.
The next speaker’s talk was timed at twenty-three minutes during practice. When she added a song at the last minute, she increased it to twenty-eight minutes. Anything longer than her twenty minute time slot would put us further behind.
A thought popped into my head and out my mouth before I had time to consider how wild it would sound. “We could ask God to make time stand still while she speaks,” I suggested.
It seemed sensible to us at the time, so we all bowed our heads and prayed the biggest prayers imaginable. I’m still surprised none of us doubted. None of us asked, “Do miracles still happen today?”
We were thirty-five minutes behind when our speaker walked in the room and spoke for twenty-eight minutes. It was so powerful a roomful of women stood on their chairs and sang, “Victory in Jesus” at the end.
We could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in the room from outside the door.
A Miracle From Heaven We Could Barely Believe
When she walked back into the prayer room, we checked our watches. Glanced at each other in stunned silence. Checked our phones to be sure.
A holy hush filled the room as every mouth dropped open and every eye widened. As twenty-eight minutes passed in the room, time went backward twenty minutes at the retreat center.
We were only fifteen minutes behind.
Someone grinned and said, “Well, God’s done it again.”
I freely admit I was tired enough to have imagined the whole thing, but the five other people in the room were not.
God not only reached out and touched time, He touched the hearts of women who needed Him to move on their behalf. He changed us all.
Not every prayer we prayed that weekend resulted in a miracle. Not every person we prayed for chose to let their burdens go and embrace freedom. But some did.
As we look back on those four days, we don’t remember the prayers that didn’t get a yes. We remember the freedom we gained and the day time stood still.
The Miracle of the God-Granted Visa
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord like channels of water; he turns it wherever He wants.” Proverbs 21:1
Four years ago, one of our missionaries was in danger of being expelled from a closed country because her visa was delayed. Repeatedly. Desperate, she called our office and we began to pray the visa would be approved that very day.
One of my coworkers heard the prayer and thought, “That’s a dumb prayer. It’s never going to happen like that. Don’t they know how long visa issues take?”
While we were still praying, a chime signaled a new email in the missionary’s inbox. She opened her eyes and gasped. The visa was approved while we prayed.
Later, she learned the approval was “accidental.” They intended to deny the visa and expel her from the country. God, however, had other plans and He changed an entry in a computer to make a way for His will.
Immigration officials told her they “couldn’t understand how it happened,” but we knew. God doesn’t just turn the heart of the king, He changes computer programs, too.
The Miracle of Never-ending Food
The 2020 pandemic changed everything about daily life, and not always in a good way. God, however, was not hampered in the least.
Our local alternative school supplemental weekend food distribution came to a halt when the school switched from in-person to virtual learning.
Many parents lost jobs or had reduced hours due to the pandemic/quarantine and our students faced long days at home without their usual school breakfast and lunch.
The Hunger Coalition (one of my ministry partners) made a plan. Adopt a neighborhood. Prepare bag lunches. Distribute them in a set location every day.
The area I chose was considered “too risky” until the pandemic arrived. Suddenly, we were welcome to bring food and distribute it.
Day after day, I arrived at the first grocery store at 6 am and made the rounds, in search of enough food to make bagged lunches.
Near-empty grocery shelves offered few food choices but I bought the little available and prayed for divine provision. “Lord, if you don’t do a miracle with this food, it won’t be enough.”
I’d seen a variety of miracles by then but even I was surprised by what God did. We made bag lunches, counted them, and handed out more bags of food than we took.
Every single day. One day, we carried 100 bagged lunches. When the tally of lunches distributed hit 140, I quit counting. The food never gave out.
If miracles still happen today, why don’t we recognize them?
Do miracles still happen today?
Yes. Miracles still happen. I’ve seen everything from the miracles described here to storms calmed, financial provision at the exact moment it was needed, physical and emotional healing, and more.
I’m convinced the problem is not God’s unwillingness to move in miraculous ways but partly our unwillingness to recognize His works as miraculous and give Him the credit and glory He deserves.
The miracles I’ve experienced were not done because of my righteousness, the magnitude of my faith, or the creativity of my ask. Every single miracle happened because God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.
He’s all powerful, all knowing, and always present. He’s who He says He is in Scripture and His works are designed to accomplish His purposes and bring glory to Himself.
Scripture suggests four reasons we don’t see miracles today:
Sometimes we don’t receive a clear answer to our prayers or a miraculous intervention because our “ask” is so vague as to be unrecognizable.
Prayers for general blessing are certainly appropriate but if you have a specific need, make a specific request, just as we did when we prayed for the visa to be granted.
According to Isaiah 59:1-2, our sin creates a separation between us and God. We cannot harbor unconfessed sin and expect to have powerful prayers or receive miraculous answers.
James 5:16 tells us prayers for healing should begin with confession of sin “so that you may be healed.” The confession of sin is not optional if we want answered prayer.
James 1:6-8 tells us we must ask in faith, without any doubting. The one who doubts, he says, is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind, and need not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
Miracles are given in response to prayers of faith, not prayers of unbelief.
Scripture is crystal clear on the issue of motives. Psalm 37:4,5 tells us to trust in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our heart. There’s quite a difference between giving us what we desire and giving us our desires.
An all-too-common interpretation suggests God will give us whatever we want. A closer look at this verse reveals God will change our desires to become more like His when we lean on Him instead of ourselves.
James also addresses this problem. (James 4:3) We ask but don’t receive because we ask with wrong motives. When our desire is not to glorify God and bring Him honor but to please ourselves, we need not expect a miraculous intervention.
How to bring more of the miraculous into our lives:
If we expect to bring the miraculous into our lives by our own efforts, we’re out of luck. If we’re after a flashy show or an interesting story, forget it.
If we want to know God better and see His glory, it’s a different story. He is who He says He is and He’ll do what He says He’ll do but we also have to do what He’s told us to do.
Love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Those two important laws are a good starting point.
When Jesus said, “Follow me,” He wasn’t kidding. He expects His people to follow Him in an all-in, all-encompassing way.
A few specific actions include:
- Study Scripture with the goal of knowing God in a deeper way.
- Trust Him to be Who He says He is.
- Pray specifically and big. Don’t ask for a special blessing for someone if they need their oxygen level to rise and their lungs to function property. Be specific.
- Use Biblical precedents in your prayers. If you need a miracle of healing, mention His healing power in Scripture with specific examples when you pray. Ask Him to do what He’s done before and ask in faith, without doubting.
- Celebrate God’s answers to your prayers. Give Him credit and all the glory. Share His goodness with lavish praise.
- Scripture tells us God works in every situation for our good. Be sure to thank God when He doesn’t do what you’d hoped or asked and trust He will use your circumstances for good in a way you haven’t yet recognized.
- All miracles originate in the mind of God. (John 6:6) Ask God what He wants to do, then pray accordingly.
- When we sense a nudge to ask for a miracle, do it. If we hadn’t asked God to stop time, would He have done it? I don’t think so. We’ll never know if He has a miracle in mind if we never ask.
- Take a moment to reconsider the great God we serve. When we pray, God answers. Every time. He may not give us every miracle we request but He’s more likely to provide a miracle we request than one we don’t. No prayer is too big for Him. No need too great. Our God still works wonders so ask big. Dream big. Believe big. Pray big.
We serve a God who is able to do exceeding, abundantly more than we will ever be able to ask or imagine. He can and does still do miracles.
“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted to you.” Mark 11:24 NASB
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us…”Ephesians 3:20