“Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.” – Acts 2:43
The ministry of Jesus was marked by a breakthrough of the Kingdom of God in word, deed, and power. Jesus announced the Kingdom with words. He embodied the Kingdom with deeds. And he demonstrated the reality of the Kingdom with power, through signs and wonders. It is this power of God we want to focus on today. The power of God, to heal, to cast out demons, to perform miracles (feeding the 5000, calming the sea) was an essential aspect of Jesus’ ministry. It was, after all, these signs and wonders that made the disciples and crowds stop in amazement and pay attention to what Jesus had to say. The power of the Holy Spirit authenticated Jesus’ words and demonstrated Jesus’ authority. “Which is easier,” Jesus asked a room full of Pharisees, astonished onlookers, friends, and a paralyzed man, “to forgive sins or to say rise and walk? But so that you know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” and Jesus proceeded to heal the paralytic. The healing was a sign demonstrating his authority to forgive.
Revival involves a breakthrough in the power of God. And especially today, this is perhaps what is most needed. We are comfortable talking about compelling words or deeds…but we also need power. Because our words, even our deeds, are not actually enough to arrest the attention of a post-Christian world and city that is increasingly disinterested in and turned off by the gospel and the church. When we look at revivals of the past, including the revival in Acts 2, we see that in addition to the preaching of the apostles and the habitus of the early Church, there were signs and wonders. It was the tongues of fire and the sound of violent wind that drew the crowds at Pentecost. It was the healing of the beggar at the Temple gate that drew the attention of the whole city and the religious leaders in Acts 3 and 4.
When the Kingdom truly breaks through to a new normal in revival, it involves the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “I did not come to you with wise and persuasive words but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power.” Many of us have limited experience with the healing power of the Spirit, or with gifts of wisdom, prophetic revelation, and knowledge. We have limited experience with seeing people delivered from spiritual bondage or demonic oppression. But this is actually what we need and must pray for if we truly want revival.
To long for revival is to open ourselves up to the possibility of seeing the miraculous – and it is asking God to use us to birth the miraculous. If we are not open to hearing a prophetic word from God, if we don’t ask God to speak or reveal things to us – he will not break down the doors of our mind and barge into our consciousness. If we do not pray for healing or admit the possibility that God can heal someone – he will not use our prayers to heal people. God does miracles, but when he does he always inhabits and incarnates his power through human effort and activity. So if we want to see miracles, we have to be willing to participate in them. We put our hand on a sick person. We speak healing in Jesus’ name, with faith in God’s power. And the Spirit does the healing.
This year, let’s ask God to see miracles. Let’s ask God to do miracles, healings, signs, and wonders through us. Let’s ask for the gospel not only to be proclaimed or lived out at Sanctuary, but demonstrated through signs and wonders so that our friends, family, colleagues, coworkers who don’t know Jesus would be intrigued and drawn in.
Have you ever prayed for healing? Asked someone to pray for healing over you? Have you asked God for a dream? For revelation? For a prophetic word?
Do you want to be healed? To be able to heal? Ask God for the gift of healing and try praying for someone who is sick.
Ask yourself this: where is the limit of your faith? What do you believe God is able to do in terms of the miraculous or signs and wonders? Admit your unbelief to him and ask him for greater faith.
Ask God to release the miraculous this year in our church.
Ask God for people to be healed and delivered. Ask God to demonstrate the Kingdom through signs and wonders this year.
Ask God to partner with you in these miraculous ministries.
Pray for the prayer ministry team and for intercessors to be activated and equipped in new ways this year. Pray for testimonies of healing and deliverance to be shared and spark greater faith in our community.
Pray for the supernatural to become our new normal this year.