Tuesday, April 5
Read: Matthew 15
Why do our prayers sometimes seem to go unanswered? I am praying for a paralyzed woman I know, asking God to heal her, but so far he has not. I am interceding for a dear friend with cancer, but so far he is not improving. You have similar stories to tell.
It has taken me years to learn that God always does what we ask or whatever is best. Sometimes his timing is different than ours, so that we will see tomorrow the answers he is preparing today. Sometimes our request is not what is best for us, so our Father must refuse his child’s prayer because he loves us. It is usually hard for us to see why our omniscient and all-loving Father’s “no” is better than “yes,” but it is.
Sometimes our Father uses silence to grow us spiritually. Consider the Canaanite woman in today’s reading. She came to Jesus crying for mercy, asking him to heal her demon-possessed daughter. Since she was a Gentile, Jesus’ disciples urged him to send her away. He told the woman that he had been sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then he made what seems a cruel statement: “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs” (v. 26); “dogs” was a common Jewish description of Gentiles. She replied, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table” (v. 27). Jesus was so pleased with her response that he said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And “her daughter was healed from that very hour” (v. 28). By waiting to answer her request, Jesus led this Canaanite woman from demanding his help to accepting whatever “crumbs” he might choose to give her. Are you waiting on God today? Whenever your Father seems silent, know that he intends to redeem this time for his greatest glory and your greatest good.

For reflection
What prayers are you waiting for your King to answer? Would you ask him to teach you the lessons he intends you to learn while you wait?



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