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Why Don’t Miracles Happen in America? …or Do They??

Art Thomas Ministering in Buwanga, Uganda

After seeing so many miracles in Uganda, I think the most common question I receive is this: Why do miracles seem to happen like this in other parts of the world while we don't see them here in America?

To tell you the truth, I know where these people are coming from. I’ve been in their shoes and asked the same questions. But now, I can honestly say that miracles DO happen in America, just like in other nations around the world!

The Sunday after I returned from Uganda, my Pastor preached about physical healing and asked me to share some brief testimonies at the end of the service (You can listen to the podcast here). I participated in the prayer time afterward; and to be frank, I was really wondering if my experiences in Uganda would translate to America.

Sure enough, the miracles started.  

  1. A friend of mine brought his two children, both of whom had been in a car accident a few days prior and were having neck and back pain. Both children were healed.

  2. Then came an old man wearing two hearing aids. I asked him to remove the hearing aids so we could test things out. After a few minutes of ministry, he was smiling and hearing.

  3. A woman came who had a spinal injury from which she had suffered for 20 years.  After a few minutes of prayer, she said she felt like something was happening.  I told her, “Okay. Wait here and let God do what He’s doing. I’m going to pray for the next person and then come back to see what’s happening.” When I returned, she was moving her neck and bending over in ways she hadn’t done in two decades.

  4. While God was healing that woman, another approached me who had suffered with a chronic headache for a few years. It instantly left at the name of Jesus. She seemed dumfounded that it was really that simple and wished she knew about this freedom sooner!

At each place where I’ve shared the testimonies from Uganda, I have seen more miracles.  People have come to salvation after seeing the videos and hearing the stories. Many more healings have happened.

I just posted another video depicting ordinary Christians ministering healing–including 300 Kenyan children who had only received Christ about 5 minutes earlier. At the meeting where this was filmed, I had the people minister healing to each other. All I did was teach them how and then stand back.

I’m still receiving testimonies. Three people with chronic neck or back problems were healed, and so was a young man whose ribcage used to be deformed!

Ribcages don’t change shape unless Jesus shows up. Apparently, dramatic miracles do happen in America!

Furthermore, I know of a few testimonies from people at that meeting who put their newfound faith and boldness into practice:

  1. One older woman prayed for someone at work—I believe she said the woman had knee problems. Whatever the problem was, she was healed!

  2. Another woman prayed for some ladies at a Bible study. The first was healed of lock-jaw, and the second was healed of a tumor in her breast!

  3. Another young man was distributing meals to the homeless during the Thanksgiving holiday and encountered a woman who walked bent-over, almost parallel to the ground. He stayed and ministered to this woman for nearly a half-hour, and by the end, she was standing straight up and walking without pain! He also ministered to several others who were healed.

I recently led an evening of worship at a church in Dearborn, Michigan. The Lord gave me a word of knowledge about a person who had pain in their right shoulder. Sure enough, one woman raised her hand. A couple people laid hands on her, and she was healed within seconds. Before I left, a man approached me and said he was a bass player who had fractured two fingers on his left hand and couldn’t play. Seconds later, Jesus had healed him as well.

I’ve even received two reports of people being healed while reading the articles on this web site! Interestingly, both men had pain in their sides. One of them had been through several rigorous medical tests to identify the problem. The doctors’ hypothesis was liver or kidney. But after the man was healed, he went to the doctors for the final tests, and they said there was absolutely nothing wrong with him!

(By the way, if you happen to receive healing while reading this article, please e-mail me!).

“Why don’t miracles happen in America the way they happen in other nations?” I am convinced that this question is the fruit of seeds planted by demons. Our experiences (or lack thereof) do not trump the Word of God. The borders of our country cannot stop the Kingdom of God. And all the doubt in the world cannot stop the power of God. There is no excuse for powerlessness in America.

I do admit, though, that people wouldn’t ask this question if they were seeing the same things I’ve been seeing as I travel. Obviously, there is an issue or the question wouldn’t be raised. In my observation, the reason Americans don’t see as many miracles probably stems from a few issues:

  1. We don’t “need” miracles. In America, if you have a headache, you take a Tylenol.  In Africa, if you have a headache, you pray. Many times, I would pray once with no results; but after ten or fifteen rapid-fire rounds of ministry, the headache would finally be gone. In America, we are less desperate for healing and more desperate for relief.  So when the first ten prayers don’t work, we say, “No big deal. I’ll just go take some Aspirin.” Drugs numb the pain, but they don’t generally heal the problem causing the pain. Jesus, however, can do ANYTHING!

