Miracles can be a touchy subject among Christians. Talking about miracles is difficult: while all acknowledge that God is ultimately the one who performs miracles, there are divisions concerning how to describe the human conduit’s actions. Consider the following verse.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. -John 14:12
How far should we go in saying that humans “do” miracles? The testimony of people who have been involved in miracles clearly demonstrates a level of initiative, choice, and action on the part of humans. We perceive a need or opportunity for God to be involved in a situation, we ask that He do something (specifically or generally), and we may even declare that God has done or will do something, acting on faith that He agrees with what we have asked of Him.
There are times, however – many times – when what we ask for has not been done. Then comes the analysis of why it has not been done and the attempt to deal with the psychological results of disappointment. Sometimes appeal is made to Scripture, the following verse being commonly used.
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. -James 4:2
A variety of factors have been identified as to why a miracle might not occur: wrong motives; wrong timing; lack of faith; better things are planned than what has been asked for; and so on. Sometimes, we receive confirmation of the suggested answer. Sometimes, for whatever reason, we do not, leaving us to work the problem through. That latter path is part of our growth; a passive Christianity that does not lead to the maturation of the believer is less than what God wants for us.
In any case, these questions are important, because miracles are associated with revival. The USA and the UK are both in need of revival, both in need of God’s presence in power and glory. Some are prophesying that revival will come, but the nature of these prophecies must also be considered. It is possible for a prophecy to be contingent: if you do X / X occurs, then Y will happen. If these revival prophecies are of a contingent nature, depending on how the Church (and the nation) responds to God’s call, then it behoves us to consider how we may prepare for or foster conditions that will be receptive to revival.
Dissemination of information, whether or not revival is contingent upon our actions, appears to be important, as is prayer. Parts of the Church seem to be in darkness about what is going on, either through carelessness or wilful ignorance. Finding a way to pierce the darkness in a manner consistent with God’s character is a challenge that faces us.
Watchmen, messengers, counsellors, teachers, and prophets all play a role in this spreading of information. In the world of echo-chambers, into which we all have fallen, the task is to cross from the safe world of likeminded people to the world of those who have not heard. Perhaps one item, then, for the agenda at prayer is to ask God to give and show us opportunities to share revival words with those who have not heard and to ask Him how we can co-operate with Him to prepare for and usher in revival.