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What do Christians call miracles and is it possible to ask them from God?

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In life, miracles happen: big and small. And the author of all miracles is God. After all, only He can change the course of events, intervene in the usual, in order to reveal His strength.

How to get your miracle? How to see that the impossible is possible? I give you 5 principles, after which something supernatural will happen in your life!

Make up your mind

Each person needs a miracle. Someone to marry, someone to get a dream job, someone to recover, someone to give birth to a child. Everyone has different needs and dreams.

Decide on those issues in which only a miracle will help you. Where you have tried hundreds of times and failed, where circumstances shout loudly against - this is where the place is for your miracle.

Write down on the sheet what kind of miracle you need.

Ask, and it will be given to you, seek, and you will find, knock, and it will be opened to you,for everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Matthew 7: 7-8

The Bible says, “Ask and it will be given to you.” But to ask precisely from God, not from the Universe, which is just a creation of God and in itself cannot give you anything without His instructions. The main one is He. Creator and Creator.

Ask God to intervene in your question. So that where you are not able to do something, He came and made His power, which is unlimited.

After that, expect that work has already begun on your question. Just wait. Even when it seems that nothing around has changed, wait anyway. Cheer up and wait. The miracle is near! It is on its way!

Believe it. Just stupidly believe. As the child believes, sincerely and with all his heart. What you asked for is possible! Discard doubts and unbelief. God promised that if you ask, it will be! Trust His Words!

Every day, thank God for the miracle in your life. And not just mentally, but speak aloud. Fill yourself with joy and peace from the idea of ​​how you get your miracle. Like everything you asked for, it becomes a reality.

Thank you for hearing and helping you. And also love God, communicate with Him, not only when you need something, but simply because He is with you and loves you.

I love my Lord very much and bless you! May the desires of your heart be fulfilled, and God will reveal his supernatural power in your life!

Content

Blessed Augustine remarked: while reading the Gospel, we recognize as an unconditional miracle the multiplication of breads, but no less a miracle — the very growth of bread. After all, the first and second are from God, and equally.

It turns out that a “miracle” in the narrowly familiar sense - how is an inexplicable violation of the order of things - is this a word from the vocabulary of atheists? Indeed, in that God, at His discretion, controls the “order of things”, there is nothing inexplicable.

And so, the next logical step: the “miracle” does not exist at all, because the presence of God in our lives is the most normal thing that is prepared for man from creation of the world? But what words then speak of the miracle of the Resurrection of Christ?

About this - our conversation with Archpriest Pavel Velikanov, candidate of theology, rector of the Pyatnitsky Compound of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra in Sergiev Posad.

Sign of weakness

- Father Paul, is it appropriate, in principle, to speak of the resurrection of Christ as a miracle?

- And from what point of view are we looking? From the point of view of a person who is used to the fact that all people die and is this normal? Or from the point of view of God, who did not create us for death?

The church is not a factory of miracles. And the central event of the church life of man - the Sacrament of the Eucharist, which would fit the formal criteria of a miracle: there was bread and wine, but the flesh and blood of Christ became - we nevertheless do not call a miracle. And why? Firstly, this is what happens on schedule, which means that it completely and completely depends on the will of those people who participate in the commission of the “miracle”. And secondly - and this is the main thing - absolutely nothing happens under the Eucharist in a visible way. Everything remains the same: bread and wine taste, smell and color remain bread and wine. And at the same time, we feel that according to the schedule and without any special external signs, the most significant and greatest event in the life of any person is taking place. The question arises: why is everything so?

After all, it would be great if, at the moment preceding the Holy Gifts, the temple would begin to shake with a small tremor, some flashes and lightnings would appear, strange voices would start to sound, holy trembling would attack everyone, and everyone would understand that something is going on that requires a special attitude. How spectacular it would be! But nothing of the kind happens.

And not only among ordinary priests, but also among saints. Only isolated cases are known when the celebration of the Eucharist by the saints was accompanied by some obvious miraculous testimonies (for example, when the Monk Sergius of Radonezh communed, those who attended with him saw celestial fire descend into the chalice), but the rest is a completely ordinary story.

