From the earliest days recorded in Genesis, to the New Testament times, right up until the present, believers have always understood that God hears and answers prayer. James writes, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16 NASB).
While it may be that the intensity and frequency of miracles was greater in the time of Jesus and His apostles, I see no reason to assume that the days of miracles are now over. In fact, I have witnessed a number of miracles and supernatural healings myself. According to the Gospel writers, Jesus greatly desired to see faith in His followers to accomplish great miracles in His name!
While the main concern of Jesus was for the condition of our hearts towards God and one another, He also showed great compassion for those suffering the affects of physical illnesses. He cared about their need for food, shelter and clothing as well. His solution was to “seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33).
At the same time, He warned that having too many things could hinder one from entering the Kingdom of God!
It seems to me that at one extreme we have a position that we should not hope for blessings in this life, and the other that we should make physical blessings, even material wealth a priority.
Why then would Paul the apostle claim that his earthly surroundings made no difference to him?
“…I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.
I can do all things through Him Who strengthens me.” ( Phillipians 4:11-13 NASB).
Freedom and victorious living is a reality for the Christian, and this is exactly what we see here in the life of Paul!