The other day I was asked by someone if I would try to raise a cat from the dead. After being asked, the look on my face told the story of my faith. If I could translate my face into words, it would be, “What in the heck? Are you serious?” My faith does not include such acts. I have experienced a lot of death in my life. Too much death. Too many dead bodies of friends and family have I looked upon in the last few years. But I have never once tried to raise someone from the dead. Is this evidence of a weak faith? Should I? Should I be attempting such things? Should I express my faith with this kind of assurance?

In a moment of intense transparency, a young missionary friend of Tim Kimberley (executive director of the Credo House) told Tim a story just a few days ago. The story was about the death of an neighbor’s infant child. I am going to post this story and change the names. Please read it carefully. We pick up after they heard about the death.

My wife went over to the neighbor’s house to pay her respects.  She came back weeping.  Just seeing the baby lying there dead, seeing the mother sitting there alive yet devoid of any real life, any real hope, that is enough to make anyone weep, especially those of us who have the life of another and the hope of heaven. Next it was my turn.  I went over to the house and saw the people gathered.  It’s very reminiscent of what I’ve thought it would have looked like in Jesus’ day.  Some people were surrounding the baby and others were attending to the physical needs of those gathered by cooking food.  I shook hands with the men and then went in to see the dead baby and her mother.  My heart broke.  No, it shattered.  Then, I prayed.  In fact, I started praying once I heard the baby had died and kept praying up to that point.

My prayer asked God a simple question, “Should I?”  Should I pray that this baby would be raised from the dead?  After all, Jesus told us we would do greater things than He did.  Miracles would be done according to our faith.  So, my “should I?” was really a question about my faith.  Do I have faith enough even to stick my neck out there and ask this woman if I could pray for her dead child to be raised to life???  We’re not talking about a pray-in-your-head thing here.  I knew that wouldn’t do.  So, should I?  While standing there with tears in my eyes, I felt the Spirit say go ahead (or what I thought was the Spirit).  So, after a moment’s hesitation, I spoke to the mother.  I told her I believe there is a God that can raise the dead.  I told her there is power in the name of Jesus.  I asked her if she believed too and if I could pray for her baby.  She said yes.  So, with everyone looking on, I knelt before this beautiful, lifeless child and begged God to raise her from the dead in the name of Jesus.  You know what happened?  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  I was left with only being able to say that no one understands the mind of God or His will…truly empty words in my mouth and heart (not to mention the mother’s).

So, here is where I am.  I’m left with doubts, fears, and even anger.  I prayed.  I trusted.  I put my neck out.  What’s more, I put Jesus’ name out there and He didn’t show up.  Yes, I’ve heard from others and even my own western theological mind to remember all the reasons we give why God doesn’t answer our prayers.  “It wasn’t His timing,” or “It wasn’t His will,” or “He has something better in store,” but all I hear is the scream of my heart asking, “Why didn’t You hear me?!  You said You would!  Where are You?  Are You even there?!”  The baby is still dead.  The mother is still lost in hopelessness and despair.  And now I look like a fool and the name of Jesus is a joke.

Is the problem that I don’t believe God can do those sorts of things?  No, I think I still believe that.  Do I believe God isn’t real or, as Nietzsche said, that He’s dead?  No, if I’m honest, I don’t think that.  The real issue is I wonder why God didn’t do what He said he would.  I think I’m mad at Him and not about Him.

This email is raw.  I usually don’t write things like this.  After all, there are unwritten rules in our faith.  But my faith has been rocked to the core and I know, regardless of where I end up, I will never be the same.  So, I ask you to pray.  Pray for me?  Sure.  But I’m not even sure how to ask you to pray.  Please pray more for this baby and mother.  These people are dying…literally and spiritually.  They need to know, just like my heart needs to know now.  It’s just my biggest fear is that an answer will never come.  Where is Jesus when you need Him?

Friends. simply put, this is as real as it gets. Don’t laugh, jest, or judge, just learn. What do you think? Should we pray with faith that God will raise someone from the dead? If so, what does this look like?

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    126 replies to "Should I Pray for God to Raise Someone from the Dead?"

    • Marsha Lehman

      Please pray for my brother to be raised from the dead.

