Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water. Judges 6:36-38 NIV
Jesus instructed the man who was healed of leprosy not to tell anyone, but go and show himself to the priest… 45 Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere. Mark 1:45
Gideon asked for a sign because he believed that God would respond to his requests. Gideon brought a spirit of anticipation to the request. Hunger and anticipation for miracles build momentum for good things to happen. How does one create an environment for people to come thirsty and hungry to a church, an event or an anointed speaker to see healings and salvations take place? Testimonies from changed people.
In the early 1990’s I was a youth pastor at a church which experienced a season of healings and salvations. Our Sunday night services would last 3-4 hours which included worship, teaching and ministry time. The Pastor also gave opportunities for people to testify how God healed them and how it was changing their lives.
There was one lady critical of the services. She could not fully understand why some were so very happy when God healed them or set them free from addiction. They were ordinary people giving praise to an extraordinary God. One evening she repented for her critical attitude. It was a genuine repentance. Joy flooded her heart and emotions. The next moment she was singing and dancing. She was not embarrassed or ashamed to express her love for God openly. Her testimony was powerful.
There is not one perfect way to create an environment for God’s presence to flood people’s hearts, but here are some ingredients to nurture miracles among you.
- Desperate situations. God has a way of letting us find our backs against a wall. People cry out to God differently when they find themselves powerless to control the outcomes. Give God time to work and speak to you in those dark moments. The gospels are full of stories in which people were without hope to change their bad situations unless Jesus would intervene on their behalf. Pray boldly and expect a miracle in desperate situations.
- Preach and study miracles in the Bible. Who could pray for miracles? Who was a good candidate for a miracle? When did God move? How were people inspired or changed after the miracle? When was faith inserted? How do authority and miracles overlap? Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He still uses people (an extension of His body) to bring healing and hope to others.
- Give room for testimonies. In our passage in Mark today, one man’s testimony influenced people to come to Jesus from the entire region. Testimonies begat testimonies. Take time to honor and listen to the movement of God in others lives.
- Pray, pray, pray! Let prayer cause your heart to believe God for more.
On one Sunday morning the pastor and I met to pray for the service shortly before it began. After praying he asked if I had any impressions. I told him I saw a person being healed from below their knee.
During ministry time, he called me up to share my impression. Nobody moved or even signaled that the word for healing was for them. Then the Pastor said to the congregation, “Sometimes a word from God is for more than one person. If you sensed that word was from God, come on down to the front for prayer“. Seven people responded.
As I prayed for healing for an elderly lady, she stopped me. “Young man, how did you know?” “Know what?” I replied. She said, “today, this morning before church, I was talking with God about the pain in my leg. I told him, I wasn’t sure if He really cared. Then you mentioned God wanting to heal legs this morning. Now I am ready for you to pray for my healing.” Sharing the impression raised her level of expectancy to receive prayer for healing.
When you go to church what is your expectancy level to see God present and moving in the service? This is your offering. Will He forgive sins? Will people respond in repentance? Will there be salvations? How will God inhabit the praises of His people? Could you envision God performing a miracle of healing?
People coming into a church service hungry for God to move is an intangible. BUT when they come hungry, God feeds them. May the winds of the Spirit stir up the hunger for more of God’s power to rest upon the needy. May today be the day for you to witness a miracle from God. Let hope arise.
God loves it when a group of people are praying, expecting and waiting on a visible manifestation of His presence. May you learn to ask God to move in might in power wherever you are present. Be watchful, He may invite you to pray for and participate in the sign and wonder.
Blessings Love y’all