Prayers for a miracle in real-time…
After a series of calls from realtors and the attorney’s assistant this morning, a frightening truth became evident. The much-needed sale of rental property, slated to close tomorrow, had rapidly unraveled.
There was no way we could finish the additional paperwork needed to complete the sale on time. “Impossible” was the legal opinion. Minutes before I sat down to write this article, I stood with a friend, tears welling in my eyes, and prayed for a miracle.
This is the prayer we prayed:
Lord, the sale is unraveling. I put the rental property on the market as an act of obedience. I didn’t want this property to begin with and I didn’t make the original purchase but this is where we are now. There’s massive damage in the floor and I failed to see it until it was to this terrible point. I should’ve done better and I ask you to forgive me.
I want this sale to go through but I want Your will more. I relinquish this process to You and ask for a miracle if the sale is Your will. Make a way for the paperwork to be completed in time for us to close tomorrow.
If it’s not Your will for the sale to go through, orchestrate the circumstances to accomplish Your will—no matter what it is.
Help me choose faith and peace while I wait to see what You will do. I completely surrender this situation to you and choose Your will, not mine.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
What happened after my prayer for a miracle:
- I made the two calls I could make with the potential to help the situation, shared my prayers for a miracle, and messaged a few friends with requests for prayer.
- Back at my desk, I opened my computer and resumed work on my day’s responsibilities—writing an article on prayers for a miracle.
As we wait to see what God will do with my own prayer, let’s take a look at Biblical examples of prayers for a miracle.
Prayers for a miracle: Elijah and the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:16-46)
Israel was apostate. Idol worship was rampant.
The prophets of God ran for their lives and were in hiding. After three and a half years of drought, the land and livestock were decimated. At the appointed time, Elijah met 450 prophets of Baal, 400 prophets for the Asherah, and a large portion of the people of Israel at Mount Carmel for a showdown.
Elijah and the idolatrous prophets both built altars and offered sacrifices. The prophets of Baal and Asherah received no response from their god.
The moment of Elijah’s offering came. He soaked the wood and altar with water then prayed a bold prayer.
“O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you art God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, art God, and that you hast turned their heart back.” 1 Kings 18:36-37 ESV
Important elements of Elijah’s prayer for a miracle:
- Elijah had no way to meet the need for fire from heaven on his own.
- His highest priority was God’s glory.
- The expected outcome was recognition of God at work by the idolatrous nation, repentance, and return to the Lord.
- Elijah didn’t ask for vindication of his actions but for all those present to recognize his actions were in response to the direction and will of God. (It wasn’t Elijah who caused the three-and-a-half-year famine, but God.)
God’s answer to Elijah’s prayer:
- Fire from heaven consumed the burnt offering, wood, stones, dust, and water.
- All the people fell on their faces and cried out to God in surrender.
- Baal worship came to an abrupt halt.
- God sent refreshing rains to the land.
Prayers for a miracle: King Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:17-19:36)
The king of Assyria sent representatives to Judah to demand their surrender or suffer total destruction. Because he had already taken Israel into captivity, King Hezekiah knew this was no idle threat.
Assyria could, and would, make good on their demands. Hezekiah took the demand letter delivered by the Assyrian messengers, read it, spread it out in the temple before the Lord, and prayed.
“And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said: “O Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood, and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. So now, O Lord our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Lord, are God alone.” 2 Kings 19:15-19 ESV
Important elements of Hezekiah’s prayer for a miracle:
- Recognition of God’s power and attributes.
- Hezekiah defended God’s reputation against Sennacherib’s taunts.
- Recognition of his own inability to successfully stand against Assyria.
- A humble request for God’s intervention and salvation.
- The expectation for all the kingdoms of the earth to know the One True God.
God’s answer to Hezekiah’s prayer:
- God sent a message to Hezekiah concerning His plan against Assyria.
- During the night, the angel of the Lord struck 185,000 soldiers in the Assyrian camp dead.
- The king of Assyria packed up and went home.
- Judah was spared and everyone knew the miracle was from God.
Prayers for a miracle: The Centurion’s servant
A Roman centurion’s servant was acutely paralyzed and in great pain, so he came to Jesus for help. The centurion’s entreaty for a miracle was simple but filled with faith.
“Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering great pain…I am not worthy for you to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I, too, and a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” Matthew 8:6-9
Important elements of the Centurion’s prayer for a miracle:
- A simple statement of the need and his request.
- Admitted his inability to help the servant’s need.
- Acknowledged Jesus’ authority and His sovereignty.
- Presented his request with humility.
God’s answer to the Centurion’s prayer:
- Used the centurion’s prayer as an example of faith.
- Healed the servant with a word.
Prayers for a miracle: Jairus’ daughter
The young daughter of Jairus, one of the synagogue officials, was at the point of death.
He turned for help to the only person he knew who could save his daughter—Jesus—and fell at His feet.
Immediately, Jesus headed out with Jairus to his house to see the child but He was delayed by the woman with the issue of blood.
Jairus waited nearby. When Jesus’ turned back to Jairus, word of the daughter’s death had already arrived but Jesus and Jairus continued on their way.
