The Miracles of Jesus: Day 5

Miracles of Land and Sea


Today's Text: Luke 8:22-25, Mark 6:47-52, Matthew 17:24-27, Mark 11:12-14, Mark 11:20-25

Scripture Reading: Luke 8:22-25, Mark 6:47-52, Matthew 17:24-27, Mark 11:12-14, Mark 11:20-25

It’s scary to ask the Lord for specific and even tangible things.

Recently, our pastor encouraged the congregation to pray more specific prayers. I confess that the moment he invited us into this journey, I began to doubt that God would actually hear my prayers. I usually like to manage my expectations and qualify my prayers with something like, “If it’s Your will, Lord, then…” But our pastor was calling us to more. He was calling us to faith. Since that encouragement, I’ve sought to ask Jesus to do miracles in my own my life. But I fear my faith is lacking.

I relate to the fear the disciples so often display in the Gospels. They were normal people, after all, just like you and me. Although they walked with Jesus, they still struggled with unbelief (Luke 8:25). And like the disciples, when the storms rage and the winds blow and everything seems unsure in my own life, peace feels far off and unimaginable.

The unknown can be scary, but Jesus calls us to something greater than our fear. He calls us to faith. The miracles of Jesus remind us that no matter our circumstances, He proves His faithfulness over and over again. He doesn’t just offer peace—He is Peace. He doesn’t exercise His power over nature—He is Power.

Jesus’ miracles over land and sea are examples of the power and authority He has over the world He created (John 1:1-3). Scripture tells us that Jesus defied gravity by walking on water (Mark 6:49), and that the winds and the waves obeyed Him with a word (Luke 8:24-27). But despite all they had witnessed throughout their time with Jesus, even the disciples didn’t understand. They lacked faith and their hearts grew hard (Mark 6:52). While Jesus didn’t have to reveal His power in this way, through miracles, He did so out of His mercy for them.

Just as He did with the disciples, Jesus calls us to trust Him in the middle of the storms we face. He asks us, “Where is your faith?” because what’s going on in our doubtful, troubled hearts is important to Him. He gently instructs us to “Have courage!” and reminds us that it’s because of who He is that we don’t have to be afraid (Mark 6:50). The rules of nature don’t apply to Him. The One who spoke creation into existence can also calm it with a word (Mark 4:35-41).

Jesus invites us to trust Him, and I long for the faith to do so. His miracles are for us, too, so that we might see and know that He is Lord. The wind may be howling, the waves may be crashing, but our God is faithful in the midst of it all. By His grace, may we have the courage to trust Him in any circumstance. May we have the faith to call out to Him, to take Him at His word, and to believe.



Trillia Newbell is the author of Enjoy: Finding the Freedom to Delight Daily in God’s Good Gifts, Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves, and United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity. Trillia is married to her best friend, Thern. Together, they reside with their two children near Nashville, Tennessee. You can find her find her on Twitter at @trillianewbell.

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  • Lexi Girouard

    i have the same habit in prayer, to only ask if it’s right for Him, for His plan for me. it’s nice to see someone else that shares this habit and there perspective on it!!

  • Shea Burrell

    Amazing, Amen!!!

  • Atalie Jones

    Father God, you are so good. You are so mighty. The waves and wind obey you. Thank You for choosing ordinary people to become Your disciples and Your followers. We don’t have to have it all together before we come to You. And I praise You for that! Father, give me the faith to push past the lies of the enemy. Give me the courage to trust and believe in Your saving grace. Soften any areas of my heart that have become hardened. Wipe away ALL of my doubt. You are good. I want a you to be the king of my heart.

  • Trusting in the time of trouble is not my strong suit. I’ve been relying on worldly things and finding confidence and hope in other things than God. This hits home with me. Stop trusting my husband’s job will come through and his credit will come up so we can get our own home, but trusting in God knowing He always provides and knows what’s best for us.

  • Mary Mac Pitts

    It is so cool how God works. I was recently called into a fast to receive healing for my sight, and this study hit the nail on the head. I’ve been struggling with believing God’s goodness and how far He can go, and He met me here tonight in this scripture. I can trust in His goodness, His faithfulness, and His sovereignty. Jesus wants to heal my eyes, and that will happen by me seeking His face. This fast isn’t all about healing, it’s also about encountering His presence.

  • Michelle

    I pray I would expectantly go to my Father in prayer with my needs, requests, desires – always knowing that He ultimately knows best and is for my good. I want to trust him with my desires, but trust his will more. I believe this is how I will grow deeper and deeper in intimacy with Christ.

  • This study has been amazing. I’m a couple days behind, but have really become aware of how little I have faith sometimes and how easy it is to doubt and fear. I’ve realized I put more faith in myself or the people around me to get things done, or pull myself through something, when I should recognize that Jesus is there. He wants to bring me through the mess of whatever I’m going through. This study has revealed that I struggle with trusting what I can’t see. And let’s be honest, that’s what faith is. I’m so thankful for the revelation this study has stirred up inside me. God is good, and always present. Whom shall I fear? Those words have been resonating with me. He is peace, and He is power. Because of who He is we don’t have to be afraid. Let us all rest and dwell in that today!

