Answered Prayer: What God Expects From Us

When our prayers don’t get answered we start to question a lot of things. But the story of the Canaanite woman from the New Testament teaches us that there is only one thing that God expects from us.

When I struggle with my faith, and it seems like my prayers aren’t being answered, I often start to wonder what is causing the problem. Could it be that I’m not good enough? Should I have spent more time reading my Bible? Going to church? On my knees? But when I look at the story of the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21-28 I see that there is only one answer.

When we read the story we see that she came to Jesus and cried out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” (Matthew 15:22) But Jesus completely ignored her. It seemed that no matter what happened, no matter what Jesus did, she was determined to see her daughter healed.

It finally got to the point that the disciples begged Jesus to send her away. Jesus finally said to her that He had been sent to the lost sheep of Israel, and that, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” (Matthew 15:26)

If you think about it, that’s a pretty rude thing to say, and it is definitely not politically correct. Had Jesus done this in our day and age the news media would have had a field day. I can see the headline now: Jewish Rabbi Calls Women Dogs!But nothing that Jesus said was going to stop her. She looked at Jesus and replied, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” When Jesus answered her, He said something that He only says twice in the Gospels; he told her that her faith was great.

With all that I often worry about, and the times that I question my faith in God, this story tells me that there is only one thing that I need to have in order for my prayers to be answered: Faith.

This woman wasn’t even a child of God, but Jesus didn’t expect her to repent of her sins and convert to Judaism. All He expected was that she have faith. The kind of faith that could withstand what seemed like rude and unloving behavior.

When I look at my prayer life I have to ask: What kind of faith do I have? Do I have the kind of faith that God expects me to have? Is my faith the kind that will withstand whatever is thrown at it and still remain steadfast?I find it interesting that when Peter got out of the boat and walked on water, that Jesus accused him of having “little faith.” The rest of the disciples sat in the boat, Peter was the only one that had enough faith to walk on the water. But Jesus loved him enough to point out that he had let his doubts stop him (Matthew 14:31). When he focused his attention on the wind and the waves, he had allowed his doubts to win the battle in his mind and his faith had faltered.

If a woman who only deserved the crumbs that fell from the masters’ table could get her prayers answered because of her steadfast faith, what does that mean to God’s children who are seated at His table?It means that we should never doubt God’s love and provision for us. He will always answer our prayers and all that He expects from us is that we have faith, the kind of faith that never quits.

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One thought on “Answered Prayer: What God Expects From Us

  1. My son and I had faith that God would cure his cancer. When the cancer came back it was so bad throughout his entire spinal cord that none of his doctors had any hope for him. He had already been through chemo for two years and radiation. I begged the doctor to do more radiation even though he said the radiologist wouldn’t want to do it, but he was in so much pain that he thought it might help a little. We still had faith , my son and I. He was baptized the day before he died. Sometimes I think the Lord just has to say no for reasons we can’t understand.
    The Lord loved me so much though, that he gave my husband and I a son that we weren’t expecting. This son is so much like his brother and misses him and even though he didn’t get to know him on Earth, we pray each night that God will reunite us after this life. That is my hope every day. I have to try to keep cheerful about this life because my son has his whole life to live and I want it to be the best possible. These times are so scary, I don’t want to frighten my son with the horrifying reality of this world, such as children being shot while in their classrooms, radioactive poisoning from Japan, uncertainty about North Korea, Iran, Russia and our own President. But , Im scared. I pray the Lord will always protect us and those that need him. He has always kept me safe. He must have needed my first son. That child knew as a youngster that his stay here would be short and I tried to assure him that wasn’t true, but he just shook his little head and wouldn’t say a word or tell me how he knew this and as he grew older, he didn’t remember. I wish I knew how an otherwise happy four year old knew he would not live as long as I would. He asked what I would do with him, he didn’t want to be in the ground and was afraid he would be lonely and that people wouldn’t visit him. That is why we both decided on cremation. I sit by his Earthly remains every night. Some we scattered in places he loved, and some we gave a small amount to close loved ones. I know those are just Earthly remains and that my Son is very alive where the Lord has him. The Lird had him before I did and gave me 15 years to get to know him. One Nurse who had seen many sick children took a special liking to my son and said that he had a pure heart. I thank The Lord for the gift he gave me and ask forgiveness for mistakes I made. I thank God again for the child he gave me to keep me company after losing the first one. I know The Lord must live each of us so dearly and I love him so much and hope to see him soon, but I must admit, I fear the turmoil of the last days and want to keep my child safe. All we can do is pray and have faith. God Bless You.

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