REASONS TO ASK GOD FOR SIGNS AND MIRACLES
- They are promised by Jesus to those who believe in Him (Mark 16:17-20; 1Cor 12:8-11; 13:28).
- Jesus said those who believe in Him would do even greater things than He did (John 14:12,13).
- Christ disarmed the works of darkness and demons at the Cross (Col 2:15). He gave believers His authority over the demonic realm (Mark 16:17; John 14:12,13). When an evangelist uses Christ’s authority to cast out demons, the demonic rule over a person is broken and the person becomes free. People held in bondage to demon powers need to experience the power of Jesus to be set free. Those exposed to demonic forces need to know that as Christians, they are no longer subject to demonic forces and have no reason to fear.
- Signs and miracles display the very real power and authority of Jesus Christ.
- Signs and miracles help reinforce the Gospel that is being preached.
- Paul saw many miracles in his ministry (Rom 15:18,19; 2 Cor 12:12), as did Philip. Peter also saw miracles happen when he preached about Jesus. Many evangelists and ministers throughout history and around the world today see God do miracles as they pray for others. As a disciple and minister of Christ, you should also believe God for signs and miracles as part of your ministry.
MIRACLES MAY BRING TROUBLE
Miracles give people reason to rejoice and believe in the Gospel. John 20:30,31 says, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
But miracles done in Jesus’ name may not always bring a positive response. Jesus was opposed when He performed miracles (Matt 12:9-14). Paul had much trouble when he preached the Gospel and miracles took place (read Acts 19:9-12, 23-41). Satan opposes the Gospel and anything that truly glorifies the risen Christ; unredeemed people often do as well.
Pray and ask God for His protection. God will help you each time you preach and pray for the sick and confront devils. Always listen to the Holy Spirit and do exactly what the Holy Spirit tells you to do. Do not try to copy another man or woman’s ministry style. You do not have their ministry. You have only the ministry that God gave to you, and it can become a powerful one through Christ. Act in faith on what the Lord shows you.
HOW TO BEGIN TO SEEN MIRACLES
One: Obey God. Preach the Gospel where God sends you. Tell people that Jesus can heal and then lay your hands on people and pray in Jesus’ name; anoint the sick with oil, according to the Scriptures (Mark 6:13; Jas 5:14). Remember, it is not you or your gift that heals people. It is the power of God that heals, as you are obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Two: The Word of God is powerful and living (Heb 4:12) and is backed up by God’s authority. Memorize verses or chapters of the Bible often as part of your Christian discipline. Then, when you are praying for others, quote the verses of Scripture that the Holy Spirit may bring to your mind.
For instance, if you are praying for someone who is sick, you can say, “Jesus, Your Word tells us that ‘the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up’. So right now, we agree with Your Word and ask you to heal and raise this person up!” There is power in the spoken Word of God!
Three: Have faith in Jesus Christ that He is truly all that the Bible declares Him to be – the One with ALL authority and ALL power! As we walk in obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, Christ will work through us in His power and authority to perform His will (Matt 18:18-20; Mark 16:17).
Four: Ask for the gifts of knowledge and wisdom, and for discernment (1 Cor 12:8-11). Is someone sick because of demons, disease or both? Is there transgression in the person’s life that is opening him up to sickness? Has the person or his family been involved in witchcraft? Rely much on the Holy Spirit to help you discern the reason for the sickness or problem, so that you can address the true problem in prayer. Don’t be in a hurry. In some cases, fasting and extra prayer will be required (Matt 17:21).
Five: In your prayer time, ask the Lord for His encouragement to get you ready to see signs and miracles. Pray in tongues and edify yourself, building up your faith (Jude 20).
Six: Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you about miracles as you read the Bible. Ask God to provide others who can also teach you and help you grow in this area.
When you are preaching or sharing the Good News with others, ask if there are any sick people present. Ask them if you can pray for them. Tell them that Jesus can heal the sick. Pray and believe God to do miracles. Then share the Gospel and pray with them to receive Christ.