  • I am enjoying this study so much. Over the past few months I have been challenged to dig deeper and put my faith to work, shall we say. I’ve always been the one to lend a hand and pray for others and I have had a hard time asking for that same help from others. Fear is an overwhelming thing and if you let it, it will consume you. One phrase that has come back to me time and again is, God’s love is bigger than my fear. He hears, He answers, He loves-ALWAYS! Trust is hard when you have to put it into use. Peace is there for the asking.

    ” Peace, peace, marvelous peace
    Coming down from the Father above.
    Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray
    In fathomless billows of love.”

    Just like in a storm His love billows over us and consumes chasing out our fear and what He leaves behind is incredible, life-giving peace.

  • Pam Smith

    I love this study , because it re-trains my mind and soul. He is !! Why do we fear? Let’s all trust Him today ! All that came to Him and asked for healing were healed …. Wow !!

  • This scripture and writing really spoke to me today. I am at a crossroads in my life, trying to understand God’s divine direction. Do I stay, do I go? I have lifted these questions in prayer over the past several weeks and, rather than believing and having faith in God, I keep trying to take matters into my own hands. It’s not about me and what I want. It’s about God and His will. Praise you Lord for speaking to me through this study. For holding my hand even when I want to let go and run away. I pray for the strength to trust and believe that these circumstances I find myself in are Your will, Lord, and that You are writing my story. Lord I pray for patience and for a heart that beats for You. Amen.

  • Lord Almighty! What a blessing this study has been. “…because what’s going on in our doubtful, troubled hearts is important to Him.” Beyond words can describe, how much I needed to read and meditate on this today. Thank you Jesus! God bless you Trillia! <3

  • I just want to say: Thank you for these words of truth! I needed to hear this right now, so thank you!

  • Sydni Grace

    This plan has just been absolutely amazing & so eye opening. My father passed away on January 9th of this year after fighting a long & hard 5 years with the disease ALS. It was so hard to understand why all that was happening at my young age (17), but since his passing I have became so close with Jesus. I am finally learning what is it like to be a REAL Christian & trust in His plan. ALS is a horrific & cruel disease, but my father never once questioned God. He knew that God would supply him & take care of him. I truly believe Jesus is bring the beauty out of such a horrible situation. Praying for healing has been given to me & my family daily although we are still missing him deeply the Lord is comforting us & making something beautiful out of something terrible.

    • Tina

      Sydni Grace… so so very sorry for your loss.. Daddy’s are so special. Praying God’s amazing and faithfilled peace over you and your family. Stay close to Him and He will stay close to you…
      God be with you through this sad and can be confusing time.
      Hugs filled with love and prayers for you all Sydni

    • She Reads Truth

      You have such poise and grace in your words for a 17 year old, Sydni Grace! So sorry about your sweet father. Praying that the Lord would continue to reveal more and more of His beautiful character through this season of loss. Grateful for you!

      – Stormye

  • “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” — If you don’t forgive neither will your Father in heaven forgive your wrongdoings.

    This stood out to me when reading my scripture tonight. It is “easy” to pray for a miracle, or to pray for your requests, but my biggest struggle is my doubt after a prayer. This is where I seem to be lacking in my relationship with Him. I am able to ask, but I am unable to have the faith that it will be done. I start to second guess myself and often second guess if I was asking “the right way”. I think faith and trust are hard to come by for most living beings. I am quick to say I have faith and trust in someone, but it is rare that I often truly mean it. Because of being so unsure and untrusting to some in my every day life, I seem to fall short in my trust and faith in Him. Reading this has really opened my eyes to His true permanence in my life, and that His word is the truest of truths.

  • On March 21st, 2017 my husband walked into the ER experiencing shortness of breath and a sore throat within 14 hours he was on life support with a strep infection that went toxic. After 17 days in the ICU, being revived with paddles, being on a ventilator twice, and being on dialysis, we were moved and are now at a rehabilitation center. Each day we thanked the Lord for any small victory and sent specific prayer requests to our many prayer warriors Some of these specific requests were answered within hours and some we are still waiting on the answer. I feel like the Lord wants me to share our story to encourage others that what He has done for our family, He wants to do for all of us. He wants us to come with specific requests. How awesome is it to speak specific request and see them fulfilled! He wants to us to share our requests so that we may pray for each other. All of our prayer warriors get to see Gods grace, Glory and faithfulness. This isn’t just my story, this is our story. We can now all share how faithful He is.
    How perfect is His timing that the SRT study is “the miracles of Jesus” thank you SRT – thank you Jesus for meeting all my needs

    • churchmouse

      Praying for complete healing for your husband and that your testimony of God’s faithfulness during this tough time would bring Him glory and draw others to Him. Thank you for sharing. May God continue to give you strength and peace.

    • Tina

      Lolli. Sorry for your troubles but thankful for God and His presence and hand over all…
      As I read your post I could hear the old favourite.. It is no secret what God can do in my head..
      Heres a link
      Praying God continue to reveal Himself in the small and the big miracles …
      Blessings ..x

    • She Reads Truth

      Reading this and all I can say is, “wow”. What an incredible trial to endure. Thank you for sharing this, Lolli. It is an incredible encouragement. We will be praying for a speedy and complete recovery for your husband.

