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Praying and Believing for Miracles




Before you commit to joining me on this journey, I want to give you a heads-up that the words below are likely not what you are expecting.

I will share my miracle story with you, but it isn’t the type of miracle you see coming. I am going to encourage you to pray and believe for miracles in your own life, but not in the way you might expect. 

Why? Because I’ve discovered a few things about miracles that have dramatically altered how I pray and believe. I’ve dismantled inaccuracies in my interpretation of scripture that I had adopted as truth. 

I’ve seen the miracle power of the Holy Spirit move in my life, and the lives of people I love when expectations are laid at the feet of Jesus and hands are open to how He wants to move. All this while still painfully aware of my finite, humanity-cloaked, limited understanding of this side of Heaven.

Still in? Great, let’s start with a big word–expectation.

The Space Between

Lysa Tyerkest, in The Best Yes, writes, “The space between our expectations and our reality is a fertile field, and it’s the perfect place to grow a bumper crop of disappointment.” She is referring to the tension of unmet expectations in human relationships here. Still, I would argue this sentiment can also be applied to our relationship with God should our expectations of His sovereignty be misplaced. 

We see this dynamic play out in how Peter responds to Jesus’ arrest in John 18. Peter has personally witnessed and experienced the miraculous as an apostle. He knows the hour is coming when Jesus will be glorified; Jesus told him plainly in His teaching hours before, but when the lanterns and torches and weapons arrive, Peter panics. 

This is not the grand finale he had in mind, and in his moment of panic, Peter, “having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear.” (John 18:10)

So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

 John 18:11

Jesus knew all that would happen to him (John 18:4) and reminded Peter to think beyond the moment, no matter how bleak, and trust. Luke’s gospel tells us that Jesus healed the servant’s ear immediately–His authority over the situation was not in question; Peter’s trust was.

The bumper crop of disappointment was planted. Expectation crashed into reality, and Peter lacked the awareness to see beyond the circumstances and remember the promise–Jesus glorified.

In 2017, my husband and I began trying for a family. We were young, hopeful, and had no reason to believe our declaration of “this is the month” repeatedly would become utter heartbreak within the year. 

Infertility entered our story, and a journey with specialists began. Again hopeful, we asked our close friends, family, and church to pray. 

Months of back and forth meant, in our minds, the door was open for a miracle. Test results were not looking good, but there was still a chance that things could change and our medical options would expand. So we prayed and asked for the miracle of healing.

And then we got the call. The tests we had been waiting for with bated breath had returned, and the doctor kindly explained our journey with them had ended. The words “zero percent chance” became the bumper crop, and our once fertile field rotted overnight.

Disappointment feels too small a word for what we walked through in the months ahead. Our hearts were broken, and we felt, like Peter, that we had misunderstood God. 

Maybe you’ve been there, too?

Laying Down Our Will

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Matthew 6:10

Like many of you, I memorized the Lord’s Prayer almost thirty years ago in children’s church. I never expected it to become words I would cling to when I needed a miracle.

“Your will be done…” 

It’s easy to say but challenging to live out when the pressure hits and disappointment enters the story. Why is that? 

Our natural inclination is to fix it. To find a way, make the call, and work it out so things will change. We are fix-it people–stubbornly self-reliant with a multitude of resources at our fingertips—the YouTube generation with another solution only a click away.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this is entirely a bad thing—until our fix replaces our reliance on God and His sovereignty. 

I grew up in a church where an altar call for miracles often followed the expression of worship. I watched broken and hurting people demand healing. They were specific in their requests, bold in their declarations of His intentions, and often left disappointed when what they had determined to be the fix remained unanswered.

The belief that God performs miracles isn’t wrong – He can, and He does. He exemplifies that over and over again through Scripture and in the miracles I’ve seen with my own eyes. But the belief that God performs miracles and answers prayers if we pray hard and specificly enough is dangerous—it places us at the center of the story and relies on our own willpower to move the heart of God. 

What happens when prayers seem unanswered? Or when we don’t see an outcome within our desired timeline? Do we stop believing God is good? Do we question His character and His sovereignty?

When Job loses everything near to him, this is his response…

Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,

And naked shall I return there.

The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;

Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Job 1:21

Scripture shows us an example of a “blameless and upright” (Job 1:1) man experiencing great loss and suffering, and his response is worship.

When I told you I needed to dismantle inaccuracies in my interpretation of scripture that I had adopted as truth, this is what I meant. 

Months passed as my husband and I absorbed the news of our infertility and sought the Lord to be with us in our grief. We laid down our prayers for healing for a while and took up a prayer of submission.

Father, we don’t understand. We are hurting and broken. We need you to help us see what you see. Open our eyes to the family you have for us, whatever it looks like. Your will be done in us and through us, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Some people didn’t understand this approach. In their minds, the miracle would come through physical healing, and they offered some pretty interesting ways to make that happen. But we knew what the scripture says.

