Have you ever wondered why your prayers aren’t answered? There are many possible reasons, including those that have nothing to do with how we pray. But the account of the woman whose daughter was demon-possessed in Matthew 15 redefines what it means to pray powerfully.
The woman who asked for Jesus’ healing hand on her daughter was a Canaanite, not a Jew. Jesus doesn’t even answer her first plea for help. When he does respond, he likens her to a dog. Definitely not the popular version of Jesus! Why would Jesus treat a desperate woman this way? In his sermon, Persevering in Prayer, Pastor Dechard Stevens uses this story to explain:
When someone knocked on the door of a couple’s home, the husband went to answer it. The man at the door asked if he could please have some food. “Honey,” the husband called. “There’s a man at the door and he wants some food.”
“Tell him no,” his wife called.
“Sorry,” said the husband and started to close the door.
“Please,” said the man at the door. “I just want a sandwich.”
“Dear,” called the husband to his wife, “he says he just wants a sandwich.”
“Tell him we’re as poor as he is. No sandwich!” answered his wife.
Again the husband apologized and tried to close the door. “Please, just a slice of bread?” asked the man at the door.
The husband called to his wife once again, “He says he just wants a slice of bread.”
“He’s a real beggar,” answered the wife. “Let him in and give him a whole meal.”
She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly. Matthew 15:27-28
Want to learn to pray more powerfully? Join Circles of Faith for 40 Days of Prayer using Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle beginning Wednesday, February 13th.
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