      – Stormye

  • (Apologizes in advance for the length… I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, and can be moved to pour my heart out easily.)
    I’ve always been a silent reader, but never comment. This miracle series has been answering questions I’ve been facing! But I’m still trying to interpret the miracle I’ve been given. Similar to the disciples, my faith can be lacking even when God shows his power directly to me.

    You see when I was born, I was born extremely early. In fact, the doctors thought my mother would either have a stroke, that I would die of internal complications, one of us or both us would pass away, or even if I did live, that I would suffer numerous health complications including deafness, cerebral palsy, never hitting the height of 4 feet, etc.
    But, I’m here. Both me and my mother are here and alive. While I do suffer from minor learning disabilities, I’m still here and fully functional. The doctors told my father it was a miracle that we made it and after many weeks in the hospital, they finally brought me (weighing 2 pounds) home.

    What was my mother and father’s hardest trial to date, is now my confusion. Clearly God wanted me on this Earth. But I’ve been questioning over and over, why? It’s probably a question everyone asks themselves, understandingly so. But it’s just the fact that I wasn’t supposed to be alive that adds so much confusion to my questions. Out of my many siblings, I’m the only one with learning disabilities, health problems, severe acne, and have even recently discovered of a rare bone disease that makes my face appear “unnatural”.

    With all of these things piling on, I can’t help but feel like I’m a mistake. But the miracle pops up in my head again, and I know that God put me here for a reason – so I keep fighting.

    But I feel like I’m losing the battle. I’ve tried my best to search for what God’s plan is for me.

    Recently I’ve tried to join mission trips, volunteering at churches, plugging into communities, etc. But something always comes up and it never works out. It’s created so much confusion and frustration for me. I see that God wants me here, but when I try to do his work it always falls through. The question of “why I am here?” has been continuing to burden me and causing me extreme thoughts and depression. I just don’t understand why I couldn’t have just gone to our future home instead.

    Sisters, I ask that you pray for me and I continue to try and interpret this miracle of my life and truly see what God’s plan for me is. That these dark thoughts don’t get the best of me, and that I can be at peace knowing God is with me, I have a purpose, and I am wondefully made as a child of God.

    • Emily B.

      Hold on to that knowledge that you have a purpose! It is YOURS–no one else can fulfill it. Don’t give in to discouragement or the fear that you aren’t important. That’s how Satan wants to bring you down. I’m so sorry you’ve been confused and feeling lost lately, but I pray that you’ll cling ever more tightly to God and that He’ll reveal more of Himself to you.

      • Libby

        Thank you so much for your kind words. I cannot express how happy I am to be surrounded by a community of loving, God fearing people. I will keep fighting!

    • Jessica

      Prayers for you, Libby! You absolutely have a purpose on this Earth, and I know you will find it. Everyone finds their purpose in different periods of life, so it’s often hard to watch everyone else’s come together while we still search. I went through this, and have finally found some sense of purpose the past two years. However, I still feel like something is missing and plan to pray more specifically for my heart to be fulfilled. This miracles study has shown me that, even though I may not feel totally complete, there is nothing I need more than the Lord. If I keep my focus on Him and continue to grow my relationship with Christ, I think all the other voids in my life will eventually disappear.

      • Libby

        Thank you so much for your prayers and kind words. I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one that experiences this, and will take your advice to try to further my pursuit to know Him. :) Thank you, again

    • Jamaica Baby

      I remember reading a book and it said sometimes you just have to be still. We try to do so much for God when really, God wants to do so much through us. What I mean is we do things we believe is best instead of listening to God’s voice, who can do more for us and the world, then we can do in a life time. An example is Abraham and Moses they didn’t know what was coming ahead of them, yet they still followed God’s still voice. Sometimes the answer will come to you as mighty as a storm and sometimes as little as a wind breeze. Pray to God every morning; speak to Him before you take up anything else. Don’t worry about not knowing when He is speaking to you, for God said the sheep will recognize His voice. Doing His work is great and necessary, but taking some personal time with the Lord and conversing with Him is also. I pray this helps and I’ll be praying that God will reveal to you that why.

      • Libby

        Thank you. Thank you for your kind words and prayers! I will definitely take your advice and try to be still, and really try to dedicate more time to get to know Him more. Thank you, again, for your kind reply. :)

    • Lindsey

      Libby, I will pray God’s truth dispels the dark thoughts you are having. Reading your story, I think back to the followers of Christ throughout the Bible. They ALL had a story. Their lives didn’t always play out the way we would of thought they should have. But, their lives made an impact for Christ. The fiercer the battle, the greater the calling. Stay strong in Him (not in your own strength). Beauty is coming. Remain in Him. Your beautiful calling is unfolding.

      • Libby

        Thank you so much for your reply. I’m so moved to be surrounded by a loving community. Thank you. I appreciate your prayers and will do my best to get to know Him more. :)

    • Terry Anderson

      Have you considered writing, sharing your journey as it unfolds, Libby? You have an incredible testimony of survival, but more than that of coming to terms with now being alive as the one and only unique you. You’re very articulate, self-aware, willing to be vulnerable, and obviously God built into you a strong will to live for a reason. Your faith and your search are beautiful. Your form of “service” might be in the arts, or visiting the marginalized, or going into a helps profession. I see purpose and potential all over your life. And I believe in you!!

