Hmmmm... I'm thinking about a song that Bill and Gloria Gaither wrote for a children's album when I was a teenager. I have the song somewhere, and maybe someday I'll dig it out and put it in MP3 format. For now, let's see if I can remember how it goes... The hook is "I expect a miracle." The idea is a kid is asking Gloria what that means, and they look it up in the dictionary...
Expect: to anticipate the inevitable.
Miracle: supernatural intervention of God.
Then they go on singing, "I anticipate the inevitable supernatural intervention of God. I expect a miracle... (And it goes on and on.)
I've been thinking a lot lately about miracles. They always have a purpose. Every intervention of God has a purpose. Sometimes that purpose is to build the faith of people who are struggling and want to believe. Sometimes it is to prove that God is the ultimate authority, like what happened when He caused fire to consume Elijah's offering even though it was completely soaked. Sometimes it is to illustrate that He has power to forgive sins. Sometimes it is because He has a larger purpose and intends to use the person's life to bring glory to Himself. Sometimes it is simply that God has compassion for His people and is moved by their prayers.
There are visible miracles, and we call them miracles because we don't understand them. But God is all about things we don't understand. If we understood, we would not need Him. As a blessing, He does give understanding to us at times; but the mystery enhances our love and appreciation for Him. Miracles help us to recognize His hand at work in our lives.
God doesn't just do things because we prayed. He responds to the attitudes of our hearts. Knowing this, we can have faith. We *can* expect miracles because we pray for them out of compassion and our oneness with Christ, not out of greed or a need for God to prove to us that He cares in order to counteract an absolute certainty on our part that He doesn't.