What qualifies as miraculous in our everyday, mundane lives? It is one thing to encounter a great injustice and stay true to God and glorify Him through it as others see our godly character. But what about praying for a coworker’s salvation or the success of the place where we work? What about the wife who works and takes care of a home with three kids and a husband and prays for the ability to keep it all together? Are answers to prayer in these situations any less than miraculous? No, they are not.
Flashes of lightening, visions, dreams, revelations and what we typically view as miraculous aren’t daily occurrences for most of us. I believe the Lord does want us to have huge answers to prayer every day and see miracles. That is what I am contending for in my prayer life. Truthfully, I am not there. But I am holding on, and I am putting into proper perspective the miraculous events in my daily life that aren’t lightning bolts from heaven.
When we go to work every day, we are plunged into toil and worldly things. The everyday sameness, dreariness or lack of spirituality at work could cause us to miss what the Lord is doing. The same is true for those who care for children and the home or an elderly parent. But the Holy Spirit has planned a great breakthrough for us. He wants us to experience His miraculous power in the dailiness of life. Prayer is the key to this experience. Prayer can reach beyond what we can see. We can indeed live in an attitude of prayer the entire day, in every conversation and through every task we undertake. And it is through this that the mundane is truly transformed into the miraculous.
But the transformation of prayer can go much deeper. As we face the world each day, we face temptations, and this is where we need the Lord to purify us. Prayer is that act that aligns us with God’s purposes in our day. Prayer is the vehicle that frees us from the bondage of flesh. Prayer is our road to transformation. “As he was praying, the appearance of countenance was altered, and His clothing was white and glistening” (Luke 9:29).
Peter, James and John were with Him on the Mount of Transfiguration. The three of them experienced a simultaneous vision. The whole scene is far beyond our human understanding, frames of reference or perhaps even imaginations. The truth is we may not even be comfortable with the way God chose to communicate at the Transfiguration. We may unknowingly try to limit God in how He can speak to us. However, I can promise you that the Lord speaks how He chooses to speak.
I was in the throes of physical failure. The result: daily pain crises that put me in and out of a wheelchair, an opiate addiction, three total knee replacements and a couple of back surgeries. I sensed the Lord wanted me to quit working. However, I couldn’t afford to quit and couldn’t really hear that anyway. Work was all I knew to do; it was the one thing I learned from my dad. If something isn’t going well or you need to get ahead, just work harder. That may have been sort of true in the work world, but it did not produce life and peace in me. Worst of all, I was deceived into thinking I could gain God’s approval by working harder at being a Christian.
The board of trustees at the Christian academy where I worked was telling me I needed to take a rest, my friends were encouraging me to take a sabbatical and my wife was encouraging me to use the months of sick leave I had accumulated. Finally, I wrote to the Lord in my journal, “Lord, if You want me to stop working, You will have to write on the wall, ‘You need to quit working,'” I figured if the hand of God wrote it for King Belshazzar (Dan. 5), He could do it for me. Of course, I really didn’t believe He would do it. I felt I was safe to keep pressing on. Surely things would improve. But they didn’t.
In my desperate physical state, I went halfway across the United States for a week of treatment a second time. There I met with a team of doctors and a therapist. They had all my medical files, which at the time were a few inches thick. A new therapist I had never seen before came in. She had evaluated my files and thought she had the answer to my problems. She headed to a huge white board on the wall, wiped it clean and wrote in big black letters: “YOU NEED TO QUIT WORKING.”
Let me ask you a question. Will you open up the realm of possibilities with God through prayer? He wants to dynamite your control, expectations, professionalism and spiritual dignity. He is on the lookout for a peculiar people. He is inviting you today in prayer to experience this marvelous transformation. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may declare the goodness of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Pet. 2:9).