I was babysitting my eight-month-old niece Azoria yesterday. She is so busy, always getting into everything. She is the cutest little bundle ever and I was in baby heaven.
Whenever she attempts to put something forbidden in her mouth or play with something that’s off limits, I tell her no. But she goes after it anyway. No matter how many times I tell her not to do something, Zo-Zo does it.
My husband Kenya and I were laughing last night because Zo-Zo is always attracted to my laptop. She tries to play with the keys and screen, not realizing that it isn’t a toy. It’s an expensive device that I need to do the work of the ministry.
Over and over again, I tried to deter her from grabbing it, licking it and banging on it. But no sooner than I’d gotten her away from my computer, she’d manage to find a way back to it.
She is so persistent.
As I began writing today, God placed a thought in my heart: what if our faith was as persistent as a baby’s resolve to get what they wanted? What if we were relentless in our pursuit of the things we believed God said we could do, be and have?
In Matthew 15:21-28, we see a woman with persistent faith coming to Jesus in need of a miracle for her daughter, who was demon-possessed and suffering terribly. No one else could help the girl. It was a sad situation. But this woman seeking out Jesus wasn’t just any woman. She was a Canaanite woman and that meant she, of all people, was not supposed to get a blessing.
The Canaanites were considered cursed by God. They came from a culture of idol worship and in the eyes of devout Jews, should not have been welcome in the presence of the Master. At first, when this gentile woman approached Jesus, he didn’t respond. The disciples urged Jesus to send her away.
But you’ll notice in verse 22 that she called Jesus, “Son of David,” which means, she knew He was the Messiah. She asked Him for mercy, which means, she knew she didn’t deserve what she was requesting.
When Jesus told her He had come for the Jews first and His own people were His priority, that didn’t stop her. She didn’t quit. She could have walked away defeated and accepted that she simply wasn’t one of the chosen, but she didn’t.
This Canaanite outcast kept crying out to God. She wasn’t discouraged. She laid her pride aside, pressed forward and implored the Savior to have mercy on her in her time of need.
And because she didn’t give up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.”
Wow. The person others assumed was in no way worthy and was not in the position to get anything from Jesus, received exactly what she needed. Not only did she have her request answered, but the Bible says, “…and her daughter was healed at that moment.”
At that moment.
Friend, you can draw encouragement from this woman’s story. If Jesus released her miracle because she wouldn’t give up, you can expect Him to respond to your persistent faith, too. In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus gave the parable of the unjust judge. A widow needed justice, but this official kept on ignoring her. But this widow didn’t stop. She relentlessly pressured, asked and bugged him about it, and her persistence paid off. She got the justice she needed.
If an unjust judge will grant the request of someone due to their persistence, how much more will our gracious, merciful God, give us what we need if we are persistent in faith?
Matthew 7:7 NLT says, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”
If you want Jesus to tell you, “Your request is granted,” as He did with the Canaanite woman, He’s looking for your persistent faith. Will you dare to keep pressing forward in the face of adversity? Do you have enough faith to ask and keep on asking, even when you’ve been rejected before?
Do you have enough confidence to continue applying for jobs; working on the marriage in hard times; believing for the salvation of your wayward children; declaring healing when doctors give up hope; going forward with the business venture even though you don’t have all the resources you need; and trusting during the worst setbacks, never losing hope for a comeback?
This is what persistent faith looks like. And somebody reading this has it. Because you do, God declares to you today, you will reap a harvest. You will see the seeds you’ve sown produce fruit. You will get what you need from God.
Your request has been granted.
To help you keep pressing forward and believing, I’m stirring Hebrews 10:35-36 (GW) into your cup of inspiration, which says, “So don’t lose your confidence. It will bring you a great reward. You need endurance so that after you have done what God wants you to do, you can receive what he has promised.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, if your faith isn’t where it needs to be, let this devotion refuel it. That way you’ll be in position to reap all God has for you. Don’t stop asking and seeking, and knocking just because your efforts didn’t produce the desired results the first time. God blesses the persistent.
And today, as you believe God for a new season, I want you to join with me in praying for the individuals included on our “Thoughtful Thursdays” intercessory prayer list. They asked for their requests to be posted on the blog. As you intercede for them, God will move on your behalf.
Please read the requests below and let’s all agree in faith for God’s help.