  2. We’re generally afraid of good risks. We love taking socially acceptable risks—usually with our money. People are generally willing to take risks for whatever god they serve. If God were truly our God, we would take more healthy risks for the sake of His Kingdom and righteousness. But in America, money is god. Self is god. Fame is god. So people take risks for these things while they inwardly think, “I can’t go pray for a total stranger…that would be crazy! What if I’m made fun of? What if I’m rejected? What if it doesn’t work? What if….” Funny how we don’t ask these questions when we’re serving our other gods. Who is your God? Take a look at the risks you take and identify who or what they serve. There’s your answer.

  3. Our theology is too polluted and overcomplicated. In the video I linked to above, you can see 300 Kenyan schoolchildren ministering healing to each other only 5 minutes after they received salvation. They hadn’t heard enough sermons to be convinced that healing doesn’t always happen. They hadn’t heard all the man-made reasons and doubt-filled lies that we spread around with our fear, unbelief, and pride. Every child in that meeting was healed of something—things ranging from eye problems to bumps, scrapes, and bruises. While we in America sit around and theorize about why healing doesn’t always work, I know of 300 kids in Kenya who simply keep asking God to do what they know He can do. Theories are nice, but results are better. Let the theologians debate and theorize while we go heal the sick in Jesus’ name. Either Jesus paid for all sin to be cancelled or He didn’t. Either Jesus paid for all sickness and disease to be healed or He didn’t. It was the same sacrifice.  We just need to persevere for the results.

  4. We don’t have patience. Another story from the video is that of a woman with failing eyesight whom I ministered to for almost 20 minutes. Americans are used to microwave ovens, fast-food restaurants, and 30-second commercials. I’ve prayed for people in America who, after 5 minutes, start to feel awkward—or even guilty—because they’ve been there for “so long.” Some apologize and walk away. Some simply give up and say, “I guess this just isn’t the day for it.” These are lies from culture, flesh, and demons—all robbing Jesus of the reward of His suffering.

  5. We ask questions like, “Why don’t miracles happen in the United States?”  Yes, I believe this question itself is part of the problem. The very nature of the question shows no expectation that things could ever change. We have a mindset that these things simply do not happen here, and we just want to know why. We generally don’t “want to know why” because we intend to fix it. Rather, we tend to ask “why” because we love to fill our minds with knowledge.

Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. I noticed something in Uganda: Many of the people seemed to love more than they knew. In America, we tend to know more than we love. We have become intellectual gluttons—feasting our minds on revelation and rarely doing anything useful with it. We know how to prophesy. We know how to evangelize. We know how to worship and praise. And we tend to be very cute and trendy when we do these things.

But cuteness doesn’t open blind eyes and deaf ears. It’s time for the American Church to give up on our efforts to be cool, cute, and acceptable. It’s time for the American Church to place an intense emphasis on loving the world like God does. It is time to make a decision to counteract the problems I just listed:

  1. Need miracles. Realize that Jesus didn’t pay the price of the whipping post so that Tylenol would one day be invented. Medication is nice, it makes us more comfortable, and it does sometimes help us improve. But to do these things without determining that we NEED healing is to say to Jesus that His sacrifice was unnecessary. He didn’t seem to think so. We don’t “need healing” because of a shortage of medicine; rather, we “need healing” because Jesus deserves to receive what He paid for. If you love Him, then pursue it—not for your sake, but for His.

  2. Take healthy risks. Decide that God is God. Decide that He is worth it. Live dangerously for His sake. He took the ultimate risk for you because He had decided that you were worth dying for. How much more valuable is He?

  3. Love much. Knowledge isn’t bad, as long as every time we learn something, we ask, “Lord, how can I love with what I’ve just learned?” Gluttons are those who have more intake than outflow. The “streams of living water” Jesus gives are meant to “flow out of your innermost being.” Put more emphasis on loving than learning. You’ll actually learn more that way.

  4. Be patient and persevere. When healing doesn’t happen the first time you minister, try again. Jesus said, “Everyone who asks receives.” In context, He was talking about asking God to do something for someone else. (See Luke 11.) The only way to not receive is to stop asking. Don’t be in a hurry. Take your time with people and don’t give up until Jesus receives what He paid for—even if it takes years of persistence.

  5. Expect the miraculous. No more comparing one nation to another. Instead, compare your nation to the Kingdom of Heaven. Then, when you see the differences, pray like Jesus taught: “May Your Kingdom come. May Your will be done on earth, just like it is in heaven.”

Miracles happen when people put their faith in Jesus Christ and trust His grace to be sufficient. That can happen in any nation … even America.

God bless, –Art

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