Linda Evans Shepherd has experienced miracles. She believes in miracles. So do I. I have lived them too. Shepherd’s latest book, When You Need a Miracle: How to Ask God for the Impossible, makes a brassy statement on page 16: “If you read this book until the end, you will experience miracles.” That got my attention! I know a few people (I’m married to one) who don’t like reading and it’s a miracle if they do finish a book! But I’m pretty sure that’s not what Shepherd intended by that bold statement.
In fact, the author qualifies that audacious claim a few lines down when she says, “You will draw nearer to God and His presence….miracles are about what happens when we welcome God’s presence and power into our situations and our lives.” Shepherd knows what she’s talking about. She has lived with the daily miracle of her daughter Laura for more than two decades. Laura should have died when, as a toddler, she was thrown from the vehicle in a crash. After a year in a coma she woke up and began to slowly “come back.” Even though she remains seriously brain damaged, she has a rich life and is a vibrant part of the Shepherd family and Linda’s greatest earthly inspiration.
This book holds a wealth of stories of everyday miracles — physical pain instantly removed, lost money replaced, bitterness taken away, and even prayers for needed sox answered! Darla’s story of healing after a brutal rape in Chapter Five is a must read. Shepherd walked her through a process of prayer whereby she was able to forgive her offender by first forgiving herself and forgiving God for allowing it to occur.
Maybe you don’t know how to pray or to ask for miracles. Shepherd’s book holds dozens of sample prayers that are simple, heartfelt and authentic. I found myself praying many of them and inserting my own situations, people, and needs into the available blanks. Every chapter offers opportunities to stop and pray using one of these prayers.
If you think Linda Shepherd is a spiritual giant, think again. She’s a woman just like you (if you are a woman, if not, I apologize!) and the things she prays for are no different than what you do. Here is a sample of her prayer needs (page 93): Help me hear his voice clearly and have better discernment, Reach millions for Christ (well, I have never dared to ask for this but Linda is a lot braver than me), Lower my cholesterol, Help me lose 25 pounds, Help me write an anointed book about miracles.
Shepherd lists a formula for miracles on page 147 that is hard to argue with: An all powerful God plus a grateful, believing heart plus God’s will equals a miracle. There is only one component that you and I are responsible for — gratitude and trust. Shepherd quotes Beth Moore who says, God doesn’t always will physical healing but He does will the spiritual captive to be free. This I know to be true in my own journey out of a 10-year season of spiritual dryness so profound I thought I had lost my faith completely. God brought me back to Him and that is a miracle!
When you buy this book, and you should, don’t skip Don Piper’s foreword — Piper is the guy who died and lived to tell about it! Ya, we’re talking big time miracle! And make sure you read all the way to Zack’s story on pages 178-180. Taco Bell became a sanctuary for the Living God all because three women went on a spiritual treasure hunt.
Do you need a miracle? I think we all do every day. I recommend this book to all the ye-of-little-faith people of whom I am an honorary member. It will challenge and inspire you and it may be the spur you need to get praying for your miracle.