Dialoguing with God
By Richard Mansfield
In Matthew 15:21–28, we read about the encounter of the Canaanite woman pleading to the Lord on behalf of her daughter. Have you ever pleaded to the Lord on behalf of an urgent need you might have, only to get nothing but silence? Silence is painful—even deafening—yet she didn’t let his silence keep her from praying, crying out, and reaching out to Jesus.
When Jesus finally did reply, he said he was only for his people, a people called by his name. This caused her to make a shift in her positioning before the Lord. She went from approaching him in an impersonal way to a very personal and intimate way. She first called out to him by saying, “O Lord, Son of David!” She merely went to him as a titled and positioned Lord, but not necessarily her Lord!
My hope and prayer is that, when we go into prayer, we approach the Lord in a very personal and intimate manner. Sometimes when we cry out to God, we get silence or even a dialogue as to where we stand with our relationship with the Lord. Much like this Canaanite woman who had to make a shift of her posture with the Lord, we, too, must make that shift from a distance-positioned Lord to a personal and intimate one.
When we’re faced with a burden and challenge that overwhelms us, don’t be driven by the circumstances, but instead by the need for prayer to our Lord who loves us, cares for us, and can do something about the situation. In our dialogue with him, we’ll hear him louder and answering our cry.
Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.” But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.” But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!” Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.” She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their master’s table.” “Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.” —Matthew 15:21–28 NLT
COMING SOON! The National Day of Prayer is on Thursday, May 4! The theme for 2023 is based on James 5:16—“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Check out resources, and find out where a local NDOP event is being held near you, at www.nationaldayofprayer.org.
Richard A. Mansfield serves as senior pastor of New Beginnings Church of God in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He also serves as chairman of New Mexico Prays.