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During Chanukah and Purim, if one forgets to say Al HaNissim during Amidah or Birchas HaMazon in its usual place, the paragraph of Bemei Mordechai or Bemei Mattisyahu is said later on. In this case, the introductory lines of Al HaNissim are replaced with this text:

הרחמן הוא יעשה לנו ניסים ונפלאות כמו שעשה לאבותינו בימים ההם בזמן הזה
May the Merciful One perform miracles and wonders for us, just as He did for our ancestors in those days at this time.

In shul this morning, someone stumped me with this question: Why are we asking God for miracles? Do we ever explicitly request “nissim v’nifla’os” at any other time in tefilla?

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+1. Your question would be stronger if there were a source that said we do not pray for miracles. –  msh210 Dec 16 '12 at 3:20
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up vote 11 down vote accepted

The source of this ruling is the Rama to OC 187:4 (repeated again in 682:1). The Shaarei Teshuva on the spot (sk 3*) asks your question and gives two possible answers:

  • The request is made in plural whereas the problem of praying for miracles is (apparently) only for personal ones.

  • The request is for miracles which come about through the natural order of the world like those that happened to the Chashmonaim whereas the problem of praying for miracles is (apparently) only for supernatural ones.

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When you say apparently you're pointing out that these are these Shaare Teshuva's own Derashot? –  Hacham Gabriel Sep 4 '13 at 5:15
    
I mean he doesn't explain how he knows these to be true. Neither are claims I would have thought obvious. –  Double AA Sep 4 '13 at 5:19
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