    • Merhawi

      Every thing in the New testament was told to those who were physically alive, following Jesus, especially His disciples. If this is true, does it mean that all the promises and commandments do not belong to us. Brother God uses one but sees many. Example, look Abraham, he was alone but became many like stars of the sky. Jesus said that there are other sheeps who became mine by hearing my words only, so that I will go and bring them back to me. Who are these sheeps? We those who were not physically alive at that time, but heard and believe Him to day. The true Christianity, what ever God has done by Peter the Apostle can do it too by me now. It is a matter of FAITH. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever means that we may be changed but He never changed. His need, power, love, etc never changed. Have you ever seen any Word of God changed? That Bible we read is still the same with what the 1st century had been reading.

    • Pat hendrix

      My heart goes out to my friend. Be comforted in that you did something that most people would never step out and do what you did. You have great faith to believe God of that be sure. You were willing to step out there. There are two things that comes to my heart. I have to tell you this… that if I died suddenly, I sure hope you are around because you have the God kind of faith that many will never have.
      #1 When Jesus prayed He ordered all the people out except the parents and Peter and John. The unbelief of the rest, the mourners, were to leave…. because of their unbelief. If you remember the Israelites could not enter into the promised land under Moses because of their unbelief. Even Jesus, it says, that where Jesus was at that time, could not perform many miracles because of their unbelief. There is something that the spirit of unbelief can stop a miracle.
      #2 It is easy to believe that Jesus died on a cross, took our place and paid for all of our sin, past present and future over 2000 years ago . He paid for our sins, past present and future. and when we miss it, we confess and He forgives…. but remember you are growing in faith, becoming spiritually mature, that you do not want to sin. That is what sanctification is…. we grow in the Word and revelation that His blood has made us worthy, that we are no longer sinners, doesnt mean that we wont miss it but when we do be quick to repent and get back in the race. The Bible says a righteous man (not a sinner) falls 7 times and gets up, I believe after the 7th time we have learned our lesson, bring out thoughts and flesh under control and not sin. Read 1 John 3 it says that if we belong to Christ we do not sin. He has redeemed us and is in the process of sanctifiying us in His word by the Holy Spirit.
      #2 Back 2000 years ago, Jesus did something before He went to the cross. He also went to the whipping post. He was whipped to a bloody pulp. Why… Read Isaiah 53 He was whipped with many stripses… why? So that by His stripes we were healed. Just like the crucifixion His stripes on His body, paid for the consequences of our sin… also past present and future. Just like He paid for our sin 2000 years ago, He also paid for our sickness, diseases, etc. He freed us with the cross from the penalty of sin, now justified, and he is freeing us now from the power of sin. and by his stripes he healed us 2000 year from the consequences of sin.

      I take it that you know you are no longer a sinner, but made worthy by His stripes. You are His beloved, HIs masterpiece, a new creation….. He has took away your sin, and the consequence of your sin. He paid for it all. But because we dont understand the whippping post we go in and ask and many beg, for Him to heal us when what we should be decreeing that with His stripes I am healed. How do I know…. because He told me that right before He healed me of chronic back pain. I quoted Isaiah 53 and I was immediatedly healed and never had that pain again., because just like the cross, you have to have faith that at the whipping post He paid for your healing and He wont go the the cross or whipping post again. He paid for it all…. so in the future remember you to have to ask or beg to be healed, just believe He did it all and command your body to be healed in Jesus name. Remember, if there is sin in your life, He will not hear. If there is unforgiveness in your life He will no hear. If you take communion without paying attention to what and Who (Christ) are communing with tells me that is why people are sick and dying. We must be clean before Him, before we can believe for personal healing. I know…… He revealed this to me….. and now I am revealing this to you. Remember when you pray for someone else, be sure the unbelievers are not in your space. Keep the faith, dont doubt, study like never before…You have proven that you have great faith to believe God and willing to step out…. He will reveal this to you if you dont fall away.

    • Pat hendrix

      I meant to say, “so in the future remember you dont have to ask or beg to be healed”,

      • GiFt

        Do you have to ask or beg for the dead to be raised

    • Remona

      Yes. I believe that we should pray for the dead to be raised.

    • Alvena Johnson

      I agree with Remona, especially for children.

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