Lord, teach me to persevere in prayer and to understand that Your heart is open to me always.
Read Matthew 15:21-28
 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”  Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”  He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”  The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.  He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”  “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”  Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat did the woman know that the disciples did not?
When I got my first dog, my cousin gave me some advice: “Give her what you eat.” Meaning leftovers, rather like the crumbs in verse 27. Laughingly, we used to change it to “give her what you would like to eat.” Of course, this conversation between Jesus and the Canaanite woman is not really about pooches.”Dog” could be a disrespectful word that the Jews used for Gentiles. Jesus, now in a Gentile area, certainly does not want to cause offense. He wants people to understand that he came for the Jews first (24) but that he has not cut off the Gentiles. How much of this the woman understands, we do not know. But Jesus is testing her response. And he likes her answer! She is desperate for her daughter to be healed, and she will answer Jesus back, respectfully and firmly, to achieve that (27). Sometimes we are frightened to answer Jesus back, to persist in our prayers when the answer seems to be no. We can learn a lot from this woman. She shows persistence and demonstrates her faith in actions and words. She knows, intuitively perhaps, that with Jesus there is always plenty to go round.
Even if other followers of Christ seem to believe God will not answer a true need, trust his heart and keep pressing in.
Lord, help me to be bold and persevering in prayer because I know and trust Your heart.
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