The Miracle Lottery

Lately I have been telling friends that praying for a miracle for my wife seems a lot like buying a lottery ticket.. and the chances of seeing a miracle seem to resemble those of winning Powerball.. one in a billion or so. I started thinking about this a bit and wondering about this kind of mentality.

People who regularly buy lottery tickets seem to be people who are looking for a quick fix.. they want to see results fast but don't want to put a lot of effort into getting results. I admit that is the way that I feel sometimes - life is very hard at times and I want a healing miracle.. and I want it NOW!

Maybe I need to pause a minute and talk about what I mean when I say miracle.. some folks attribute everything from coincidental happenings and ministry donations to the miraculous. Here is a definition that I resonate with:
An effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.
Now that I have got that one out of the way, I have to ask:
So what is wrong with wanting a miracle?
Probably nothing - unless it short circuits your life and hinders the forward progress of it. Often a desire for a miracle can be likened to a state of denial.. a way that the body copes with trauma or loss.. and it is okay for a season.. but when it is prolonged it becomes problematic because it prevents us from accepting our state of being and makes contentment very difficult.

Religious people will often use scripture to deny the reality of their situation. Some will use this verse which speaks of Abraham's faith:
He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. -Romans 4:17b
Folks in the Word of Faith sect will often use this verse to "confess" things that are not as though they were. They believe that one can confess unseen spiritual realities into seen realities. To be sure, I am not against such confessions as long as the Holy Spirit leads a person to do it. My experience is that most of such confessions is head-based and has little to do with the Spirit.

Back to the miracle lottery mentality. You might ask if I even believe in miracles and, in light of what I have written, is it wrong to pray for a miracle? The answers, of course, are yes I believe in miracles with all of my heart and I will continue to ask for them with all of my heart! What I will not do, however, is to live my life in anticipation of miracles. This may rub some wrong.. if it does please tell me what that kind of life looks like.

My heart is to live an overcoming life.. a life that does not require a miracle.. a life that says that I can overcome difficulty through grace. The Apostle Paul wrote these words to the Corinthians:
So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul inspires me.. and I can relate to begging prayers.. he inspires me to develop a different attitude.. one that doesn't need a miracle to be happy.. but of course I do still want one :)


  1. This is a, and my choice of word may surprise you, a very beautiful post KB.

    I'm reminded of a quote from Julian of Norwich's (1353-1416?) Showings when she says "He did not say: You will not be troubled, you will not be belaboured, you will not be disquieted; but he said: You will not be overcome."

    You're standing in a long tradition of those who have believed and proclaimed such biblical truths.

    (I'm still praying for you often in the middle of the night, my friend.)

  2. What's up KB?!

    Just checking in and seeing how you're doing...


  3. The end of the post reads, "need a miracle to be happy" and in fact reading with alternate emphasis, I'd just like a miracle OF being happy. That would seem to fit the definition. If I could be happy in spite of my circumstances, that might be enough. It would certainly be a miracle, of supernatural origin, because naturally, I can't seem to find it.
    Hoping an praying for a miracle (OF happiness) as you say, "when prolonged becomes problematic because it prevents us from accepting our state of being and makes contentment very difficult". I'm slowly reducing my expectations to contentement, which itself may require a sort of miracle.

  4. Well, I want a miracle for you, too.
    I'm proud of you that you are happy in all circumstances. Doesn't mean we don't get down. It means we get back up.
    Love to you both.

  5. Bob,
    I still want one too.
    I find myself praying for lots of miracles in this chaos. But, I too think that grace has to be enough(not that I stop wanting the thorn to be removed).
    I have found that in the times when I am so powerless and weak, He does show up, even if it's just to tell me that He is still there and still cares.
    It's not fixed, it's not perfect, but it is bearable,only by His grace.

  6. Thanks everyone for all of the encouraging words.

    Echo this one for me Shaun:

    "He does show up, even if it's just to tell me that He is still there and still cares."

    Manifested grace for sure! I am amazed when this happens.. and it is so comforting!


    Although my heart is torn,
    I will praise you in this storm.


  8. I don’t think it’s wrong to want a miracle at all it just work for us to bank our lives on one happening. I want for God to heal me quickly and find a man who will love me and my children. It just won’t happen on my schedule, my friend has shared his story of how God is leading him to heal. I know in time we find healing we just don’t know where or when it will be. I’m praying for you two.


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