Matthew 15:21-28 (ESV)
21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.”28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
If there is one Godly characteristic I remember about my mother, it was that she was a woman of great faith and prayer. I am a living example that God listened to and answered many of her prayers. I was a rebel and AWOL from God for many years (38 to be exact) and became the object of mother’s most desperate prayers.
Just like the Canaanite woman that begged Jesus to free her daughter, my own mother demonstrated great faith to Jesus by her persistent prayer for my own salvation. Jesus did not give the gentile woman an immediate answer and even discouraged her when he finally did, but she was not deterred from seeking His mercy. Nor was my mother.
The Apostle Paul says in his letter to the Hebrews that “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb 11:6a). Sometimes God needs to test our faith in Him by waiting to answer prayer. Desperation, driven by two women’s love for their daughters, brought saving faith to full flower in each case of the Gentile woman and my mother.
I am so thankful to God I had a persistent, praying mother. By her example I strive to please God through my own faith as a praying mother. Sometimes it is a struggle waiting through His silence, especially when praying for my children and grandchildren, but I have learned throughout the many periods of waiting, “God is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”. (Heb 11:6c)