“And one of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and upon seeing Him, fell at His feet, and entreated Him earnestly, saying, ‘My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay your hands on her, that she may get well and live.’” Mark 5:22-23
Important elements of Jairus’ prayer for a miracle:
- Humility (he fell at Jesus’ feet).
- Admitted his inability to do anything to help his daughter.
- A simple statement of the need.
- Expressed a sense of urgency for divine intervention.
- Acknowledged faith in Jesus’ power to heal.
- Waited for Jesus’ timing.
- No complaints about His delay.
How do you pray for the impossible? Essential elements:
- Humility and recognition of our own inability to solve our problem.
- A simple statement of the need.
- Acknowledgment of God’s power and sovereignty.
- Clear faith in His ability to intervene.
- Willingness to accept whatever miracle God decided to do.
- Patient waiting for God’s timing.
- The desire for God’s glory and honor.
Sample prayers for a miracle:
Idolatry of a nation
“If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will heal from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Dear Lord, I come to you and admit I’m often enticed by the ways of the world. Money, stuff, status, position all look better to me than they should. I am not without blame, Lord. I’m a sinner in need of forgiveness and I confess my sin of _____ (insert the names of the sins) and ask for your forgiveness. Help me to walk your paths no matter what anyone else does around me. I reject my sin of _____ and ask for your help in staying on your paths from now on. Your word says you will heal a nation when your people turn back to you. I come asking you to accept my repentance and begin to heal us now that your people may bear fruit and bring glory to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may take refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and wall.” Psalm 91:4
Father, Your word tells us goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our lives (Psalm 23:6) and you go before us and with us regardless of the circumstances. (Deuteronomy 31:8) I pray you will go before me in this dangerous situation, will surround me with protection, (Psalm 34:7), and contend with those who contend with me (Psalm 35:1) Keep me safe and bring me through this. May you get the honor and glory for your protection and preservation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:13-16
Almighty God, I come to you on behalf of _____ who is in desperate need of your healing. Without it, _____ will die. I ask you to do a miracle of healing, knowing that it is impossible for a mere man yet nothing is impossible for you. I freely admit my sin of _____ and ask for forgiveness. Accept my faith and help in any area of unbelief in your healing, miracle-working power. I promise to give you the glory and honor and share your mighty work of healing with all who will listen. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Our Father, you know my financial need. I don’t have enough to cover _____ (give the specific need) and I have no way to raise the money before it is due. I do not want to dishonor you by failing to pay my debts on time so I ask you to provide for me in whatever way you choose, whether extra work, a divine provision, or selling something. Help me to be a good steward of the resources you provide and to use them to further your Kingdom. Thank you in advance for how you will provide. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
Father, Your word tells us you are not willing for any to perish. You intentionally delay Your return to give more of us a chance to repent. I claim those truths now and ask you to draw my son/daughter to you. Give him/her a sense of your great love and kindness as well as an understanding of their own sin and shame. Shine the light of truth on the seemingly attractive ways of the world. Help them to see sin the way you see it. Break their love for sin and give them a hunger for your word and your righteousness. I ask you to do a miracle of faith and salvation as only you can do. Bring them to you, plant in them a deep faith in Jesus as Lord, and break every chain of sin in their lives. Thank you in advance for loving my son/daughter even more than I do. in Jesus’ name, Amen.
See more: Praying for our prodigal children
“And when it was evening, the disciples came to Him, saying, ‘The place is desolate, and the time is already past; so send the multitudes away, that they may go into the village and buy food for themselves.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat.’ And they said to Him, ‘We have here only five loaves and two fish.’ And He said, ‘Bring them to Me.’…and they all ate and were satisfied. And they picked up what was leftover of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets.” Matthew 14:15-18, 20-21
Lord, I have done what I can do to meet my current need, but it’s not enough. The Bible gives us more than one example of your powers of multiplication. You can take a little and make a lot. I desperately need a loaves-and-fishes miracle in order to meet this need today. Lord, stretch our resources and make them sufficient for the need so that your name might be glorified and lifted up among all those who hear of your provision. May you get all the glory, in Jesus’ powerful, miracle-working name, Amen.
Update on a real-time prayer for a miracle:
Yes, I really did write this article while waiting for an answer to my prayer for a miracle. It felt risky to include the story as it unfolded because what if He said no?! The answer to my “what if” question is so simple a child can understand it, but sometimes I struggle. (And don’t we all?)
If the paperwork had not arrived and the sale was canceled, the faithfulness of God would not be in question. An important element in any prayer is the willingness to accept God’s way when it’s not our own. In the Kingdom of God, a no is as good as a yes when the no reflects God’s will.
Still, God’s answer was a blessed relief and such an encouragement. The first piece of paperwork landed in the inbox fifty minutes after our prayer for a miracle was prayed. Just two hours later, the final piece of paperwork arrived. Less than three hours from the time we prayed, God accomplished what experts said was impossible.
We serve a God who is still in the miracle-working business.
Book Recommendations While You Are Waiting on a Miracle
- One Minute Prayers When You Need a Miracle
- The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears
For what miracle are you praying and believing today?
Want to know more about miracles? Check out this PWC article: Do Miracles Still Happen?