by Brent Hanson.

miraclesThe last verse of Mark’s gospel says, “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.” (Mark 16:20 NKJV). I believe our Father still loves to reveal Himself in the most unexpected and impossible places. It showcases His limitless love for you and me. As the miracles come, the salvations follow. God uses the miraculous to confirm His Word and to draw people to Himself.

In our case, this has unleashed a whole new emphasis on what might be called “power evangelism” in our community. We are training and developing ministry teams that minister supernaturally in our church and in the marketplace.

But it didn’t start off easily. As I look back now, I realize we had to–

Prepare to Be Humbled
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up (James 4:10 NKJV).

I have had a genuine hunger for a move of God in our church for many years, but I didn’t realize at the time what a purging experience it would be. From late 2003 through early 2006, we went through a tough period. People began leaving for the craziest and most shallow reasons. A former associate brought accusations against me. We had a personal health crisis, a traffic accident with our trailer that could easily have severely injured our family, and other family members had health struggles. Finally, there was betrayal by a youth pastor, and a significant power group with a lot of money suddenly left the church. You would not call this the prescription for success.

I was puzzled. In fact, back at the beginning, I had asked God to show me what was going on. He spoke to my mind very clearly with this word: “Brent, do not fear. I am sending you people who will strengthen My church and not destroy it. I am sending you people who will serve in ministry instead of expecting to be served. I am purging My church and am sending people who will prepare the way for the great outpouring of My Spirit on New Song and churches in this community.”

That, in fact, proved to be a guide for the next three years of our church life.

Along the way, I thought I was following God’s plan. But in reality I was sometimes making my own plans and asking God to bless them. I had to come to a place where it was all about Him. God had to become the focus of all that we were. He had to be the center. God was teaching me to rely on Him. He wanted to do awesome things for us, but I had to be willing to surrender my pride to Him.

During these three years, I called for several seasons of prayer and fasting. It was after a 21-day corporate fast in the beginning of 2006 that everything broke loose-the good and the bad! I have heard similar reports from other places. Dan Hammer, FCA pastor in Everett, Washington, told me about tough times in his church before the Lord began to do awesome things. The same thing occurred at Brownsville Assembly of God before their outpouring. Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, California, actually watched 1,000 people leave before the breakthrough happened. That church now sees anywhere from 200 to 500 miracles per weekend, counting what happens both at home and through their ministry teams around the world.

I’ll never forget the day a board member came charging into my office to say, “‘Those people’ are ruining our church!” meaning people who were experiencing the miraculous power of God and testifying about it. “You’re not paying enough attention to the healthy sheep; you’re paying too much attention to the unhealthy sheep.”

The first Scripture that came into my mind in that moment was what Jesus said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor-sick people do. I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough” (Mark 2:17 NLT). I actually shared that verse with the man!

His response back to me was equally strong: “Wouldn’t it be like the devil to heal people to get Brent’s focus off the real goal!”

I could hardly believe what I was hearing. He was actually claiming that the devil was performing these miracles. Again, something rang a bell in my mind…. “Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, ‘This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.’ But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand'” (Matt. 12:24-25 NKJV).

This was a wonderful man whom I still love to this day, but he could not give God glory for the good things He was doing. His departure marked the final purge for our church. We now had boldly declared ourselves to believe in the fullness of God’s Spirit and His power to work today. By God’s grace, He brought us through every crisis and provided for every need. We were learning that we needed to-

Give God Room to Move
“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:29-31 NKJV).

I am convinced that God is ready to move in many more churches if we would simply give Him a place! Some churches are so programmed that there is absolutely no room for the Holy Spirit.

When we got serious about prayer and began our corporate fasts, we boldly asked for what the early church asked for: boldness. We also asked for signs and wonders. For our New Year’s Concert of Prayer, we declared 2006 to be “A Year of Miracles.” Doesn’t the book of James say that we have not because we ask not?

God moves because we give Him permission. He takes His place because we give Him the place of honor. He takes precedence because we make Him the priority, not some program or time schedule.

Dan Hammer says that at Sonrise Chapel, a major part of the miraculous occurrences is prayer. From 50 percent to 70 percent of the week, he reports, their sanctuary has intercessors praying for God’s working and moving in their church.

“I don’t even get to pray for many people [in the services] anymore,” Dan says. “I just give words of knowledge, and the people are like bird dogs looking for an opportunity to pray for people.”

You may be like I was, feeling nearly alone in your desire to see the supernatural take place. But trust me-God will bring these things to pass if you continue to give Him room to move. He will even take care of your enemies for you.

Start where you are. Don’t be discouraged at small beginnings. I love professor and author Walter Wink’s line, “History belongs to the intercessors.” Ask God for big and outrageous things! Remember that it was Jesus Himself who said, “Nothing is impossible.”

We have to give God room to move. He doesn’t move on our timetable, partly because some people have to be changed first. Be patient in your prayers, understanding that God will accomplish His Word. As you pray His Word, he will release His heavenly messengers to begin to accomplish it. But you have to trust Him to do it in His time and His way.

When it starts happening, the unconverted are touched. One of our new converts is a man who, by his own admission, was about as hard-hearted toward the things of God as could be. “I never knew any real Christians,” he says. “The ones I had known over the years were hypocrites.” But at our church he began to see God’s love, which opened his heart to the power of God. He ended up being healed of skin cancer. This one-time murderer now has a heart full of the Father’s love.

One Sunday, the Lord gave me a word of knowledge that someone was being healed, and we found out afterwards that God had restored sight to the blind eye of a first-time visitor, totally unsaved. The doctor had said this man would never see again. At first he didn’t understand what was happening, but as we explained, he gave praise and glory to God. It changed his life.

God is all powerful. He will show His power when we give Him room and time to move. But it all has to be about Him. Then watch what He will do through you!

An important element of all this outpouring has been for us to-

Connect with Like-Minded People and Ministries
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!…. For there the Lord commanded the blessing–Life forevermore (Psalm 133:1, 3 NKJV).

The first miracles back in February 2006 began to occur during a series of meetings with Dr. David Nichols, an Assemblies of God brother out of Minneapolis (Heart of the Father Ministries; Since then, we have made other valuable contacts with people of like mind, and they have also begun to seek us out. Our church now seems to attract people who want to see the same things we do. We have people now who can’t wait to be used by God to pray for people and see them healed.

As a pastor, this is one of my great joys. After all, Ephesians says pastors should “equip the saints for the work of the ministry.” It is a lot of fun to see people pray for someone and see them healed. It’s awesome to watch intercessors go after a need and see God provide a breakthrough.

We have now aligned ourselves with various ministries who hold the same expectation. We have associated with the Apostolic Network for Global Awakening (see, which includes Randy Clark (influential in the Toronto Blessing), Bill Johnson (mentioned earlier-see, and Leif Hetland (a Norwegian pastor who has influenced some 500,000 Muslims for Christ).

More than We Know
There is a great attraction to places where God’s glory is revealed. That’s why Jesus ministry was so filled with the miraculous. God loves to do “exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask or think.” He wants to do the same things in your church as you allow the Lord to humble you, make room for Him to move, and align yourselves with others like you in faith.

Brent Hanson is pastor of New Song Community Church, Wolverine Lake, Michigan.

2 thoughts on “How to Prepare for Miracles

  1. Great advice…good things to remember. I’m encouraged with the things happening through the FCA in the Kingdom. Hoping to be able to join in again with you all.

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