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Friday, February 03, 2006

Prayer. Who really cares?

I was lunching with some friends today and one of them mentioned a speaker they had heard recently who spoke on Matthew 15:22-28/Mark 7:24-30.  In this passage, a woman has come to Jesus requesting that her daughter be healed of demon possession.  Jesus rejects the woman by not acknowledging her and then by saying that he was sent to the Israelites only.  In fact, he then goes a step farther and asks if bread that is meant for the children should be thrown to the dogs.

I don’t know about you, but if this were me, I’m afraid that this is where the story would end.  I would be outta there!  But the woman in this story did not give up so easily.  She said that even the dogs get to eat the crumbs that fall from the table.

Now, I don’t claim to understand all that is going on in these verses.  However, it is clear that God is looking to answer the requests of people that really want him.  And really trust him.  And even beg him!  Why did Jesus make this woman beg?  Why did he insult her and send her away?  Would you stick around if Jesus told you “no”?

I love this story.  It reminds me that God wants me to be persistent.  He wants me to pray, sure.  But he wants me to beg him, too.  God wants people who pray with passion to change the world in ways that only God can change the world.  Jesus was the last hope for this woman, and she was not about to give up until someone physically dragged her away from Jesus.  She was desperate.  I think that God loves desperate.

But, if you’re like me, then you pray out of duty and you pray for things that may or may not happen.  Or maybe you end your prayer with some type of “God’s will be done” phrase.  How pathetic!  Why would God answer the prayers of those who hardly even seem to care?