It seems to me that there is a very deep and very simple meaning in such "ordinaryness": for God, the life that we live in is so crooked, filled with human unrighteousness, sins, passions and so on - it is of great value. Perhaps much more than for ourselves. And only in situations where it is impossible in another way, does the Lord allow a miracle as an emergency, abnormal interference in this life.

And if from this point of view we look at the resurrection of Christ, then it is not a miracle. This is what was in the divine plan from the very beginning. Archpriest Habakkuk writes about the eternal council of the Holy Trinity, where God the Son asks God the Father if this world is worth creating if it is necessary to die for it. Father Pavel Florensky writes that the whole world was created by the Cross, that the Cross is the principle of the existence of all things. But here we must clearly understand that not only the Cross lies at the heart of the world, but the Cross for the sake of resurrection. And if from our point of view, as fallen people, the resurrection of Christ is a miracle as something abnormal, then from the point of view of God, the Resurrection is the only normal, the only right thing that was prepared for man. This is the path God intended for each of us.

- Do you think a person has a right to a miracle?

- Of course, a person has a right. But this is not a sign of his strength and capabilities. This is a sign of his weakness and weakness. If he demands a miracle, it means that he has serious problems - not in the material plane, but in relations with God. If without this miracle a person has come to an impasse and cannot move anywhere further, then there is a problem of an internal search for his place in God's world.
Remember the gospel story of a father who brought his demoniac son to Christ?

... One of the people answered: Teacher! I brought to you my son, obsessed with the dumb spirit: wherever he grasps him, throws him to the ground, and he emits foam, and grinds his teeth, and becomes numb. I told thy disciples to drive him out, and they could not. Answering him, Jesus said: Oh, an unfaithful generation! How long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him to Me. And they brought him to him. As soon as the possessed saw Him, the spirit shook him, he fell to the ground and wallowed, emitting foam. And Jesus asked his father: How long has this been done to him? He said: since childhood, and many times the spirit threw him into fire and water to destroy him, but if you can, take pity on us and help us. Jesus told him: if you can believe at all, everything is possible for the believer. And immediately the father of the lad exclaimed with tears: I believe, Lord! help my unbelief. Jesus, seeing that the people were fleeing, forbade the unclean spirit, saying to him: the spirit is dumb and deaf! I command you to step out of it and continue not to enter it. And, crying out and shaking him severely, he went out, and he became as dead, so many said that he was dead. But Jesus, taking his hand, lifted him, and he stood up ... (Mark 9: 17–27).

If the father had no problems with faith, he would not have to shout: “I believe, Lord, help my unbelief!” We see that it is fundamentally important for the father that an acute life crisis gives a chance to break through the shell of his own unbelief. Otherwise, his whole life turns into continuous torment. The son suffers - and the father does not see any sense in this suffering. And when it’s pointless, then it’s painful.

Remember Turgenev’s story “Living relics” - about a woman who for many years lies motionless and still does not die. The landowner offers to transport her from the farm to the hospital, where they will help her. She hesitates at first, and then still decides: no, not necessary. In this weak state she gains real, tangible spiritual benefit for herself. She needs this weakness. She, perhaps, the most unhappy of all people on earth, but does not pray to God for a miracle of healing, although, it would seem, God Himself ordered, forgive the pun. Why?
Is she crazy, or what? Not at all. She is strong. And her strength lies in the fact that she does not want to intrude into the will of God by her will, she does not want to oppose her desire to the plan that God has about herself. She simply, with humility, with faith, with devotion, entrusts herself to the hands of God - and let Him sculpt from her what He wants, and not what she wants, no matter how painful and hard she may be.