      • Libby

        Thank you so much. When you said “Your faith and your search are beautiful” I immediately burst into tears! Often when I pray to God talking about these things, I can’t help but constantly apologize to him over and over for not having a hardened faith. Thank you so much for your comment. I can’t express in words how it made me feel.

    • Sandy W.

      Dear Libby, thank you so much for sharing your story. You are meant to be here! God knows what He is doing. He Loves and cares for you more than you will ever comprehend. I pray that the Good Lord keeps His hand on you and guides you and strengthens you. The beauty on the inside is much more important than the beauty on the outside. Shine on Libby!

      • Libby

        Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. I’m so thankful to have be surrounded by God fearing people. Thank you so much for your prayers, it means so much to me. Thank you!

    • DM

      Libby, your story really hit home with me. I have a sister who went through a very rough beginning. She was not supposed to be about to function much on her own. We know though, with God’s grace and goodness all things are possible. Now, she has a great life. She lives on her own, can drive, works at a daycare and has so many fabulous friends. I believe, her purpose in life was for us, her family. She brought us all together and because of her our bond with God has also become stronger. Because of her we have gone to areas in our life we may never have thought about. I became a teacher for students with special needs. Maybe your purpose has been met. Enjoy God’s graces and the love He has built around you. If there is more for you to do, He will take you there. Blessings to you and your family.

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you, sweet Libby. Asking the Lord to continue to reveal Himself to you through His Word and to make your purpose clear. So grateful for you and for your bravery in sharing with us.

      – Stormye

    • Kate

      Libby, this is late so not sure if you’ll see it. I have a similar story… miraculously and unquestionably healed as a young child. I’ve always KNOWN that God had a purpose in saving my life, but too have struggled to find that purpose and fulfillment in him and his plans for me. I’ve recently been reading a book by Jennie Allen called “Restless: because you were made for more”. I highly recommend the book!!!

  • Caroline

    Amen! I love that our prayers reflect what we believe. Bold prayers allude to believing we have a big and bold God that can do ANYTHING!
    Lord, I believe!

  • Samantha West

    I have been seeing this idea of praying in specificity and intentionality multiple times today, so I think the Lord is trying to show me that it’s okay to be specific. I always felt like if I did that, I would sound like I was selfish — which is a really ridiculous thought to have. He cares about every detail of our lives. What we think is minute is monumental to Him, because that’s His heart. And I feel like it’s so easy to forget that — at least for myself.

    I do agree with other comments about how this section of passages has left me more confused than anything else. But what I gather, is He wants us to trust that He is sovereign. That He wouldn’t forsake us.

  • Diane Huntsman

    I’m like the father in the gospel of Mark.. “I believe help me with my unbelief” there are things I have no problem believing and there are things that just leave me doubting like Thomas! I need to see the scars with my own eyes to believe!! I think our humanity really does a job on our faith.. our human limitations and the scars we bear from dysfunctional households.. parents who misrepresented God.. we confuse Him with the let downs we’ve experienced with those we did trust.. it’s the lifelong process of learning He is not like those who have proven all kinds of disappointments to us.. He is the essence of true blue faithfulness and unconditional love.. I think I lack faith because I lack an understanding of who He really is.. but passages like this show me that He is God, His ways aren’t my ways they are higher.. He’s not my personal genie doing all that I think He should be the way I think He should do it.. I mean if I’m honest, I want Him to do exactly what I want, but He has His purpose for what He does and how He does things.. some of what He does and allows is a mystery to me, but not to Him.. my job is to trust Him even when I don’t understand His methods or His plans.. I pray for all of us friends, that our faith would increase and our trust in Him would be unshakable!!! That things that don’t make sense would only make us marvel at the mystery of His ways!! Hugs to all!!

    • Nancy

      Amen Diane. I love, “He is the essence of true blue faithfulness and unconditional love.”

    • She Reads Truth

      Diane – this was so insightful! Thank you for sharing. Always a pleasure to read your comments. Grateful to have you in this community!

      – Stormye

  • churchmouse

    More questions than answers this day. The disciples are being battered in a storm. Jesus not only knows this. He sees this. What does He do? He walks toward them on the water, wanting to pass by! Huh? These are your disciples, Jesus and you intend to just walk by while they’re in trouble?! And the fig tree is minding its business, growing its leaves, but it was not yet the season for figs. Jesus is hungry. But, no figs. (what did He expect? It wasn’t the season for them) So, he curses it. What? These two miracles have hard elements. What is the lesson for me in these hard elements? Do I just shrug my shoulders and trust in Jesus because that’s what I’m supposed to do? I’m grappling with the hard elements.

