“Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.”
Matthew 12:13 NIV
But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.”
Luke 8:54-55 NIV
“When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.””
John 11:43-44 NIV
What are you praying for right now? Take a moment to think about it.
Depending on where you are in your Christian journey, these passages are familiar. The first is about Jesus healing a man’s hand on the Sabbath. The second is about Jairus’ daughter who died. Jesus told them she was only sleeping, and He woke her up. The third is about Jesus’ good friend Lazarus. He had been dead for 4 days, and Jesus raised him up. Though all three miracles are astounding, what interests me most about these stories is Jesus’ participation requirement.
Did you know that miracles require participation from you? I know we like to think that we can just ask God for what we want and wait around for the blessing, but sometimes God calls us to actively participate. Think about Ruth and Boaz. Women especially love their story. But Ruth had to follow necessary instructions for her miracle.
What did Jesus tell the man to do? “Stretch out your hand.” What did He tell Jairus to do when He raised his daughter? “Give her something to eat.” What did Jesus tell Mary and Martha when He raised Lazarus? “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” Now, why is it that a God who could heal and raise people from the dead would need to give anyone further instructions? I mean, couldn’t Jesus have restored them all back to full health and no further intervention would be needed? Of course He could’ve! So why require participation from the people seeking His help?
Because God will do what you cannot do, not what you will not do! You can’t pray for a job, but refuse to revamp your interview skills and resume. Or pray for a home, but refuse to stick to a budget. Or pray for increase, but poorly steward what you have today.
God will do His part. Will you participate?