A Parent’s Persistent Prayer

bp30The Canaanite’s daughter was wasting away, but when the Mother heard that the Healer was in town, she pounced on him like a dog on a flung stick.

Her story in Matthew 15 is full of emotional upheaval, packed tightly with passionate appeal and near embarrassing groveling. Mom cries (v. 22). Jesus flat ignores her (v. 23). Mom follows the Healer’s friends, only for the disciples to beg Jesus to “send her away” (v. 23). Mom then ignores an apparent racist comment (v. 24). Mom kneels and pleads again (v. 25).

Jesus then says he came to help another race of people. Talk about racial discrimination. But Jesus was testing her faith.

With brazen chutzpah, the Mom pleads again: “Help me” (v. 25). Jesus continues to examine her motives, and as often the case with us, the child is right in the middle of it. Finally, as Spurgeon observed, “The Lord of glory surrenders to the faith of the woman.” Presto. Daughter healed.

Parents must emulate this woman’s dogged prayer. An outsider with so little light had so great faith. John Flavel said: “What mercy was it to us to have parents that prayed for us before they had us, as well as in our infancy when we could not pray for ourselves!” When our children rebel, and suffer, and disobey, and falter, let us remember the “dog’s” tireless prayer from Matthew 15.

Let us pray with unfettered audacity: “Father, give my child a new heart.” With relentless appeals: “Lord, preserve my daughter from a life of rebellion.” With unstinting pleas: “May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace” (Ps. 144:12).

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