Matthew 15:25-28: “And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed. But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw [it] to the little dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great [is] your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.” She begins by crying out for mercy Jesus doesn’t speak a word. No response to her. Most of us might give up at that point and go home, deflated, frustrated, perhaps even angry.
We see in this woman – submission in worship. She didn’t yell or argue with Jesus – she accepted what He said in the beginning. She must have observed something from Jesus or else she wouldn’t have come crying out for mercy.
We also see persistence in worship – she didn’t give up. We see Jesus was silent and we as Christians, as God’s children need to learn something from that. Just because there may be silence in heaven does not mean God isn’t listening or working. It does not signify inactivity, it just means He is not answering or responding in our way or timetable. God knows us better than we know ourselves. When we go to God and ask Him for mercy, for healing, for deliverance, and find ourselves not getting an answer, we should follow her response. She worshipped. Better yet, we should start with worship. Jesus knew of her persistence, her desperation, and He needed her to know how much faith she really had inside of her.
She had two things going for her. She believed in Him as Healer (faith) and she loved her daughter (desperation). Jesus tested her faith – knowing she was tenacious. The more we feel the burden of life, for ourselves and others, the more we should pray for the removal of it. We must never grow weary in prayer. But notice she doesn’t continuously repeat the problem, but rather moves into worship, knowing Jesus will help her. When He doesn’t answer her, rather than blame Him, she seems to look at herself and determine she wasn’t humble enough, so now lowers herself to that place of bowing down before Him. She gives Him more respect, not less.
We should be the same! Believe Him, passionately love others! Would we cry out or better yet, do we cry out, “Jesus, have mercy! Jesus, my daughter needs you! Jesus, even a crumb from You will be enough food!” We tend to assume if we get no answer He wants us to figure it out ourselves, go to a physician, or we think we should already know the answer. We feel rejected or thwarted when He doesn’t answer immediately, or else we just move right on and try to get the help we need somewhere else.
We can and should be the kind of people who continue to pursue, and choose worship, adoration and bending of the knee to honor the only One, Jesus, who can truly help, heal, and restore. When answers to our prayers are deferred, God is teaching us to pursue, not give up. He is teaching us about ourselves and our own priorities, desperation, and faith.
When we feel disappointed in the success of our prayers, we must see this as an encouragement to the privilege and responsibility of prayer. We can pray more earnestly as Jesus did while in agony. Instead, we tend to stop praying and continue suffering, or ask others who have greater faith to pray for us since our faith does not seem to cut it. We MUST see this as an opportunity to grow in faith. When we ask others to pray, have them pray “with” us not just “for” us. We must also continue earnestly and fervently in faith not entertaining the other thoughts which deter us from standing.