    • Amanda Christine

      I had the same reaction to both passages. Why was Jesus “intending to walk by”? And what about the tree, if it wasn’t in season, why did Jesus expect it to be? But I think with the first, Jesus doesn’t need to save them because he knows they will be fine and maybe he wants them to trust him and have faith so he wasn’t planning on stopping. Who knows why he wanted to go for a walk on the water then, but I think it’s not the point to get hung up on. As for the tree, maybe it illustrates Jesus’ humanness in contrast with his power. He is hungry because he is human, he can make the tree whither because He is God.
      These aren’t great answers but I’ve learned that getting hung up on the little stuff doesn’t really help my faith, there’s a lot of details the Bible leaves out and I have to trust it’s because they just aren’t that important to the story.

      • churchmouse

        I value every word of Scripture as God revealing Himself directly to me so every verse is important and worthy of my trying to understand. I know His mind is far beyond my full comprehension. I want to be faithful to pay attention to even the small details because therein often lies a key to understanding the larger picture. I so appreciate the SRT devotion and each one’s comments because so often I gain deeper and different insight. It is in the search for fuller understanding that I come to appreciate and love Jesus even more. Thank you for helping me.

    • Amanda Christine

      Amyloukou put this in a comment up above:Jesus cursing the fig tree was to illustrate the “fruitlessness” of the Jewish religion and the Pharisees of the time – seeming healthy and green on the outside, but truly dead inside and not producing any fruit. (In their case, they were not producing the fruits of true service and devotion to the Lord, caring for the poor, etc.) Similar to Jesus’s rebuke to them being “whitewashed tombs” – pure on the outside but filled with death and decay on the inside (Matt. 23:27).

    • Leesha

      Churchmouse, your struggles with those two passages were really similar to mine.
      I did some research on the fig tree and found some stuff similar to what others found lower in the comments. The one thing I did find out was that fig trees will usually produce fruit before they produce leaves, and this particular fig tree had leaves, which Jesus could see from a distance; so it would have made sense for there to be fruit as well. And then like the others said in response lower talked about how the fig tree was symbolic of Israel and their lack of fruit when they looked, from the outside, quite religious. It was a lesson and a warning that a fruitless tree would be cut off.

      As for why Jesus wanted to pass by the disciples, I don’t know exactly. I compared some commentaries, but it seems like He wanted to help them understand and see His sovereignty and power. One commentary I read, said He was waiting for them to call to Him before He would go towards them.
      As I read it, I found it interesting that the disciples had seemingly forgotten that Jesus had calmed the storm two chapters earlier in Mark, so then perhaps Jesus walking on the water was also supposed to be in answer to their question after that event, of “who is this?”
      Indeed, lots of questions after reading this today.

      • April

        Leesha, thank you for the further explanation about the fig fruit typically being there before the leaves. It helped me understand the other reference comparing the fruitlessness of religion. Before, I just kept thinking, “if Jesus was hungry & wanted the fruit so much, couldn’t he have just easily commanded the best fruit ever to appear for them all rather than cursing the tree?” …but the explanation of his cursing the outward appearance of not being truthful goes with, “Have faith in God…” (vs 22) and it aligns with Rev. 3:16 when he says if we are lukewarm, he will spit us out of his mouth. He wants our truthful devotion, not “fake it ’till you make it” actions.

    • Emily

      When I read Mark 6:48 yesterday, “Jesus intended to pass them by,” really stood out to me! The words stopped me in my tracks, so I researched it and mulled it over all day and talked it through with my husband who always has a unique perspective on things. So, here is my perspective on the matter…Jesus told the disciples to get in the boat and row to the other side of the sea (which is about 7 miles across). The storm that ensued was so bad that according to the other gospels, they had only rowed about 1 mile in 8 or 9 hours!! They were struggling through their storm, but had not called out for help. I think Jesus wanted to walk with them or near them so they would know He was there, but He didn’t help them until they asked for it. He is always with us in our storms, walking right beside us, but it’s not until we cry out to Him that He calms the storms and rescues us from the waves. So thankful that He didn’t leave me to row through that storms of life alone!

  • This reminds me of the song by Ryan Stevenson. “In The Eye of The Storm”. We’ve been going through a storm for a very long time. I was very encouraged today as this gives me so much hope. My heart aches for my children. I feel like I’m the one that’s always asking for prayer, but we sure do need it. Please pray for their hearts especially for my son who is a teenager.

  • Sometimes my prayers seem so selfish, so this aspect of my relationship with God is always a struggle. I grew up experiencing tons of shame, which today has morphed into the belief that I don’t deserve to ask Him for help. But the funny thing is, I feel like everyone else I come across in life deserves his love, no matter what they’ve done. I just pray I can someday show the same compassion to myself. I live such a wonderful life and have been blessed in so many ways, and that’s all because of God’s love. I just need to remember that I am not isolated from his blessings.

    • Melody Reid

      I struggle with this too Anne. I believe it for everyone else but often still struggle to believe it for myself.