In a word, of course, we have a right to a miracle. But it is not a miracle that we should ask God. St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov) has a work "On the miracles of Christ." It emphasizes the point very correctly: the meaning of a miracle is not in the very fact of the miracle, but in pushing to God those who could not otherwise believe in Him. Therefore, in the time of the first Christians, miracles were needed not by believers, but by unbelievers. A miracle is a step that must be stepped over to rise higher.

Moreover, a miracle is never completely irrefutable. Even in the most obvious and “inexplicable” miracle, the Lord still leaves man an opportunity - a loophole - to maintain his unbelief. I have the right to decide: yes, what I see is a violation of the laws of nature, but I can assume that in a hundred to two hundred years, scientists will explain this. The Lord gives us such an opportunity, and His great mercy and love is manifested in this. He does not rape a man and does not drag him by force to the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, a miracle is only an occasion to voluntarily and freely turn to God. But it is voluntary and free. The Lord can surround us with miracles and circumstances that will cling, inspire, excite, but to see God behind all this and take a step towards him - it depends only on us. St. Clement of Alexandria calls God the greatest teacher. We have the right to add that He is also a very delicate teacher. He does not work a miracle to push a person against the wall and say: “See? And now he quickly believed in God! ”No, the dictates of a miracle do not exist.

“Going to God without reacting to miracles or not giving them meaning is probably a rather high spiritual standard, which still needs to be grown ...”

- In my opinion, this is the only normal spiritual level on which the relationship of man and God can be.

One journalist told me an absolutely amazing story. She wrote a story about bringing the Belt of the Virgin to Moscow, stood in the queue for many hours and had the opportunity to observe what was happening to people: how their motivation and feelings changed as they stood in that queue. And it turns out - an amazing thing! - after three or four hours of standing in people there is some kind of qualitative change. Initially, they came with quite everyday “requests”, and almost every second, which is curious, was going to ask for the successful study of children. Other “requests” included health and family well-being. But after three to four hours, their concentration on personal egoistic “requests” to God gave way to something new. People began to feel themselves not as a scattered collection of alienated personalities, but as a single whole organism. The queue acquired internal integrity.

I listened to this journalist and thought that this is exactly what we are sorely lacking in parish life. Indeed, for people in line, this, metaphorically speaking, was a liturgy - a common cause. After three to four hours of standing, they transformed into a completely new community. And when they approached the Belt, they experienced happiness and joy not because they received answers to their requests, but because some new condition was born inside them, and all the secondary ones were eliminated by itself. This new one came to the fore and became what it was worth coming to and standing in line for.

Here, for me, a certain deep truth is hidden. God does not forbid us to pray and ask Him for something, to build our own idea of ​​what we need now. But in the end, all this is for the sake of coming precisely to Him. Our requests must begin and end with them.

Cake and freedom

- You are strict about miracles, but they certainly happened to you. How did you perceive them?

“I received miracles as a gift that I did not ask for.” When I was still a very young teacher, everything was quite difficult financially. My mother and I settled in a newly-built house; there was neither heating nor amenities in it. And then the opportunity arose to conduct gas. It turned out that in order to do this, I had to pay two thousand dollars to my neighbor only for him to give his consent. There was nowhere to take such money from. The situation is deadlocked. At the same time, I was invited as part of a small delegation on a business trip to one of the Local Orthodox Churches. And when we were leaving, they unexpectedly handed me an envelope - just like a gesture of goodwill from the owners. I didn’t even think that they would pay at least something for the trip. I unfold the envelope in the hotel room - and there are exactly two thousand dollars ...

It’s hard for me to convey what I felt at that moment ... It seems that I understood the sensations of the Apostle Peter very accurately, when he caught fish all night, didn’t catch anything, and in the morning Christ ordered to throw the nets again - and the fishermen caught so many fish that two boats became to sink under her weight. And as the gospel narrates, Peter cried out: Come out of me, Lord! because I am a sinful person. Because horror seized him and all who were with him from this fishing of the fish they had caught ... (Luke 5: 8–9). The same horror attacked me! From disbelief. From the fact that you lived up to this point and did not notice that you exist in the space of God's constant mercy, and therefore such manifest and “miraculous” manifestations of it plunge you into shock. How could you not have thought and believed that the Lord was so close that for Him our everyday difficulties are of utmost importance - no less than for ourselves.

