This week, I continue sharing keynote chapters from my next book, More TEA CUPP Prayers (Thank you for your prayers for me to finish it!). Each weekly devotion is focused on a Bible lady to draw you into your prayer time with Jesus. I pray these are a blessing for you!
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 15:28 (NKJV)
If you’ve been doubting if you can talk with Jesus and if He will hear your prayers, today’s devotion is for you! If you’re at the end of your rope and are coming to Jesus in one last desperate plea, you are like the Canaanite woman. If you’re ready to humble yourself and even crawl under the table for Jesus, you are the one He wants to give His promises.
Dear Sister, the first “P” in the TEA CUPP is all about claiming God’s PROMISES and Jesus wants to give these promises to YOU! Now this lady to whom I’m about to introduce you could have been a great one for the “U” section, as she had quite a story. She’s also a marvelous example of our last section (P for Petitions which we’ll get to next week). But today we will see how she claimed God’s PROMISES.
The Canaanite woman’s story begins in Matthew 15:21. If you are familiar with Old Testament history, you may remember how Joshua lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. The people living there were the Canaanites, and in the book of Joshua we read how God’s people were instructed to drive them all out. (The story goes even farther back to Genesis 9:25, where Noah said, “Cursed be Canaan,” because Canaan’s father Ham, Noah’s second son, had seen Noah’s nakedness). And so, as they entered the Promised Land, each tribe was supposed to help remove this enemy, but they never finished the job. Thus, many Canaanites remained in the land of Israel with God’s people, bringing us to this story with Jesus.
Jesus and His disciples were passing through the region where the Canaanite woman lived. News of Jesus’ miracles must have preceded His arrival, for the woman hurried right up to Jesus and begged, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”
Can you imagine this lady’s anguish? Her daughter was possessed by demons. Perhaps many of you have experienced the same thing, having a child who is rebellious, or depressed, or with an eating disorder or any other illness. You have tried everything, but Jesus is the only one who can help your child and you.
So, she cried out, “O Lord, Son of David!” How does she know He is Lord? How does she know Jesus is The Son of David? Because she has heard of His miracles and God has put this in her heart. For Jesus is the Promised One, the Messiah, who was descended from David. He has so many names: Son of David, Son of Man, Son of God. Yet, she chose the name which showed He belonged to David, Israel’s great king.
And you’ll never guess what Jesus said in reply: NOTHING. He said nothing! Has God ever been silent with you? Many Bible people cried out to God about this…
I cry out to You, but You do not answer me… Job 30:20 (NKJV)
O Lord, how long shall I cry,
And You will not hear?… Habakkuk 2:1 (NKJV)
Even the disciples were unsympathetic, encouraging Jesus to send the woman away. That would have been the end of me. I would have left in tears. But SUDDENLY, the disciples’ comments woke up Jesus. Perhaps He had been waiting to see if they had learned anything from His parables to help her. Or, perhaps He was waiting to see if the woman was sincere in her request. Whatever the reason, the waiting was over! Jesus then explained to the woman that He had been sent to save the people of Israel. Did this stop the Canaanite woman? NO!
Once again, I would have left in tears, but this brave lady truly knew who she was addressing, for at this point in her story she came and worshiped Jesus! She worshiped the Son of David, the Son of Man, the Son of God, the Savior, the Messiah, Jesus Christ! And she begged Him again, “Lord, help me!”
Jesus, still teaching the disciples and testing her faith, and though I would think wanted to help her at that very moment, delayed again, saying, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs,” meaning He was only to give His bread, His body, to the children of Israel.
A third time, I would have been crushed and left in tears, but the Canaanite woman, with courage and boldness for which I long, answered Jesus, the Son of God, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Oh, dear one, if this Canaanite woman could speak up to Jesus, don’t you think you can, as well?
And this is where we get the happy ending, for Jesus answered this desperate lady, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. (Matthew 15:21-28)
My friend, let the Canaanite woman’s story inspire you to talk to Jesus! Yes, YOU can talk to Jesus. He came first to the children of Israel, but then for all the children of the world, and that means YOU! And YOU can claim the promise He gave to the Canaanite woman…”O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.”
All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. John 6:37 (NKJV)
Dearest Jesus, I come and worship You. You are the God known from eternity past to eternity future by all Your awesome works. You created the whole earth and the cattle on a thousand hills are Yours, yet You seek after me, the one lost sheep. You are the God-Who-Sees me. I will be glad to sit under Your table and be fed the scraps of Your love and wisdom. But no, You invite me to sit AT Your table and dine with You! Oh, Jesus, I claim Your promises! Amen
They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. Luke 13:29 (NKJV)
Today’s TEA CUPP: Read the entire story of the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21-28. Claim Jesus’ promises. Whatever you are praying, whatever it may be, claim God’s promise, Let it be to you as you desire! And claim these promises below that He really, truly hears your prayers.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers… 1 Peter 3:12 (NKJV)
Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will prepare their heart;
You will cause Your ear to hear. Psalm 10:17 (NKJV)
You will make your prayer to Him,
He will hear you… Job 22:27 (NKJV)
Thank you for stopping by My TEA CUPP Prayers. If you enjoyed today’s devotion, you might also like to read other excepts from my next book: Esther’s Great Calling, The Red Cord: Rahab’s Story, Washed Clean like Mary Magdalene, and Exalting Like the Alabaster Lady.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)
I cried out to God with my voice—
To God with my voice;
And He gave ear to me. Psalm 77:1 (NKJV)
Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?” Genesis 16:13 (NKJV)
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20 (NKJV)
Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.