A short explanation about Prayers, Prosperity, Miracles and Ministries
Many people see all this ‘God stuff’ as religious nonsense and a crutch for those who follow it. Seven years down the line and I can say from personal experience and investigative study, nothing could be further from the truth.
I always believed there must be some elements we’re expected to understand simply because God is the most purposeful being in the universe, so why would He want to keep everything a secret.
I know His ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9) but there seems to be a very small percentage who ‘get it’ and the majority don’t.
There are so many parts to being a Christian and one of them is knowing the historical back story (Know Your Enemy You Tube Series is a good place to start), but something has been playing on my mind which I’m attempting to explain now, is how everything hangs together.
We all know certain people who seem to have it all sorted and their lives seem to be totally on track. But I don’t get that impression from many Christians, especially when it comes to faith. As I have believed and learned, my faith has grown and my take on things have changed, in a good way.
Take praying; First I thought praying could be done by thinking. Scripture says ‘He knows the number of hairs on our head and knows our thoughts (Psalms 139:2, 94:11). But as Joshua 1:8 was revealed to me I understood that we had to meditate on the word of God and keep the book of the law on our lips. So, thinking and speaking prayers are different!
I realised that words were things (1 Samuel 3:17), the Hebrew for ‘word’ and ‘thing’ is the same ‘Davar’. The Bible is full of clues for us to explore, interpret and follow.
There are many scriptures that advocate spoken prayer like Isaiah 55:11, “My words will not return void”, Romans 4:19, Abraham spoke things in to being and so on. I now see that our prayers need to be spoken and our lives submitted to God for this to make sense.
In our guide to prayer in the Answers section, I’ve mentioned that we can’t pray that God carries out our prayers or instructions to make someone else do something. God gave us all freewill, so that’s not going to work. We can only request that we be changed (Click here to read the guide) and that God will guide and help us to achieve what we’re planning to do. Scripture says He’s with us till the end of the age (Matthew 28:20), it doesn’t say He’s our lackey till the end of the age. We have to learn how to live victoriously in this life – the operative word here is ‘LEARN’.
A favourite subject of many a preacher. Of course, there are those for it and those against it. But I took time to make up my own mind. I listened to preachers who said we had to give to God before He would bless us. I then understood that God only wants our hearts, not our money. That money is not to have us and that we are to be wise about how we operate in the world as Christians.
Obtaining finances, jobs or income is no different for Christians than it is for anyone else in the world. We have to operate slightly differently by binding up the enemy (That means Spiritual Warfare – more info here) and any assignment the enemy may have on us or our intentions and behave with the authority we have been given.
Giving to God shows that our money doesn’t have us. Supporting ministries is a necessity in this world, however, the 10% Tithe or rule doesn’t exist anymore, rather it’s whatever we feel compelled to give. Some say that it’s 100%, that everything someone earns belongs to God and that is only known between the person and God. God knows where your heart is.
I too have prayed for miracles and experienced them, but also believe we have been seduced into thinking that there will be a bolt of lightning and a suit case of money or other similar such occurrence. (Watch my testimony video for full details)
I now see miracles as God’s marketing initiatives. It seems that miracles happen in emergencies and when it is going to bring the most glory to God, like public healing at a large event or at the time of a desperate situation.
Large scale events where miraculous healings take place are no different to 2000 years ago, they're are God’s own events which are to:
1. Preach the Good News
2. Convert non-believers
3. To encourage and strengthen believers
I believe miracles and emergencies go hand-in-glove, but in our daily lives and routines I believe we are expected to act and respond in a certain way.
Christian life is supposed to be the epitome of peace. Everything sorted, health, finances, friends, family and our relationship with God. Therefore, we don’t need miracles every day of the week.
Every Christian has his or her own Ministry and no matter what someone thinks their ministry is about, healing must be at the centre.
It is clear that one of our duties as a Christian is to lay on hands to heal the sick. Church Elders are to be requested to anoint those who are sick with oil so that they will be healed (James 5:14). So, if you go to Church and you’re sick, ask an Elder to anoint you so that you will be healed.
There is no fanfare, no assumption that it is a miracle, it is supposed to be matter of fact. So next time, whatever the ailment, get anointed instead of going to the chemist.
