Vol.VIII No.I Pg.7
March 1971

Queries And Answers

Robert F. Turner

Dear Editor,

If God answers my prayers for personal needs, wouldnt he have to work a miracle to do it? What does this do to our teaching that the age of miracles is over?


God answers prayer. There is no if about it. He not only created the world by his Son (Heb. 1:2), but he also is upholding all things by the word of his power (Heb. 1:3). His powerful word maintains the universe and causes all things to function as they do. Natural law is but our term to describe the universe in response to his powerful word. To him who runs things in this world we make known both our thanksgiving and our petitions in everything (Phil. 4:6).

Gods hand in the affairs of men is not always obvious. Elijah prayed for a drought, and rain ceased for three and a half years (Jas. 5:17). A resident of Israel — being unaware of Elijahs prayer — could not perceive this drought to be a specific answer to prayer. Nothing dramatic happened — just a long dry spell. Then Elijah prayed for rain while his servant watched toward the sea. When a cloud appeared on the horizon, they prepared for rain — the specific answer to Elijahs prayer. Yet the cloud came from the sea as all rain clouds did (1 King. 18:41-f). Nothing seemed out of the ordinary except the dry weather was over. At times God openly displayed his power to answer prayer. King Hezekiah was sick unto death, but God heard his prayer and spared his life. God demonstrated his power by moving the shadow of the sundial backward (2 King. 20: 1-f). We anticipate no such display of power, but we confidently expect God to our prayers. Man will not long continue to pray who does not believe God will hear and respond to his prayers.

But is Gods hand in the affairs of man a miracle? Define the term. A miracle is a supernatural happening; it is defined by comparison to the normal. It is not natural for man to calm the wind with a word, to instantly heal the sick and crippled, or to raise the dead. Thus when a man does such, it is a miracle — an incident above his natural power as man. But what is supernatural for God? It is no miracle when God causes rain in answer to prayer. He provides the rain anyway (Mt. 5:45). It seems out of place to refer to the actions of God himself as miracles.

Consider the age of miracles. Signs, wonders, and miracles guaranteed Gods spokesman and their words to be true (Jno. 3:2 Act. 2: 22) Gods revelation has been completed; there are no inspired men working miracles today. However, this has no connection with Gods actions in answering prayer.

Our great need is for more faith in both Gods power and his willingness to answer prayer. Making my heart known to God in prayer is my part. What he answers (yes or no) or how he accomplishes it must continue to be his business. We trust him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us. (Eph. 3:21). --Joe Fitch