02/16/Su – Answered Prayer

Genesis 47:13-31; Matthew 15:15-28; Psalms 20:1-6; Proverbs 9:13-18

NT: “When Jesus left there, he withdrew to the area of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came and kept crying out, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely tormented by a demon.” Jesus did not say a word to her. His disciples approached him and urged him, “Send her away because she’s crying out after us.” He replied, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came, knelt before him, and said, “Lord, help me!” He answered, “It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she said, “yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus replied to her, “Woman, your faith is great. Let it be done for you as you want.” And from that moment her daughter was healed.” (‭‭Matthew‬ ‭15:21-28‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

This story has always been a little bit confusing to me until recently. Jesus’ responses to the Canaanite woman always seemed so out-of-character for Jesus – and they were. Recently, I came to understand that Jesus was basically role-playing, mirroring the heart and attitudes of His disciples. Here’s the scenario: Jesus went into a gentile area and He was approached by a pagan woman. He kept silent to see what His disciples would say – and their response revealed their heart and attitude for gentile/pagan people: “just send her away.” So Jesus took the opportunity to model the disciples’ elitist attitudes back to them by responding to the woman in a very characteristic way. Through the entire episode, the pagan woman maintained her faith in Christ – believing that all she needed were the “crumbs” of His authority and power to see her daughter delivered. To the disciple’s shame (the disciples who were routinely corrected for their little faith), Jesus commended the woman’s great faith and answered her prayer. Answered prayer isn’t dependent on who you are. Answered prayer isn’t dependent on the works you perform to obtain God’s favor. A prayer that is heard and answered by God depends on this: complete faith in, submission to, and dependence on the Lord.

Psalms: “May the Lord answer you in a day of trouble; may the name of Jacob’s God protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and sustain you from Zion. May he remember all your offerings and accept your burnt offering. Selah May he give you what your heart desires and fulfill your whole purpose. Let us shout for joy at your victory and lift the banner in the name of our God. May the Lord fulfill all your requests. Now I know that the Lord gives victory to his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with mighty victories from his right hand.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭20:1-6‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

When you place your complete faith in the Lord, receive His gift of salvation, become part of His forever family, and walk in worshipful submission to His will and ways; He hears your prayers and He answers them. As we make Him our primary desire, and allow His desires to be our desires, He grants those desires and fulfills our very purpose.

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