But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.

John 15:26-27

It’s not our decision how God gets the glory in the miracle story, but we decide to bear witness as we give Him the glory. 

Faith Is Both A Quiet Whisper and A Bold Action

Have you ever just felt tired of praying for the same thing over and over again? 

Like, “Hi again, Jesus, just here to make my 185th request this month for the thing I know you already know about (Matthew 6:8) and care about and have a plan for, surely.” You’re not alone, trust me. 

The woman who had been bleeding for more than twelve years understood. In Luke 8:43, we learn she “had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone.” She was tired, tapped out, and in a quiet moment of desperate faith, she reached out and touched the fringe of Jesus’ garment.

Scripture tells us the blood ceased immediately. And Jesus confirmed her faith had made her well.

Our journey with local doctors had ended, yes, but the door was still open for specialists a plane flight (or two) away. We were defeated, and the price was astronomical and, frankly, just over it. 

Prayerfully, we laid it all down. 

In a quiet whisper, we asked God to lead us to the miracle He had in mind, whatever form it might take. As we submitted our will with open hands, we knew He had answered us.

Adoption was what He had in mind—and we said yes.

Let’s fast forward to Luke 18:42, where we again see Jesus declare, “Your faith has made you well” over a blind beggar who chased Him down, ignored the naysayers, and cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 

Jesus declared these words over the woman who anointed his feet with oil and the man with leprosy who returned to give Jesus praise (Luke 7:50, Luke 17:19). The commonality here is bold action–faith poured out in tears and praise.

The road to and through adoption isn’t a straight line. It is often arduous, heartbreaking, messy, and highly emotional. Each step forward felt like another opportunity for disappointment–but with the boldness that only comes from confidence in who Jesus is and His promise to be glorified, we took the risk.

Faith is both a quiet whisper and a bold action—and both move the heart of God.

The Horizon Line

Let’s go back to Peter for a minute. 

As we read through the crucifixion account, we see his disappointment lead him into a pretty dark place. He forgets who he’s been with, what he’s seen, and who he’s called to be. He takes matters into his own hands only to be found out and denies Jesus three times (Matthew 26:69-75).

The rooster crows, and reality sets in (Luke 22:60).

But Jesus had a plan for Peter—and He has a plan for you. 

I love the analogy of the horizon line. Did you know that an average-height person standing on the shore looking over the ocean should be able to see out about three miles? The horizon line limits our vision and view, so we can’t take in the totality of what is happening beyond it.

We can’t see the carrier ship coming in at mile four or the fishing boat that just made a big catch at mile six. We can’t see the beach town ten miles down the coast getting hit with the storm headed our way or the great surf it will bring tomorrow. We can’t see the miracle on the other side of the horizon line, but Jesus is already there.

The same month we completed our adoption home study, a girl in Tennessee discovered she was pregnant. Her search for options and support would lead her to us. Broken and scared, she chose life. Nine months later, we would meet our son. A miracle.

A few years later, we would look out again and say yes to another teen girl in an impossible situation. Fighting against all odds stacked against her from a young age, she believed God could shift her story. Ten days later, we brought home our daughter. A miracle.

The details of our children’s stories are theirs to tell, but the miracle of their lives is a proclamation of praise that will forever point to Jesus being glorified.

Our physical bodies are still not healed. You or someone you love might desperately need healing today; it’s life or death, not a hardship that a shift in perspective can overcome. I feel that tension. In that, we can adopt these few mindsets.

  1. We can refuse to allow the space between to breed disappointment and doubt.  
  2. We can lay down our will for His good plans.
  3. We can allow our faith to be a bold action and a quiet whisper.
  4. We can see the limitation of our horizon line.

When we surrender control and trust in His goodness, we can then watch as God extends the horizon line and reveals the miracle just beyond. 

Father, I praise you today for the miracle story you are writing. I ask you to powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every effort of faith that the name of Jesus may be glorified (2 Thessalonians 1:11) in the life of this reader. Allow them to open their hands and lay down their will for your good and perfect plans. Deliver them from fear as they step into the unknown. You promise those who look to you will not be ashamed (Psalm 24:5), so we trust you will fulfill your promise as they pray and believe for miracles in their life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Article Topics

Scripture References

  • John 18:10-11
  • John 18:4
  • Matthew 6:10
  • John 15:26-27
  • Matthew 6:8
  • Luke 8:43
  • Luke 18:42
  • Luke 7:50
  • Luke 17:19
  • Matthew 26:69-75
  • Luke 22:60
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:11
  • Psalm 24:5
  • Job 1:21
Britt Adams Britt Adams has been invested in Passion City Church as a door holder for more than 13 years. Formerly part of the staff team at Passion, Britt now works from her home as an interior decorator and abstract artist. Britt and Jeremy root their lives in Atlanta with their son, daughter, and two dogs.