  • I was talking about this with a friend last night. She said God kept asking her what she needed and she didn’t know how to respond. His will? Her will? Was this a trick question? From my understanding, I like to believe that God has a divine path for me to walk in this life. It’s my choice to walk it, and by committing to him everyday, I make the choice to continue down it. That is my intent. However, like we learned in Isaiah, God delights in us. And I truly think he oftentimes would love to give us joy. And he would give us more joy if we just asked for it. So I have faith in my Father’s plan, but when I do ask for things, I ask with the spirit of a child. God, please bless me with x. Whether he gives it to me or not doesn’t impact my love for him because I trust he has my best interest at heart and that I’m still on the path. The only thing I need to ask for to stay on the path is a constant, daily relationship with him and that’s enough. Everything else is extra icing! A trusting life will not topple! Isaiah 28:16 But I do enjoy the icing! God has blessed me with so much icing! I’m at sitting over here in my icing pajamas on top of my icing bed! My duvet is a rose/plum/orchid and I am in LOVE with it. I am spoiled and humbled by his love! So much icing. So much.

    • Amanda Christine

      Your description made me smile, yes I have been blessed with so much icing too!

    • Elizabeth

      This brought my heart so much joy! Yes!! We have been blessed abundantly. More than we could ever imagine. What a great heart attitude to look at everything as icing!

  • Praying specifically is such a hard concept for us isn’t it? Growing up in a more traditional Baptist home it was almost selfish to pray specifically. We were expected to want God’s will and that’s it. Always being taught, “God knows the desires of our hearts” and trust in His will. Praying is something I really don’t know how to do. I ask you to specifically pray for me and my baby! My husband and I have been trying for kids for 3 years and I’m 8 weeks and 3 days at the ripe age of 38. Prayers for my trust that everything’s going to be ok and for a healthy baby! Talk about miracles! I really didn’t think this was ever going to happen!

    • Mamajonk

      Praying for you Alecia and your sweet baby to be! I’ve been where you’re at (albeit many years ago ;). The Lord is faithful and so good!

    • Anne H

      Praying for you and your husband and baby to be! My mother had me at 39. :)

    • She Reads Truth

      Absolutely praying for you and your little one, Alecia! What an exciting time!

      – Stormye

    • Michele

      I am praying for you and your pregnancy! I’m almost 8 weeks myself with my first (in my 30s,) so please keep me in your prayers :-). God bless you!

      • She Reads Truth

        Praying for you and your little one! Asking the Lord for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

        – Stormye

  • For all of you who are asking how we can know if we’re praying according to God’s will, this link might be helpful. It references a lot of scripture and really helped me to process this question:

  • Katalina

    Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, all the things your pray and ask for- believe that you have received them, and you will have them.” The verse that really stood out to me ❤ Faith is vital to our relationship with Christ. Believe. Saying the words have no meaning when there’s no faith behind them. It’s not easy because we’re humans and are accustomed to being disappointed or failed but we know a God who is perfect and His perfect son who proved time and time again what He’s capable of. His miracles are real and what you read in these bible stories can happen in your life too. Don’t just say but PROCLAIM. Words have power and they can be fueled by faith. My mom always tells me that your mouth has the power to make things happen. If your words are negative “I can’t do this, this isn’t going to happen…” that’s how it’s going to be. If you have faith in Jesus and proclaim healing, restoration, whatever it may be, it will happen. There’s all different cases but Jesus wants us to believe in the words we say. That’s why I love this verse so much. He’s constantly proving to me that miracles can happen in my life as well as anything I pray for can be done through faith, knowing He hears every word❤

    • Kristi

      Yes! I just noticed that the my study Bible says “To pray effectively, you need faith in God, not faith in the object of your request.” I think that ties in well with what you said. Thanks for the reminder that is all about faith in the One who makes all things possible!

    • Emily B.

      Love what you shared about proclaiming, not just saying. Thanks for this perspective!

  • Since finding this verse I’ve prayed in God’s will for specific things. His will will be accomplished even if we pray specifically, so this is hard for me. I get the part about having faith and believing, but I also think we should pray for His will.
    ◄ 1 John 5:14 ►
    New International Version
    This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

  • I believe. Help my unbelief! (Mark 9:24)

  • This reminds me of a line in a Hillsong Y&F song that says:

    “I’ll stare down the waves
    ‘Cause You own the tide
    I still my soul and know
    You wait for me
    On waters wild
    Where faith walks above the storm”

  • I have always struggled with the passage about the doomed fig tree. What are your thoughts as to why Jesus cursed the fig tree?

    • Emma

      I have struggled with this as well! I’m new to reading the Bible and it strikes me as a moment of “human” emotion experienced by Jesus – frustration. The difference being that he then cursed the tree and it wither. For me it shows his humanity and also his awesome power.

      • Danielle S

        I’ve thought of this passage in the same way Emma explained, as a moment of frustration showing Jesus’ humanity. I learned something new about the fig tree this morning from my Life Application Study Bible. The note states that Jesus’ words to the fig tree were representative of Israel. The fig tree looked promising for fruit because of all its leaves but it was not fruitful. “Jesus’ harsh words to the fig tree could be applied to the nation of Israel. Fruitful in appearance only, Israel was spiritually barren.”

    • Lana

      I think this passage and a lot of other ones in today’s study illustrate the power of the tongue. Jesus speaks and a miracle happens. He tells us later in the fig tree example that we have this same power. Our tongues can curse and bless. So I think cursing the fig tree might just be a way to illustrate this point.