Another miracle is connected with my now deceased wife, who has been fighting a serious cancer disease for four years. The tumor steadily grew twice in a month, but at some point the growth suddenly stopped. No one could understand why. The doctor told us: “I don’t know what you did, but please continue to do the same. Because it is a clear miracle. " And then for two or three months the tumor did not grow. And then it began to increase again. What was it? From a medical point of view, no one could explain. But for me it was a direct testimony of God's presence in our lives. The Lord showed that He is here and He is the master of the situation. If He needs, if He considers it necessary and correct, He can stop the growth of the tumor. If He does not do this, then His will is there - and you cannot climb across. I took it that way. Who am I to go against God?

Bethan Phillips Photos

Of course, we prayed. As one bishop told me, "half of the Russian Orthodox Church prays for your mother." And I have no doubt that it was only thanks to these prayers that she died not a month after being diagnosed, but four years later. But to pray is not the same as saying: “Lord, let it be either in my opinion or not at all!” Or squeeze my whole life into this prayer: say, Lord, if it is not the way I ask, I To spite you, I won’t go down and die in this feat. What am I - smarter than God?

Prayer for one's neighbor is a genuine manifestation of love. And here a very delicate moment arises. What does love for man mean? If I love, what do I - first of all - wish him? Salvation. But what if this disease, according to God's plan, is the only right way for a person to be saved. And what - I have to get up and say: "No, Lord, wait, I need a wife"?

- In addition to humility in spiritual life, there is also boldness. There is a well-known gospel maxim: "Knock, and they will open it for you." How do you understand her?

- Knock - and you will really be opened. But you can see behind the door absolutely not what you expected. God is not an errand boy who is in a hurry to fulfill your errands. Yes, He will open the door that you are knocking on - as a sign that they hear you, communicate with you, react to you, and you and God have a relationship.

This is a very subtle point. Because, on the one hand, there is what I said. But on the other, God is interested in watching what a person asks. Like any father, it is very interesting to watch their children. For example, I am interested in watching how the priorities and preferences of my children change, how internal growth is going on. And a reasonable parent is unlikely to impose his opinion on the child: “You must become a good lawyer!” In the same way, God is interested in what a person chooses.

And here a conflict already arises: how is human freedom and divine providence combined? На одном конце — идея свободной воли человека, а на другом — то, что, по словам апостола Павла, мы пленяем всякое помышление в послушание Христу (2 Кор 10:5). С одной стороны, у Бога о каждом из нас есть план. С другой, если мы сами ничего не выбираем, если нам ничего не надо, если у нас сформировалось стойкое хроническое безразличие ко всему, что происходит, — значит, нас просто нет.

We become people as we choose our preferences, as we make this daily and even every second choice. Turn from any situation to good or evil. Until the last dying moment, a person makes a choice. Take away our opportunity to choose - and we will not have a permanent simulator for the soul, for the heart, for the brain, for the will.

And at the same time, no matter how you choose, no matter how you change your path, the Lord still knows better than you what you need and in what way, in what role, in what status you need to go. Moreover, even if you choose the wrong path, God will still make sure that in the end this path turns out to be exactly as the Lord considers it necessary to lead you.

And how, after all this, will the language turn to ask for a miracle?

“What's so wrong with that?”

“You live with God and you feel that the Lord is here, at your fingertips, in every little thing, in every second, everything is saturated with Him, and everything that happens to you constantly testifies of His care, His love, His care ... Is this really not enough and we need some more miracle?

Imagine a family where a child suffers from a serious illness of the digestive system, and parents spend their whole lives feeding the child exactly those products that will allow him to live and recover. The child understands this, but suddenly says: “I want a cake. Deadly want! Do what you want - but give me a cake. ” Parents, of course, can give him this cake and at the same time anticipate that the child will become much worse and will have to invest even more effort, time and money in order to neutralize this result of the fulfillment of human free will.