Think about it. The Bible says Jesus healed everyone – wow! That would have been a lot of people, but it had the right affect. It was God making a point – marketing as I like to put it – He could have snapped His fingers and done anything, but He chose to teach us how He wanted it done – to lay on hands.
But what about our every day lives?
This is where our teaching and training comes in to play. As born-again Christians, we are targeted by the enemy because satan wants to try and keep mankind separated from God, that’s why non-Christians are no threat. Therefore, we have to clear the path for our personal and collective victory.
We are to bind up and cast down every possible ‘infection’ of the enemy. We are to keep the scum at bay, because only a Christian, aware of his or her authority can do this!
If there were no Christians on the earth it would literally be hell! So we’re already doing an amazing job, seeing as most Christians haven’t got a clue about their authority, therefore the prayers of a few have a staggeringly positive affect.
We’re meant to be here, God planned it. I’m not waiting to die or to be raptured (See 1 Corinthians 15:52). I’m seeking an understanding that helps me do this life in the best way I can.
We can all get there, it’s not supposed to be shrouded in secrecy and only accessible by a certain select few. God simply wants us to submit to him so that He can guide us by the Holy Spirit. That’s when life get good.
Example: Applying for a new job
So, you’re after a new job. Firstly, you need to:
1. Make sure your CV is up to date
2. Format it so it is presentable
3. Apply - Email or telephone various employment agencies
It is foolish to sit at home and think or wish for a new job expecting someone to call you without having applied in the first place. It’s like the man who goes to church praying to god to let him win the lottery and god says, “First, go and buy a ticket!”
The Bible says we are in the world but not of the world (John 17:16). If we’re in it, we have to ‘play the game’. Only we’re better at it because of God’s help. The Pastor and Evangelist John Bevere said in his book ‘Good or God’:
As Christians we should be the most creative people on the planet. The Creator of everything has taken up residence inside of us, we’re the head and not the tail, the world should imitate our methods, not the other way round
We cannot pray to God asking Him to change someone else. The same applies to our job application. We cannot request that God changes the employers free will and choose us over someone else.
Letting someone else take control
We are to firstly be aware that we have submitted to God and to ask for guidance. To verbally state that His will be done and that we listen out for and be changed by Him and the Holy Spirit.
Whilst miracles can and do happen, we are also to operate in the world and that means doing the same things as non-Christians, like submitting a CV.
What we can do is ask for help, for someone to be placed in our path to guide us, for God to give us boldness on the telephone when speaking to recruitment agencies or even the tenacity to keep going and not to get despondent or feel rejected (by the agencies that is!). The Bible says God will bless the work of our hands (Deuteronomy 28:8). There is no reason to dispute Him.
The Apostle Paul continued to work throughout his ministry so as not to be a burden on those around him. We are all created to work and to derive satisfaction and fulfillment from what we do. It’s just a matter of knowing what we’re here for.
So whether it’s a new job, healing, finances or whatever you need God’s power to achieve, God will do what He needs to do, so ask him how you can be changed to tackle the situation from your end.
We have all been given the same amount of faith, however, if we don’t attempt to fill our intellect with understanding God’s will, which is explained in His word (and various books and commentaries), then how can we expect to be victorious and live the lives we’re expected to live?
What I love about being a Christian is that there’s always an amazing caveat – God can do immeasurably more than we can ever think or imagine (Ephesians 3:20) so anything amazing is possible too.
We have to take the first step towards Jesus, a bit like the leap of faith in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, we have to make the first move. We might see a result the first time, we might not, but that’s not our call, we have to keep on believing and trusting in God.
He’s got our back, He planned for us to have an amazing life on this earth, unfortunately satan screwed things up for a while, but we must know that we have the authority to straighten things out.
Don’t get despondent or think of throwing in the towel, that’s the enemy at work, don’t listen. Instead, tell God, He’s in charge in your life and ask for some pointers and guidance and He will always deliver.
This won’t be a walk-in-the-park simply because we’re under attack. We’re in training and therefore we will get wounded and get some scars, but that’s the point, the scars will be used to make us stronger.
About the Author
Nigel is the founder of Ask About Faith and The Standard | Christian Ministry for Business Owners. He also runs a marketing and technology consultancy.