Anonymous wrote: I have been diagnosed with Stage II lung cancer. Please pray for my healing. Thank you so much
Anonymous wrote: Hi. I have a 19 year old son Gabriel who I have allowed to be in my home. On yesterday I was having a conversation about job. He went from 0 to 1000. He began calling swearing at me, he began over-turning furniture, threw a floor lamp, fan. He was in my face. I kept telling him to get out of my face. I was punched on the left side of my face which brought back my headaches. He punched a major hole in bathroom door, tore up vinyl blinds in living room. I contacted the police. They came slow and too late. My son had already left. Nothing done. They didn't even search for him. I was told to not let him back in or put him out. What would Jesus do? My child came back, no apology, didn't wash up what he messed up, left bowel mess in toilet unflushed, snuck in and out of my room to charge his phone without saying a word to me. I need God's help. My child has gotten a girl pregnant. Baby due in 4 or 5 months. He thinks the drug life is way to go to get his money made. It's sad. He was raised right. He has lost all knowledge of God. Mentions "Rastafarian" religion. Says Bible wrote by "white man" and not the God he was raised to believe in. Please pray for him, me, my finances-for repairs, my finances to move into a house, etc. Please pray that God will save Gabriel and forgive him of all his sins and for him to forgive others before it's too late, to get off cigarettes, marijuana, dealing outside the home, etc.
Anonymous wrote: Asking for prayers for my husband. He's living outside of God's will. Keep me in prayer that I may stay the course that God has for me. Asking that you will pray for our marriage. Thank you.
Anonymous wrote: I need a clear answer from God on what I'm supposed to do next with my life. Stand for my husband who left me and our children 10 months ago or divorce him?
Joanna wrote: It’s been a tying time..I’ve been used financially by a man that I thought cared for me and my son, only to see I meant absolutely nothing and he was not even remotely interested. I’ve been broken and disappointed by many. I’m asking for prayer for a shift and change towards a more positive light. I feel selfish even asking for this prayer request because I know people have it worse...I just feel defeated and used at this point. Thank you.
Lonetta wrote: My son Patrick is in desperate need of housing. My husband Leo is an extremely talented musician who needs work.
Anonymous wrote: Please pray for me. I have been struggling financially for so many years since not being able to work. I am on SSI disability, receiving $750 monthly. I have been praying for a breakthrough in order to relieve me of stress especially having COPD and deafness. I also have two sons, one a senior in college and the oldest incarcerated in another state. PLEASE pray for them also so the they will be guided by our Lord and Savior and do his will and not the world's. Thank you for your prayers. In Jesus' name Amen.
Anonymous wrote: I am requesting that you agree in prayer with me for closing on my new home. It's been a very stressful situation. I'm praying that I close this month so that my son and I can start new in a new space. Praying that the seller, agents and lender will get everything resolved so that it can become a smooth closing. I also pray that God will continue to sustain me throughout this process. Thank you for agreeing with me.
Anonymous wrote: I need prayer because I have not been feeling great physically and I feel hopeless. I have had financial problems. I have been mentally abused alot. Nothing seems to go right for me. I am spiritually tired.
GeJoan wrote: First I thank God for you and your inspiring words from God. I’m unemployed due to ToysRUs closing all its stores in the US. October would have made 21 years of service with that company. I’m asking you to stand in prayer with me that God would lead me in the journey He has for my life and that He would show me the way to go. Yes, Satan tries to tell me otherwise. I’m standing in faith on God’s word that “No good thing He will he withhold from me”. “I’m the head and not the tail, above and not beneath, a lender and not a borrower. I’m standing on God’s truths. So I’m asking that you would pray with me in faith. Thank you for your podcast and website. You always speak the right words in my situation.
God, I pray for every individual listed here today, as well as the ones who have taken time out to sincerely seek Your face on their behalf. You are a miracle-worker and for You, there is nothing too hard. So, today, we bind the hand of the enemy. Satan, we rebuke You in Jesus name. We come against disease, distress, relationship turmoil, financial problems, and setbacks of any kind that come to hinder the great destiny God has for His people. Lord, please intervene and move by Your mighty power. We thank You for delivering Your precious servants with a mighty and outstretched hand. We touch and agree, and declare by faith that it is done. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
If you need prayer, don't hesitate to request it. I would be honored to stand in faith with You. I know that prayer works. CLICK HERE to learn how to submit your prayer request.