    • amyloukuo

      Jesus cursing the fig tree was to illustrate the “fruitlessness” of the Jewish religion and the Pharisees of the time – seeming healthy and green on the outside, but truly dead inside and not producing any fruit. (In their case, they were not producing the fruits of true service and devotion to the Lord, caring for the poor, etc.) Similar to Jesus’s rebuke to them being “whitewashed tombs” – pure on the outside but filled with death and decay on the inside (Matt. 23:27).

  • April Heather

    Oh I would love a She Reads Truth Prayer Journal App! Anything in development? How lovely it would be to connect with other SRT gals and to have a hallelujah section for answered prayers!

  • The more specifically I pray, the more I see God working specifically around me. It is deeply encouraging. Writing them down gives me a reference point to refer back to when Satan tries to convince me Hod is not trustworthy. My prayer journal is my Shield of Faith…

  • I believe miracles happen to show God’s glory. To glorify Him. His will is that we know Him and miracles are a way to do that. When I am praying for miraculous healing or intervention I always keep in mind that He will be glorified through the answer. Often when I go back and read through my prayers my eyes are opened to the fact that it’s a grocery list of wants to satisfy me in the right now. When I seek His will it will have an eternal flavor. That’s not always healing or comfort or relief from an earthly struggle. Maybe my “thorn in the flesh” remains for an eternal reason. I am still growing here because life can be so hard. Someone shared MercyMe’s song “Even If” recently and I’ve added it to my “It Is Well” playlist and every time it comes up I have a lump in my throat. It’s just so hard, but MY God is good. ALL of the time. Even when I can’t see all sides of the situation.

  • I’m trying to form prayer after these thoughts. How do you have full faith that he will give you what you ask for, if he also sometimes says no? I want to pray for his will, but I don’t know what that is. It is comforting that even the disiples struggled with this. I think I may be guilty of saying “if it is your will” as a lack of faith, although I do want his will to be done. Thankful that the Lord understands our prayers in “groans,” because this topic still confuses me!

    • Alex

      Catie, thank you for being authentic! I think so many people struggle with the same questions you’re asking but are afraid to admit it because they might sound like they’re doubting or not believing. My pastor has been talking about the line between doubt and unbelief and it’s cool to hear that it’s okay to have questions and doubts like this as long as we can, at the end of it, say that despite our questions, God is in control. Isn’t it amazing that we have a God who accepts us and loves us even when we’re grappling with understanding Him?

    • Katalina

      I’ve been where you are! Struggling with the idea that sometimes what I want isn’t what God has planned for me….but I think that’s where I’ve learned to be ok when He says no. I may not like it in the beginning but I always remind myself God has something better in store for me or that if I had gotten what I wanted (when it wasn’t what He wanted) then I would either be unhappy or something would go wrong. I’ve learned to accept that even though God hears my every word, He may have something better in mind and I would take His better than my temporary.

  • A friend lost her full-term baby yesterday and I have been praying for a miracle – that the ultrasound would have been wrong and that this baby will be delivered alive and healthy. I don’t know that my prayer will be answered, but i sure hope so.

  • Tochi Heredia

    Father, forgive me for my lack of faith.

    I hide under the fact that I’m a sinful creature and I don’t really deserve Your wonderful works in my life. But I’m convicted by your Scriptures, and I can now see that I don’t ask you for things because I don’t want to let go of control.
    Move your Spirit within me to come to you with prayerful faith, believing that You only have the power to perform or withhold miracles, that everything is contained in your perfect plan. Help me to remember that if You choose to do something miraculous I my life, it’s not because of me —its because of who You are. You’re the only one who’s mighty, and your thoughts are so much higher than ours.

    Help me in my unbelief.

  • My mother is 90 years old and her voice has been getting weaker and weaker. She asked me to pray with her that her voice would get stronger. I agreed, but to be honest, my prayers were more along the line of ‘God, give her grace to accept that her voice is weakening’. Then, one day, the doctor said that he wanted to try a new medicine and within 24 hours her voice was back to normal.

    My mother, who has always been a prayer warrior, taught me a powerful lesson on praying specific prayers that seem impossible and God taught me a wonderful lesson on His love and grace. He cares about my dear mother’s voice as He cares for all of our needs. James 4:2 says, ‘you have not because you ask not’. God expects us to ask even though He already knows what we need.

    This is a hard concept for me because like others have said, how do we know if what we are asking for is God’s will? The lesson this morning helped me because even the disciples who were with Jesus didn’t get it. My specific prayer is that God will open my eyes to understand.

    • Hailey T.

      what a wonderful praise for your mother! thank you for sharing and may God bless you both.

  • Kristine L

    I recently hurt my knee and I’ve been praying for healing in that “ouch please make my knee feel better” type of prayer. I could be more specific with a “Lord I ask you to heal my knee so I can start running again without pain” miracle-seeking prayer, but I’m afraid I will still hurt and then it will seem like God didn’t answer my prayer and my faith isn’t strong enough. But it just occurred to me that maybe His way of healing my knee won’t be through a miraculous instant healing, but the healing will come via the orthopedic recommendation someone gave as they overheard my complaints yesterday or the words of wisdom from the PT’s wife I happen to work down the hall from. I need to remember to look for answers that take different forms than I’m expecting.