When you are praying for the sick, be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Listen to Him as you minister. It is important to bring sick or demonized people to salvation through Christ, because they have power against further demonic activity only through Christ (Matt 12:43-45; Eph 6:10-18; Jas 4:7; IPet 5:,8,9).
SIGNS, WONDERS, AND MIRACLES OFTEN ACCOMPANY EVANGELISTS
In the previous section, we learned that Philip preached and prayed in the name of Jesus. Unclean spirits came out; people who were sick were made well. These were powerful signs to show the people that Philip told them the truth. Then the people were excited and joyful (Acts 8:5-13).
Read Acts 8:5-13 again, asking the Lord to teach you. If you are an evangelist who is obeying God and preaching the full Gospel message, then believe God to give you miracles and signs following!
A group of evangelists in Africa prayed, and felt led by God to go to two villages to preach the Gospel. They went there and preached the Gospel; many people accepted Christ. The village asked the evangelists to pray for rain, since it had not rained for many months. After the group left for the next village, it rained for three and a half hours! The village sent runners after the team to tell them this news. God had given a sign to the whole village that His power was real and that what the evangelists had spoken was true.
Miracles took place wherever Jesus went. Miracles took place wherever the disciples went (Rom 15:19, Acts 6:8). Philip was a disciple, and you are also a disciple. The world has changed, but God has not (Heb 13:8). Ask God for and receive with faith the gift of miracles to confirm His power and the Gospel message.
REASONS MIRACLES MAY BE ABSENT
One: You have no faith or you struggle with unbelief. One must have faith in Jesus and who He is in order for His miracle power to be displayed (Matt 17:14-20; Heb 11:6).
Two: You don’t believe God does miracles, or that He can use you to pray for miracles. God did not promise His power just to the intelligent, the rich, the educated, or to the best speakers. Jesus promised His power to all “those who believe” (Mark 16:16,17).
Three: Your life is not clean. You have disobeyed God or are caught in a sin. Or you may have an unclean motive, desiring God’s miracle power to glorify yourself and not Jesus Christ (Acts 8:14-23). You must repent and go to a brother or sister and confess your faults and ask them to pray with you and for you (James 5:16; 1John 1:9). All ministers of the Gospel must do their utmost to live in a godly and holy manner (1Tim 3:2; Titus 1:6).
Four: Someone has taught you that miracles do not happen today. You have the wrong information. Determine to study the Word of God and learn the truth about what Jesus did and said regarding miracles. It takes faith to believe in God and His Word. Remember, we serve an unchanging, risen Savior: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb 13:8).
Jesus Himself said, “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:17,18).
Of Paul and Barnabas, it is said: “Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands” (Acts 14:3). Ask God for these works of power for your ministry so that God will be glorified and the Kingdom of God will grow.
Five: You may be undisciplined, or perhaps too proud. You don’t spend time reading and studying the Bible or building up your faith in God. You seldom go to preach or talk to others about Christ. You want special invitations for you to preach.
Of these things you should repent! You must determine to be a faithful disciple, praying and studying. You should be willing to go wherever God sends you to preach – and to whoever has not heard! When we are faithful in the small or lowly things, God then releases more (Matt 25:23).
It can take time for your faith to grow in a way that you can truly believe God for miracles. Study your Bible to learn well the Gospel message. Study this section of the article several times, and other reliable material that you have regarding miracles. Begin to believe the Word of God, and tell God you believe Him. When God gives you opportunities to share the Gospel, pray for the needs of the person or people you are sharing with. Ask God to guide you and direct you, to teach you. Soon you will begin to see miraculous things take place. Be obedient to all God shows you, and you will grow in understanding and being used by the Lord Jesus.
BIBLE PASSAGES ABOUT SIGNS, WONDERS AND MIRACLES
Take time to read, study and pray over these verses from Scripture that tell about God’s power and about miracles, signs and wonders:
Luke 5:17; 10:18-20
John 4:54; 6:14; 12:9-11; 14:12
Acts 3:16, 4:7-10,16,22; 4:29,30; 8:5-13; 10:38; 14:3; 15:12; 19:11,12
1 Corinthians 4:20; 12:9,10,28
2 Corinthians 12:12
1 Thessalonians 1:5