My rating: 5 of 5 stars
After he had written a memoir about his childhood, John Murray’s wife asked him, “When are you going to write about your experiences in Eastern Europe?” Miracles: Coincidence or Divine Intervention? is that book.
In it Murray tells many fascinating stories from his twenty-year stint as the Executive Director of Euroevangelism Canada and supplements these anecdotes with Bible teaching.
The telling is organized in eight chapters, each titled with a question: “Does God Care?”, “Does God Answer Prayer?”, “Does God Heal?” etc. Within the chapters he relates incidents that happened to him and others that speak to the chapter’s question. He also explores what the Bible says, sharing rich insights developed over a lifetime of pastoral and missionary work. Each chapter ends with a “Guide for Group Study” section that includes a Bible reading and discussion questions.
I loved this book for its inspiring stories, like the one Murray tells in the chapter “Does God Protect?”:
Some Christians in Budapest had bought a derelict restaurant to renovate into a church. Due to low funds members of the congregation were doing most of the work. Every week the place was busy with volunteers.
Regularly on Friday mornings the church leadership had a prayer meeting to pray especially for the renovations. During one of these prayer meetings a deacon said he felt they should pray about the roof, though he didn’t know what to pray for specifically.
On a Saturday morning not long after, when forty people were working on the building, a man working in the rafters caught his hammer on something made of metal. The movement dislodged the object, it fell, and banged hard onto the concrete floor below.
The object turned out to be an unexploded WWII bomb which, the army bomb squad later told them, was live. The army men couldn’t figure out why it hadn’t exploded on impact (pp. 101-103).
I also loved this book for its teaching, like this bit from the chapter: “Does God Intervene?”:
“Whether we are looking for healing, for guidance, for comfort, or any other aspect of God’s intervention in our lives, we are encouraged to look in the right place. we have been given the Word of God so that God can speak through it. We have been given the privileged channel of prayer by which we can share with Him our devotion, our worship, our thanksgiving, and our supplications. We have been given the ministry of God’s Spirit within our lives to guide us in all areas. The Spirit of God is also the one who plants the gift of faith within us, so that we might look expectantly for God to work. We ask, and then we wait. The waiting is the most difficult part” p. 142.
The amazing stories and wise insights in John Murray’s Miracles: Coincidence or Divine Intervention? will help grow your faith high and deep. I recommend it.
This book is part of my own collection.