    • April Heather

      Love this -and you are so right. Thank you for the reminder!

    • Amanda Christine

      Amen! I often think the same way and have to remind myself God heals us in so many ways! You will be healed but it might take time or resources and thank God we have those!

  • I believe Jesus when He says do not be afraid it is I. I know my prayers are all answered. Thank you Jesus.

  • This topic is more confusing to me than it has ever been… maybe I need to see out the series. I feel like to expect God to answer my prayers, is to expect God to conform to my will. Where am I going wrong?

    • Andrina

      Thank you for saying this. I feel the same. Often when I’m praying for something very specific, especially when it’s for a miraculous request, I have no doubt that He’s capable of doing it. However, I know if it isn’t His will, it won’t happen. I try to specifically seek His will instead. But, Does that mean I’m praying with a hardened heart or doubtful prayers?

    • Rayo

      If you think about God as a father, then it’s not asking Him to conform to your will, it is asking Him to give you that which is good, which you need. Our prayers are not always answered in the way we have outlined in our heads, but even when it is different, it is a better way than ours because God is a loving Father who wants the best for us and He knows that we do not always know what is best for us. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to pray according to His will. Trust that the things you ask, need as all in line with His will. Please read Romans 8:26-27 (In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.) I am eager for us to begin the Romans study. It helped me a lot the last time I read it.

    • Caitie

      Thank you for asking this! I struggle with the same thing. Everything I ask, it goes along with “if it is your will.” If you have faith, you will get what you asked for. But God also answers prayers as “no” sometimes. I am confused on how these two ideas work together.

      I heard an idea before to write down everything you pray for, and then when the prayer is answered, go back and write the date of when he answered it and how, because he always answers in his time, which I may start trying.

      • April Heather

        I’ve heard this as well-I have a friend that does this. It’s so easy to forget the miracles and answered prayers in our day to day life. Heck I forget what I ate for lunch yesterday! I can’t remember anything! In recording the prayers and then our gratitude for answers -maybe I can remember every day –the glory and blessings of Jesus in my life!

    • Amy C

      Here is the way I see it:
      So my 8-year-old’s birthday was yesterday. A few days before her birthday, she came running and jumping into my lap, all smiles. “Mom, will give me a LOT of presents for my birthday? I want lots and lots of gifts!”

      What I couldn’t tell her is that today, I am taking her for a surprise trip to a waterpark that will totally blow her mind. But that meant that yesterday, she only got a couple of small gifts, because we are preparing for the Big Gift.

      Her disappointment was palpable yesterday when she saw the few gifts on the table. She sighed and said “I wish there was more presents”. While It wasn’t her most grateful moment, I wasn’t offended at all, because I know the heart of 8-year-olds, and I know that’s how they work. But I was also excited because she is very soon going to realize what an incredible gift she is receiving today, and will gladly trade the few extra presents she wanted yesterday for the fantastic experience today.

      I think that asking God for specific things is kind of like that. We are His children, after all. We run and leap into our Father’s arms and we, in our excitement or grief, ask for what we think we want. I don’t think God is offended by our requests, or thinks we are trying to manipulate Him, because we simply aren’t omnipotent and we have a limited view. We genuinely ask for what we think is best. I think if anything, our child-like requests ultimately honor God, partially because it says how much we trust Him, and also because if our original request isn’t answered in the positive, when the Big Gift comes that we didn’t know about, we can see how glad we are that our original request wasn’t answered! We get to see the timeless wisdom of the Lord in those moments.

      I don’t know if that helps at all, but that at least is how I try to work through that question!

      • Kovalentine

        Great analogy! Thanks!

      • Caitie

        Thank you for this! It really helped a lot! Thanks for reminding me tha God understands that we are only human, and will one day be overwhelmed by the “big gift!” Praying your fun waterpark day goes well!

      • Lana

        So perfect.

      • Anne H

        This helped me understand perfectly, thank you! I hope y’all have a wonderful time at the waterpark!

      • Amanda Christine

        I love this illustration, thank you!

      • She Reads Truth

        What a great perspective, Amy! Thank you for sharing!

        – Stormye

      • Cecelia Enns Schulz

        Love this!

    • Emily

      I agree Rachel. I am very uncomfortable with the idea of God answering specific tangible requests. I have also always been really uncomfortable with “if you pray with enough faith your prayers will be answered”, especially when prayers about sick/hurting loved ones are not answered. These concepts together feel dangerously close to, “God answers my prayers because I am favored.” (and vice versa, of course). For me, I have always thought ‘listening’ to be more important, but I feel today I should be saying more of the specific things I want – not necessarily to get them but to open that “conversation”. It still doesn’t address the “praying with enough faith” part.

  • Lord, thank you for being my Peace! My court cases are worrying me–so I pray specifically that You give me the confidence and assurance that I am prepared for depositions on Monday. I pray specifically that the depositions go well and that I get good information from the witness. I pray specifically that this case will either settle soon or be an excellent win at trial for my client. (Can I pray to win a court case?!? Someone told me God doesn’t get involved in outcomes but these verses say the opposite!)

  • It is definitely scary to pray specifically! Prayers have been answered this week, in an unexpected way. Thank you Jesus

Further Reading...