But after all, how unwise should one be to demand a cake from parents in such a situation! You need to live in your absolutely impenetrable world, not see the care of your parents, not see your own illness and consider that all life revolves around you alone. Perhaps I am deeply mistaken, but the claim of a miracle from God seems to me something similar.

The Monk Isaac the Syrian has such an idea that only through the weakness of the human mind did God command us to ask Him for daily bread, and for those who are “perfect in knowledge and sound in soul,” Christ says: Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all this will be added to you ... (Matthew 6:33). This thought at one time simply turned me over. Indeed, what is the point of asking God for something when we already live in the space of God's constant care.

“So - don’t you have to ask anything from God at all?” And if the situation is difficult? After all, you yourself said that you prayed for the recovery of your spouse ...

- Of course, I prayed! But here I always recall the thought of Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh, whom I met in one of his sermons: they say that I have such an agreement with God - I ask nothing for myself, but I ask for others. Of course, the Lord wants us to pray and ask for loved ones, because this is a manifestation of our love.

But there is another interesting point.

Prayer should not be understood only as a request. A request to God is just a certain kind of prayer and far from the most perfect. The meaning of prayer is in the communion of man with God. It may seem that the holy fathers and ascetics of piety did not pray at all: they did not get up to prayer, did not ask God for this and that. Just their whole life - every second - and so was walking in front of God.

They did not for a moment let God out of their heart and their consciousness - that was their prayer, natural as breathing. In the same way as loving spouses do not need to constantly confess to each other in love. They just live together - and their actions, their unexpressed thoughts and words, the whole rhythm of their life reflect their love.

Therefore, prayer - I repeat - is not a request. Prayer is ideally sacrificing oneself entirely to God. There is a reclusive monk - it would seem, what good is it for the world? It is generally accepted that he needs to be asked to pray for us, because he, he says, is closer to God and has more “leverage”. Maybe it is, but the meaning of his retreat is in a completely different way. He pleases God by constantly being in a state, figuratively speaking, of maximum “synchronization” with Him, and renders invaluable service to all people in general by the fact that in our earthly world - in this kingdom of chaos and sin, where everything goes completely wrong as God wants, and he doesn’t go because He conceived it, but because there is nothing we can do with us, such freaks, although it’s impossible to destroy us, because we are still not completely hopeless, - in a word, in this realm of disorder, an island suddenly forms, where everything goes as the Lord was for man Eka conceived. The reclusive prayer is a kind of representation, a real diplomatic mission before God.

It is also interesting to appreciate the intensity of this prayer. Among the people with whom I have communicated and who for me to one degree or another personify holiness, I have never met such that in some difficult situation they, trying to beg something from God, changed the rhythm of their life - roughly saying, they decided: "Now we need to add so many nods to the day and increase the prayer rule so much, and then everything will be fine." There was no such thing ... And I cannot blame these people for indifference or coldness. Also, I can’t say that they lack the willpower or the download does not allow. And in this, it seems to me, there is some very serious, deep truth. When a person already lives in a kind of approximation to the ideal, when he serves and prays every day and could no longer physically be able to do it - this has trust in God. Living daily as commanded is much more important than provoking God to “miraculously” invade our lives.

Everything is good!

- If we feel that God is manifested in everything, in every movement of life, is there any danger here of falling into a sort of “blissful calm” - everything is already fine, the Lord is near. Where then is the place for internal stress, for working on oneself?

- When a person calms down, it’s wonderful. I do not see anything abnormal and contradictory in the fact that a person calms down. To be at peace with oneself is the only right condition. The ability to achieve inner peace, inner silence - what is called "hesychia" in the Orthodox tradition - this distinguishes the believer from the unbeliever. This is the basic assurance that everything is in order. You can be twisted from passions, from anger, from lust - but it remains on the surface. And in the soul there is a depth where you can look at any moment and be sure that the world is harmonious. Because the depth is God, this is the Church, this is Christ, who has already saved you. And all this is not subject to earthly cataclysms. This is more of them.

