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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

Miracles for 'Ordinary' People

"The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years!" - James 5:16-17 NLT

I have a dear friend named Peggy who loves the Lord with all her heart. She is one of the most blessed believers I know. Yet one morning, she woke up with a completely paralyzed vocal cord. She had to communicate by "shouting" with all her might, and yet barely a whisper emerged. When she sought medical intervention, Peggy's doctor told her that it could take 12 weeks for her vocal cord to heal, or she might need surgery, which wasn't even guaranteed to work. Her doctor warned her that her voice would never be the same. She stood in faith and publicly asked for prayer. When more than two months passed by with no improvement, Peggy finally scheduled surgery. Less than one week before the surgery, with zero improvement, she felt compelled to cancel her surgery. Then, exactly 90 days after her vocal cord became paralyzed, Peggy woke up and could speak! Not only did her voice return, but it was as good as new. Peggy says that she believes that God wanted her to lean on Him, and to stand in faith, even when she saw no physical change. And the thing that impressed her most about all this? That God worked this miracle, not for someone who was famous or super spiritual, but for her - "regular ole Peggy Jo."

Peggy's experience reminded me of a movie that I saw a while back about a family of believers who received an extraordinary miracle for the healing of their young daughter. At the very end of the film, there was a brief testimony from the real mother in the story, and she said that what impressed her most about the incident was that God intervened in a miraculous way, even though she was "just an ordinary person." She simply could not get over that.

I hear from "ordinary" Christians on a regular basis who have witnessed God moving mountains on their behalf. And I have been the recipient of some extraordinary answers to prayer myself. And you know what? It's entirely scriptural for believers to pray for - and expect - God's miraculous intervention. The Bible says, "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." (James 5:16 NIV) Who is "righteous" according to Scripture? Those who have trusted Christ as their Lord and Savior. The following verses in this passage tell us: "Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops." Don't miss what the Spirit of God is trying to teach us here. As followers of Christ - as the "righteous" - our prayers are immensely powerful. We aren't perfect, but then neither was Elijah. The Amplified translation says of him, "Elijah was a man with a nature like ours [with the same physical, mental, and spiritual limitations and shortcomings], and he prayed intensely for it not to rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months." (James 5:17 AMP) We like to think of Elijah as a powerful man of God - and he was - but we also must see him with the same "limitations and shortcomings" that you and I have, if we are ever going to fulfill our God-given purpose and potential on this earth.

Satan and his demons would like nothing better than to keep you thinking that your prayers are pitiful, that you don't deserve God's blessings, and that you can't make a difference in this world. Well, the truth is that the devil is a liar, and your prayers have tremendous power, and that even though you don't deserve God's blessings, you can be the recipient of them because of your faith in Jesus. Oh, and by the way, with the Holy Spirit's help, you can be a world-changer for Christ. Are you ready to believe God for the extraordinary today?

Prayer: Lord, I thank You that Your Word says that because of my faith in Christ, my prayers have tremendous power. Help me to never take the privilege of prayer for granted. Instead, help me to live my life making the most of my prayer power and potential. Make me sensitive and obedient to Your Spirit's leading so that I will make the most of every opportunity to pray for myself and others. Grant me the revelation I need to see through the devil's tactics to hinder my prayer life, and to thwart Your high purposes for my life. Thank You that as I partner with You for Your plans and purposes to come to pass, You will do the extraordinary on my behalf!

- J. M. Farro


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