Review – Explore the miracles of God in eight weeks ‣ Praying Through the Bible

cover of Signs and Wonders: The Miracles of God by Pete Pawalek.
cover of Signs and Wonders: The Miracles of God by Pete Pawalek.

Pawelek. Signs & Wonders: The Miracles of God. Self-published, 2022. 233pp.

This short book is a group devotional book for an 8-week course which focuses on 40 of the miracles of God. Written and self-published by Pete Pawelek, it also includes access to free resources: a QR code (and URL) for videos that go with each study, a media kit, and resources for pastors who are leading these studies. He also has a Patreon community for more. See his website at for these resources and more.


While there are many Bible and devotional studies available, I like this one because it focused on the theme of “Signs and Wonders,” this singular focus allows Pawelek to trace, compare, and theologize about God’s acts in history. Taking on such a topic is not without its difficulties: modern scholarship for the last 200 years has attempted to “explain” miracles by suggesting they were natural events that were used by God, literary symbolism, an ancient cultural view that escapes us today, or some other “rational” explanation.

Pawelek takes these head on, and while showing respect for biblical scholarship throughout its history, argues that if God is the Creator of nature and the universe, he could do anything he wanted. More importantly, he points out that seeking a rational explanation misses the point, which is to show the power of God.

Each week’s worth of studies begins with a section entitled “Let’s Get Started,” which include an icebreaker for the groups, a place to take notes on the video, some questions for individuals, and questions for the group.

The individual studies (5 per week), often begin with a personal story or introduction, but many jump right into the passage for that day. I’d like to have seen a personal thought, story, or some modern thoughts that tie into the miracle passage, but it’s nothing that takes away from the studies. For example, this is a nice intro to the study on Numbers 22.41:

I don’t know of anyone who can honestly say they haven’t at one time or another attempted to fool God. For one reason or another, everyone has tried to pull something over on God at some point in their life. This is precisely what happened in Numbers 22—1

Pawelek does a nice job of delving into the background of each passage, keeping it simple, but relating much of modern scholarship including areas of debate, which I appreciate. For example, in the passages of the feeding of the crowds in Matthew, he notes that many scholars think these are the same event, told in two slightly different ways. There are a lot of good literary and symbolic reasons to believe that. Pawelek himself thinks they are two separate events, but he is not dogmatic and makes the point that the meaning of the passage is the same, whichever way we lean.

In between the background issues, he makes applications to theology, doctrine, and personal application.

Most of the studies end with a brief paragraph summarizing what we can take away from the passage. Some of these are quite specific to a personal journey of faith, others are more of the theological concept. After the conclusion, there is a section at the end of each study for the reader to write: “Reflect—Refocus—Repent—Respond. Nice touch.

For example, “The Sun Stood Still” explores the passage in Joshua 10.1–27 where God, through Joshua, made the sun stand still sand the moo stop until God’s people could defeat their enemies on the battlefield. This one begins by discussing Joshua as a leader.

Importantly, he points out that the sun and the moon were principle deities of the Canaanites, making the miracle all the more symbolic—God controls creation, not the gods of Canaan. He briefly discussed the problems with trying to square the miracle with science. I appreciate his willingness to mention these mysteries without feeling like he has to explain everything. After all, if God is who we think he is, then there are many things we will not be able to make sense of.

The closing paragraph to this passage reads:

Whether it can be proven or not is not of the utmost importance for those who walk in faith. All that matters is that we understand that we serve a might and miraculous Master. The lesson is simply simple as well. If the sun and moon stand still in obedience to God, so should we.

This is probably not the original meaning of the passage when it was written down by the author, but is certainly a meaning and purpose that is sound and useful. After all, scripture can take on different meanings for different generations (as long as it does not contradict the tenants of our faith).

While the passages do not follow any particular order (including Biblical book order), and there appears to be no particular reason, the last study is perhaps the most important in Christendom: the resurrection of Jesus (using John 20.1-18). In the midst of the study of the passage, he points out that the resurrection of Jesus made our resurrection possible.

This is the great power of the resurrection, and the great miracle, according t0 Pawelek. It was not merely a singular event long ago, but a pivotal historical event that has repercussion throughout time. (This is why the Bible author used the Greek tense called aorist rather than the simple past, perfect, or pluperfect.)

Importantly, Pawelek notes that Jesus asked Martha a crucial question that every human since should ask themselves: “Do you believe this?” An excellent ending to the study.

The last study closes with a prayer of repentance, the only place where a prayer is included at the end of the study. Being a scholar who has written numerous studies on prayer, I appreciate this!

(There is actually a Week Nine entry—a single page entitled “Small Group Celebration” containing. Brief summary of the purpose and Pawelek’s hope for the study.)

The book also includes an appendix which includes a list of miracles found in the Bible.

Summary and recommendation

The tone throughout the book is pastoral and sound. Pawelek has done his background work, but he also knows how to use (or not use) the works of theologians. Each study is only a few pages at most, good for our increasingly busy lives.

While the book is intended for a small group, it can be used for an individual. (This is how I read it, since I asked to write a review.) Although I missed the purpose of icebreakers and some of the group interactions, most of the questions are perfectly useful as an individual study.

If you are looking for a short (8-week) study for a small group that combines Bible study, questions, encouragements, and a plethora of outside resources, I heartily recommend this book as a study on the miracles of the Bible.

  1. The book could have used a content editor to tighten it up. For example, the first two sentences in this paragraph are redundant. One off them could have been deleted. There are a number of places like this, but it is not enough to detract from the overall purpose and function of the book.

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