But you asked about whether a person who feels God's real presence here and now is turning into an inactive, powerless, powerless “nonsense”. No, nothing like that. On the contrary, only when a person understands the ultimate significance of every moment of his life and all that material that he lives in - only then can he begin to relate to life correctly. That is, to realize that there will be no other world and other life. You and I will not have the second such interview. If it is, then it’s completely different. The moment that you are experiencing here and now, with all its possibilities of making a choice, will never happen again. So, this is the most important and most significant moment in your life, because "there is only a moment between the past and the future, it is he who is called life." From this understanding of the exclusivity of every moment, every person, every subject, the ultimate tension of life flows. Not relaxation, not calmness, but an extremely intense life.

Imagine a liner flying. Passengers are relaxed - they are doing well. But the pilot and the navigator feel completely different. They have one wrong move - and that’s it, hundreds of deaths. And a person who does not feel the value of every moment, reminds a passenger - “we fly, eat, read a book, everything is fine”. And the one who constantly feels himself on the crest of the contact of human life and God's grace reminds the pilot: he cannot lean back and doze off. Because every second he is responsible.

Such inner tension is an inevitable consequence of the reality of God's presence in the world. A person understands that he needs to “twitch” precisely because everything is normal. After all, if you do not strain at the current moment, the next normally nothing will happen.

- Some say: Christianity is the correction of sins, without which joy is impossible. Others say: Christianity is a joy that requires the correction of sins. The idea is the same - the emphasis is different. It is clear that these are not binary oppositions, but simply the two ends of the spectrum ...

- The truth is both there and there, and the primary in Christianity is Christ. It is Christ-centered, not “sin-centered,” and not “joy-centered." And when we talk about Christ, we are talking about something from another dimension, about something that cannot be divided into components. Because everything is in Christ.

What is the person of Christ? It seems to me that a person experiences the deepest and most Christianly correct sensations not even when “Christ is Risen” sings, but when he stands in the church during Holy Week and goes to Calvary together with the Savior. What is it about? Awareness of your sin? Yes, because we see the terrible price of his atonement. Feeling of joy? Yes too. And it’s not even what we know about the coming Resurrection. It is just that in the very way of the cross through every event and every prayer the light of God's Providence for us breaks through - and, therefore, of God's love. A sense of sin and a sense of joy are bizarrely connected. And one cannot be discarded, and the other recognized as dominant.

One person close to me recently uttered a phrase that touched me to the depths of my soul: if there is forgiveness to me, it will be with great tears. That is, he understands that by and large it cannot be forgiven. And at the same time he knows for sure that he will be forgiven. The objectivity and evidence of this fact cannot but give rise to tears of repentance and deep gratitude in it. And through them - aspirations to God as such.

Remember the gospel episode where Christ after the resurrection appears to the apostles:

After that, Jesus appeared again to his disciples at the sea of ​​Tiberias. It appeared so: Simon Peter was together, and Thomas, called the Twin, and Nathanael of Cana of Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of His disciples. Simon Peter tells them: I am going to fish. They say to him: we are coming with you. They went and immediately entered the boat, and did not catch anything that night. And when morning came, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus says to them: children! Do you have any food? They answered him: no. He told them: throw the net on the right side of the boat, and you will catch. They threw, and could no longer pull the nets from many fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved, said to Peter: this is the Lord. Simon Peter, hearing that it was the Lord, girded on his clothes - for he was naked - and threw himself into the sea (John 21: 1-7).

As soon as Peter heard that the Lord was resurrected - everything, he throws the fish, which he tried so hard to catch all night and rushes to Christ. If the Lord is near, then Peter no longer needs anything else. After all, the most important thing is in Himself. And this is a state of mind in which every Christian - and maybe even every person in general - wants to come to. This is the condition for which the Lord created us: to love Him not for what He does, but for the fact that He is.

Archpriest PaulGiants

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