“And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” – Matthew 15:22-28
This woman of Canaan truly had an urgent, legitimate need.
· She prayed, “Have mercy on me, O Lord…”
· She prayed, “Lord, help me.”
· She agreed with the Lord.
· She reasoned with Him.
After this long process of no answer, Jesus acknowledged her great faith, and answered her prayer.
What was so great about her faith?
· The Object of her faith was the Lord Jesus Christ. Only HE could meet the need.
· Her prayer was not only intercessory (for her daughter) but also personal (“help me”).
· Her petition was continued with perseverance.
· The delayed answer to her prayer was met with faith (trust in God) She did not withdraw (give up on God), nor did she become defensive (by blaming God.)
Questions for you and me to answer:
o Do you have a loved one who is broken and needs to be made whole?
o Are you broken in heart and need healing?
o Have you persevered in your prayer need?
o Have you given up on God hearing you and healing a loved one’s heart or yours?
o Have you turned from God because He seems silent? Are you angry with Him?
o Have you reasoned with God? Are you acknowledging His power and your weakness? Are you praying His Promises to Him? Have you written them down?
o Do you realize God is with you even in the toilsome pleading and waiting time?
o Has God answered your prayers in the past?
o Have you given God the praise for the prayers He has answered in your life?
o Can you give Him praise if He does not answer your request as you desire or when you desire?
Many times, I have let my unanswered prayers weaken my faith into withdrawal from God or into an angry defense because He knows my problem and He has chosen not to fix it right now! Either of these two responses are not marked with the two attributes I have learned are necessary to live in great faith. That is another post. Stay tuned as I learn. A woman of great faith PRAYS, PERSEVERES, and PRAISES.
May our faith in God be strengthened this very day! Blessings, Jeri Lynn
Below is a selection by Charles H. Spurgeon from his infamous devotional book Morning and Evening.
"But he answered her not a word." -Matthew 15:23
“Genuine seekers who as yet have not obtained the blessing, may take comfort from the story before us. The Saviour did not at once bestow the blessing, even though the woman had great faith in him. He intended to give it, but he waited awhile. He answered her not a word. Were not her prayers good? Never better in the world. Was not her case needy? Sorrowfully needy. Did she not feel her need sufficiently? She felt it overwhelmingly. Was she not earnest enough? She was intensely so. Had she no faith? She had such a high degree of it that even Jesus wondered, and said, O woman, great is thy faith. See then, although it is true that faith brings peace, yet it does not always bring it instantaneously. There may be certain reasons calling for the trial of faith, rather than the reward of faith. Genuine faith may be in the soul like a hidden seed, but as yet it may not have budded and blossomed into joy and peace. A painful silence from the Saviour is the grievous trial of many a seeking soul, but heavier still is the affliction of a harsh cutting reply such as this, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. Many in waiting upon the Lord find immediate delight, but this is not the case with all. Some, like the jailer, are in a moment turned from darkness to light, but others are plants of slower growth. A deeper sense of sin may be given to you instead of a sense of pardon, and in such a case you will have need of patience to bear the heavy blow. Ah! poor heart, though Christ beat and bruise thee, or even slay thee, trust him; though he should give thee an angry word, believe in the love of his heart. Do not, I beseech thee, give up seeking or trusting my Master, because thou hast not yet obtained the conscious joy which thou longest for. Cast thyself on him, and perseveringly depend even where thou canst not rejoicingly hope.”