Greetings and Salutations!
Every once in a while, you've gotta shake things up. Women of Passion1 is a varied group of women-spanning decades, various faiths, educational backgrounds and vocations. In other words, we are not a bunch of cookie cutter church ladies. On a weekly basis, I do not usually get women out of their chairs at Bible study to pray aloud ... to extend hearts to God, asking him to come and do what only he can do. [I mean, isn't that our primary intention when we pray? We want to communicate with the God of the universe, and implore him to invade, elevate and heal our human condition, riiiight?]
This week, I followed what I believed to be a prompting of God to get women up to pray - to extend our words and hearts to God - for a young husband and father of five little boys who was riding his bike on Superbowl Sunday, and was struck by a hit-and-run driver, and is now fighting for his life. (Will you pray for God to do a miracle in Steve?) We prayed for others who need God to act: for cancer, addiction, loved ones who are far from God.
But first ... I set the stage with a look at how and why there were so many miracles wrought in the weeks and months after Jesus ascended into Heaven. [You ought read Acts 1 - 6 ... wow!]
The recipe: The Word, the Holy Spirit, Prayer, and Obedience.
Jesus told the gathering of his disciples, his mother and brothers to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit.2 And they did. Luke says they joined together constantly in prayer.3
And come the Holy Spirit did, while they were together praying!4
The people were so moved, so drawn, they could not help themselves from coming together-they lived for it! "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."5 To which I say,
"O God, come and create such a stir in your children today!"
As pressure mounts and the apostles are dragged before the court,
they do not pray for God to remove their trials,
they do not even ask God for protection;
instead, they pray for courage.
They ask God to show himself stronger yet-in signs and wonders.6
Let us not fail to recognize when God answers our prayers, as he did by doing more miracles through the faith of the apostles, just as they had asked.7
You've heard it before - one day in Heaven we may get a tour around the magnificent place and be shown a room with boxes stacked from floor to ceiling, with our names scrolled on the outside. Upon inquiry of our angel/guide as to their contents - 'Oh those? Those are all the prayers God was waiting to answer if you had only asked, if you had only prayed.'
Do you see how God worked through the prayers of these new believers, not even yet called 'Christians'?
Seems there was a recipe: The Word, the Holy Spirit, Prayer, and Obedience.
The outcome: answered prayer, growing faith and community
->and the miraculous!
It is just as Jesus said it would be, and he always keeps his word. Jesus told the disciples he would be leaving them-to prepare a place for them-so that one day they (and we) could join him. And that it was better for him to go because then the Holy Spirit would come.8 And then he says this mind-blowing thing:
whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing,
and they will do even greater things than these...9
'Need to see God move in your life? Work the recipe. Get into his Word, seek him in prayer, listen and obey him, and the Holy Spirit will go to work on your behalf. Prayer: it impresses me.
[Consider reading through the Scripture references below...just amazing.]
- a unique flash mob!
I pray you are impressed into action.
1 - Women of Passion is Bible study on Thursday Mornings in San Juan Capistrano, CA
2 - Acts 1.4-5
3 - Acts 1.14
4 - Acts 2.1-4
5 - Acts 2.42
6 - Acts 4.29-30
7 - Acts 5.12
8 - John 14.16-17
9 - John 14.12
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