We believe that our book, A Life of Miracles, will definitely help people because it is Biblical in nature. One of the things I mean by that is that the Bible is the story of mankind's redemption and the revelation of God's glorious nature. However, it is also a book of miracles and supernatural occurrences from cover to cover, from the creation in Genesis to the Resurrection in the book of Revelation. Our God is a God of miracles. The miraculous and the supernatural are 'natural' to God and those things should be something that Christians, those born into His family, experience — not just things that they read about.
James, the brother of the Lord, the leader of the early Church in Jerusalem, was a man of prayer. He revealed long ago why many Christians do not experience the miraculous and the supernatural. He said, "You have not because you ask not." (James 4:2)
This article should be an effective help to your faith as you ask, believe, and receive for His glory and to your great joy.
We are going to read the story about when Jesus, His family, and some of his followers were attending a wedding feast at the home of some relatives. We are going to see the first time that, as far as we know, someone “prayed” to Jesus. We will see how they prayed, how they believed, and how that prayer was answered.
Let’s first read the story from John’s gospel, chapter two:
“ … there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus' mother told him, "They have no more wine."
"Dear woman, that's not our problem," Jesus replied. "My time has not yet come."
But his mother told the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."
Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told the servants, "Fill the jars with water." When the jars had been filled, he said, "Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies." So the servants followed his instructions.
When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. "A host always serves the best wine first," he said. "Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!"
This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him. After the wedding he went to Capernaum for a few days with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples." [John 2:1-12 New Living Translation - Tyndale Charitable Trust]
There are some very simple, but very important things about prayer that we learn here.
First of all, people are often intimidated concerning asking God for ‘things’, especially if we realize that the ‘thing’ we are asking may actually require a ‘miraculous’ work of Divine intervention. If we don’t understand ‘how’ God can do something it is challenging for us to ask him to do it. We need to get rid of that idea, it is a hindrance to faith. If we understood ‘how’ God does things that seem miraculous or supernatural we could just do it ourselves. Prayer is all about asking God for things we don’t know how to obtain or to do things we are unable to do.
The example of prayer we are looking at in this story is that of Mary ‘asking’ Jesus to do something about the fact that those who were responsible for providing wine for the wedding feast had misjudged the number of people who would show up or how much they would drink. To run out of beverages when there was a large crowd of invited guests would be a terrible embarrassment. Mary asks Jesus to do something about the exhausted supply of wine.
Now… was Mary asking Jesus to do a miracle?
We really are not sure. The Gospel says, literally, that Jesus did this as the beginning of his miraculous signs and revealed his glory… and his disciples believed on him. So this was the first time Jesus had revealed his ‘supernatural’ connection to the Father to his followers (disciples).
Jesus was the eldest son in Mary’s household, and since Joseph’s passing he had been the ‘man of the house’. Since the time, around his twelfth birthday, that Mary and Joseph had taken him up to Jerusalem Mary would have been aware that he had come to do ‘the Father’s business’. (Luke 2:49) Carpenters were generally rather poor people. It is entirely possible that she had previously seen some ‘private’ miraculous manifestations as Jesus had at sometime over the previous thirty years called upon the Father to meet some serious need, or… maybe not. That is not the point actually. The point is there was a serous problem, there was no apparent answer, and her experience with and knowledge of Jesus somehow gave her the confidence that he was the one to turn to when there was a problem.
That’s lesson number one isn’t it? As soon as we have a need and we have no answer we need to turn to Him confident that He CAN do something about it. Nothing is too hard for the Lord. With God all things are possible. (Genesis 18:4, Matthew 19:26)
Of course the question that follows then is, WILL he do something about it?
Our unbelieving human minds, eager to avoid disappointment, and rejection and to avoid anything that might confirm our doubts do quickly come up with many deceitfully religious and reverent ideas why He may not do anything or why we should not ask.
According to that kind of reasoning there are good reasons why Mary should not have asked and why Jesus should not have complied with her request.
First, this would be the very first miracle that Jesus would perform since being the Holy Spirit had anointed him with power for His Messianiac work and office when he was baptized by John. For all eternity, when followers of Jesus are asked, “What was the first miracle that Jesus worked they would have to answer… “He made nearly fifty gallons of great wine for a wedding party.”
Secondly, Jesus was already acquainted with ‘being led by the Spirit’ to do the Father’s will. And, as he was there with the servants he too was aware that the wine had run out. Yet, he did not feel that this was the time and place for him to manifest his power and glory. He told Mary that. He also told Mary, “What is this to us?” In other words, this is not really our problem. And then he reinforced his disinclination to do this by saying to her, “My hour has not yet come.”
All of the miracles that Jesus did do were to deliver people out of the power of darkness, to meet serious needs; or they were done in answer to pleas of desperate people, or to teach and illustrate some important spiritual truth. None of that seemed to be at stake here. These wedding feasts always went on for days, running low on supplies was nothing new or so very serious as to require divine, miraculous intervention.
The facts are, however, that Mary did ask, she did expect and believe for an answer, she did receive what she asked for, and it was a great creative miracle. This looks very much like a perfect illustration of the words of Jesus where he said, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24
She knew Jesus. She knew his character and his heart. She knew of his love for her, she knew that he had always taken care of her, she knew she could trust him to do whatever he could to see that her needs were met. (Do we know all of that?)
It was with that confidence that after asking him to do something about the depleted wine reserves, even though he acted as though he might not do it, she simply turned to the servants and said, “Whatever he says to you, do it.” She knew, she believed, she trusted that he would do something in anwer to her prayer request! She didn’t know if he really wanted to, she didn’t know what he would do, she didn’t know how he would do it. She just trusted him to meet this need.
That is faith! That was the prayer of faith! That is the faith that pleases God so much that he will adjust the universe if necessary to honor and meet that faith.
Can you imagine having that kind of boldness in prayer? If you are a child of God you should have that joy and boldness in prayer.
Some might say that this was different; after all she was his mother. To that Jesus would say that every one who does the will of God is his brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:35
Others might say, “Well, she was just like a new convert. She hadn’t had enough teaching or Christian education to know she shouldn’t ask for things like that.”
Actually, her faith and actions conform to what Jesus taught his disciples:
“Ask, and it will be given to you...” Matthew 7:7
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”
Perhaps we have been taught wrong or taught to much!
If we would have that instinct to look to God and pray about every need great and small, if we would get up from prayer thanking Him and believing him for what he is going to do we could live a life of miracles.
Don and Leia Schulze
This modern-day spiritual odyssey takes you on a heartwarming, soul-stirring exploration of faith. Join Don and Leia and their family on their adventures across America, Asia, Europe, and Central Africa. Real stories about real people and real, modern day miracles! You will also discover practical steps to seeing your own daily walk with God add up to a life of miracles. . You will laugh, you will cry, you will cheer... you will believe
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