Let me be clear about something before we get too far into this fairly lengthy study. I do not see miracles in everything that happens. I do not believe the birth of a baby is a miracle. The conception, maybe, but not the birth. One exception to that would be the birth of Jesus Christ; God became Man. WOW! Now that is a miracle.
With that said, I also find nowhere in Scripture that we ought to pray for cars, homes, wealth, or anything like that except for our “Daily bread” our physical needs; and it is a far cry from our needs to our wants.
None the less, let us hear the words of Jesus after He had cursed the fig tree:
“And He left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and He lodged there.
Now in the morning as He returned into the city, He hungered. And when He saw a fig tree in the way, He came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, ‘Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever.’ And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, ‘How soon is the fig tree withered away!’
Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, ‘Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea’; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Matthew 21:17-22 (KJB)
To be honest with you I am not skilled at prayer or praying. I am very much a student in prayer. I pray as I endeavor to walk with the Lord, in His word, by His Spirit; yet, I fall far short of faith too much of the time.
I want us to hear what teachers of Scripture from the past have said of the above verses.
Of verses 21 – 22 Matthew Henry has written:
“Christ empowered them by faith to do the like (Mat_21:21, Mat_21:22); as he said (Joh_14:12), Greater works than these shall ye do.
Observe, [1.] The description of this wonder-working faith; If ye have faith, and doubt not. Note, Doubting of the power and promise of God is the great thing that spoils the efficacy and success of faith. “If you have faith, and dispute not” (so some read it), “dispute not with yourselves, dispute not with the promise of God; if you stagger not at the promise” (Rom_4:20); for, as far as we do so, our faith is deficient; as certain as the promise is, so confident our faith should be.
[2.] The power and prevalence of it expressed figuratively; If ye shall say to this mountain, meaning the mount of Olives, Be thou removed, it shall be done. There might be a particular reason for his saying so of this mountain, for there was a prophecy, that the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem, should cleave in the midst, and then remove, Zec_14:4. Whatever was the intent of that word, the same must be the expectation of faith, how impossible soever it might appear to sense. But this is a proverbial expression; intimating that we are to believe that nothing is impossible with God, and therefore that what he has promised shall certainly be performed, though to us it seem impossible. It was among the Jews a usual commendation of their learned Rabbin, that they were removers of mountains, that is, could solve the greatest difficulties; now this may be done by faith acted on the word of God, which will bring great and strange things to pass.
[3.] The way and means of exercising this faith, and of doing that which is to be done by it; All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Faith is the soul, prayer is the body; both together make a complete man for any service. Faith, if it be right, will excite prayer; and prayer is not right, if it do not spring from faith. This is the condition of our receiving – we must ask in prayer, believing. The requests of prayer shall not be denied; the expectations of faith shall not be frustrated. We have many promises to this purport from the mouth of our Lord Jesus, and all to encourage faith, the principal grace, and prayer, the principal duty, of a Christian. It is but ask and have, believe and receive; and what would we more? Observe, How comprehensive the promise is – all things whatsoever ye shall ask; this is like all and every the premises in a conveyance. All things, in general; whatsoever, brings it to particulars; though generals include particulars, yet such is the folly of our unbelief, that, though we think we assent to promises in the general, yet we fly off when it comes to particulars, and therefore, that we might have strong consolation, it is thus copiously expressed, All things whatsoever.” Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible
Of Matthew 21:18 – 22 F. B. Meyer has written:
“Men have found fault with our Lord for smiting this tree with barrenness. Yet what teacher would not root up a plant, if he desired to teach his pupils some lesson, which could be taught only in that manner! Surely Jesus was perfectly justified in making that fig tree the symbol of the judgment that must overtake all who profess but do not possess. Beware lest He seek fruit of thee in vain!
But how wonderful those words on faith! He could speak thus, because He was the “author and perfecter” of faith. Paul lived by “the faith of the Son of God.” See Gal_2:20. All things are possible to him that believeth. Faith annihilates time and distance. To her the unseen is more real than the seen; and the distant as near as the things which the hand can touch. She is the open hand of the soul, which appropriates and takes from the hand of God. But faith is impossible apart from prayer.” Through the Bible Day by Day by F. B. Meyer
O how we who are Christians need to love the Lord Jesus Christ with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength; also love our neighbor as we love ourselves. When we do so then we will also be walking by faith, living by faith, and we can and will see the power of God’s hand move in miracles; the greatest of which is seeing a great number of lost souls redeemed through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ; the Son of God, God the Son.