The short answer to this question is… yes I do!
But I’m guessing you probably want a little more detail than that…
The question is about whether the miracles you can read about in the Bible still happen today. For example, when was the last time you went to the swimming pool and someone was walking about on top of it? Did you ever see a dinner lady feed the whole school with just one packed lunch? Have you ever known someone who died on Tuesday and went back to school on Thursday?!
Firstly, it might be useful to know that not all Christians would agree about this question. Some Christians think that miracles stopped when the Bible was put together. This view is called Cessationist. Other Christians would say that miracles still happen today – sometimes even greater ones. This view is called Continuationist.
I’m a Continuationist. I do believe in miracles. I think I’ve seen some first-hand and even experienced them.
But I’m also aware of some things that are definitely not miracles. Step’s definition of a miracle is an event that defies the laws of nature - it cannot possibly happen, yet happens anyway. Now the way we experience life is filtered through our senses but unfortunately our senses aren’t infallible. Sometimes our eyes can be tricked or our minds confused. There are some people who may try to deceive others into believing a miracle happened for money or for fame. There can be various factors at work like crowd dynamics, wishful thinking and even trickery.
I believe in miracles. I believe in fakes. I can’t always tell which is which.
So let me tell you one thing that happened personally to me.
A few years ago I developed a problem with my ankle. Every morning I woke up I would find my ankle ‘locked’ into place. It was very painful and would gradually ease back into use as the day wore on. I had to limp around for several hours!
I had been considering seeing a doctor about this as it had been going on for a couple of weeks. One day, whilst I was attending a Christian course, we had a visiting speaker. The speaker and I had never met before but at the end of his talk he shared a word of knowledge (this means God had revealed something to him supernaturally) that there was someone in the room who had a problem with their left ankle.
There were 30 of us present. I was the only one with a problem with my left ankle so I stood up. The speaker, never having met me, continued to share insight and encouragement into the work I was doing in schools. He prayed for healing for my ankle and from that night I’ve never again had a problem. The very next day the ankle was back to normal.
That’s my experience of a miracle. If you’re curious to find out more about miracles and faith you could talk to your school's Step worker or a volunteer. Alternatively, there are some great books on the subject – I really enjoyed reading 'I Believe in Miracles' by Kathryn Khulman which has some amazing stories.
Yes and no. I generally would say no, because I don't think we can control when miracles happen. We can pray and ask God to intervene and sometimes he will and sometimes he won't. I don't think we really know if one is going to happen.
However, there is a spiritual gift (a gift given by God which can be found in 1 Corinthians 12) called 'the gift of faith'. This isn't quite the same as the usual definition of faith, which means having a belief in God, but is understood by many to be a real sense that God is going to intervene into a particular situation. People would say that when they prayed for someone, they got an overwhelming feeling God was going to heal them and he did.
A Christian is someone who has made a personal decision to follow Jesus Christ. The word 'Christian' means 'little Christ' and was probably originally an insult given to the followers of Jesus by local people!
Because that decision is personal, you cannot tell from the outside if someone is a Christian or not. Wearing certain clothes, going to church, giving to charity, even saying prayers doesn’t make someone a Christian. At the heart it’s about a relationship with God through Jesus. It’s about putting your faith in him.
There’s a story of a missionary called John Paton who was translating the Bible for a tribe in the New Hebrides. But in the local language there was no word for trust – the islanders trusted nobody! John Paton had an idea. He leant back on his chair and raised both feet off the floor. Then he asked his assistant, “What am I doing now?” His assistant used the word that meant in the local language 'to lean your whole weight upon'. This is the word John Paton translated for faith.
A Christian is someone who has put their faith in Jesus, or leant their whole weight upon him. In other words, they have decided to trust Jesus to forgive them, to guide them, to heal them, to change them and to save them. He’s the boss! When Jesus died on the cross, Christians believe that he took the punishment for the wrong things that we’ve done. Then, rising from the dead three days later, Jesus won the victory for us and opened up the way to heaven. By placing our trust in Jesus, we’re forgiven.
The Bible teaches that when someone becomes a Christian, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside them. They get a brand new start to life, what you might call being “born again”. Many people experience this change through a simple prayer like the one below. There are no magic words and you don’t need to experience any special feeling. It’s all about the start of a relationship with God.
I’m truly sorry for the things I’ve done wrong in my life.
I turn away from them now and ask for your forgiveness.
Thank you for sending Jesus.
Thank you that he took my punishment on the cross.
Please come and live in my heart today.
I want to follow you the rest of my life.
Fill me with your Holy Spirit and help me to start a new life.
If you’ve prayed this prayer today you could tell a friend you know who is a Christian, or your local church, or get in touch with Step.
Hi, I’m Chris, and I believe in the devil. Sounds a little like a confession of a guilty pleasure, doesn’t it?
I don’t believe in the devil of popular fiction or some ancient art forms. Like most 'Bible believing' Christians, I believe in the devil mainly because he features so heavily in the Bible. He was an angel who led a third of heaven in a rebellion against God. He lost and was kicked out and sent to Earth. God created Hell for him and all his angels. I think he is a conscious force for evil and is doing everything in his power to steal, kill and destroy God’s creation - namely you and me. He is the logical explanation of why humans can do such atrocious things to each other. He isn’t God’s equal - he isn’t omniscient, he isn’t omnipotent and he isn’t omnipresent. He has been sent to hell and suffers alongside those that follow him.
Prayer isn’t presenting a list of demands, or treating God like a genie in lamp. You don’t pray and wait for him to pop up and say “How can I help you master?” Prayer isn’t commanding God Almighty to do our bidding. Prayer isn’t a bargain - where you promise to be good if only he will do this one thing for you. Prayer doesn’t move God to see life your way and run his world the way you’d like. In fact, prayer often doesn’t move God - it moves you.
Prayer is talking to God. Prayer is just like a relationship: you talk, you listen, you spend time together. If he is God, then it’s likely he knows best and the more time you spend with him in prayer, the more you will be moved to be like him in what you think and do.
Why not follow this link to hear what the Archbishop of York has to say about prayer? http://request.org.uk/life/spirituality/prayer/
Charity Number: 1091290 Address: Step c/o Forest Town Church, Lyon Way, St Albans, Herts AL4 0LB Tel: 01727 893540