The Place of Persistence (2)
...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. - Matthew 15:22-28
One story that teaches us persistence in the place of prayer is that of a gentile Syrophoenician woman who came to Jesus requesting that her child vexed with demons at home be healed She prayed and begged Jesus in many words (see Mathew 15:22-23). Surprised by Jesus silence, the disciples asked him to get rid of the woman because she was bothering them with her persistent begging/prayer. She did not give up; she was not willing to give up. The disciples showed no compassion for her nor were sensitive to our peculiar needs. She had trouble under her roof; a demonic vexation. She would rather trouble the Lord than allow demons trouble her child!
The silence of Jesus is not a denial as in this case, but like the disciple it is possible for us to become so occupied with spiritual matters that we become oblivious to the needs around us. The Lord spoke up in verse 24 - But he (Jesus) answered and said, [am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. When Jesus said these words, he was in the gentile territory. He was telling her the Jews were to have the first taste of salvation before passing the salvation message to the rest of the world. God told Abraham in the twelfth chapter genesis that the gentile would be the last to be connected to Abrahamic blessing (see Genesis 12:2-3).
The woman showed her persistence by switching to worship the Lord. She did not have an answer to give but resorted to worshipping and, as long as she worshipped the Lord, she kept Jesus talking. Whenever you have done your best, and you are void of an idea, keep worshipping anyhow. But he (Jesus) answered and said, it is not good to take the children’s bread, and throw it to the little dogs. Matthew 15:26
Instead of being frustrated, depressed, and discouraged, she used the words of the Lord as a weapon. She used the Lord's own words concerning dogs as the ground for a further claim for the healing of her child. She was very thoughtful, determined, and focused. She acknowledged her position as undeserving and without legal covenant right to the children's bread; after all she could not rewrite her history: And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters ' table. (see Matthew 15:27)
In few words, she was thoughtful enough to say that even dogs have some rights; right to the crumbs that the master throws away. She inferred that God's children have more than enough to spare and that the fall off (scraps) under the table will be enough to feed the little dogs. She was also saying by implication, “I have not come for children's food; that will be unfair, but I have come for the leftover in the house of a generous Jesus.” Christ could not turn down such persistent faith based upon such claims. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, woman, great is thy faith be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. Matt 15:28
Many people wonder why their prayers are still lacking power when they have become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Answer to prayer is not only knowing that we have a position of right standing in God (although that is important) but also in persevering persisting and communion with the Lord the place of prayer.
Prayer: Father, I come in the name of the resurrected Jesus whom I serve that I persist, persevere in my walk of faith and therefore enforce and affect God’s original plans and purposes over and against every diabolical sanctions and subverting activities which oppose the will of the Lord concerning my life in Jesus Name.
Further Reading: James 5:17-18
One-year Bible Reading Plan: Jeremiah 30:1-31:26; 1 Timothy 2:1-15; Psalm 87:1-7; Proverbs 25:18-19