Read Matthew 15.21–28.

As we wind down our summer and return to the regular rhythms of the year, we wrap up our Reset series where we seek to reestablish our regular spiritual rhythms. First we looked at resetting the focus of our praise and worship. Then we reset our mission. Last week, we refocused our lifestyles in order to put others first.

This week we conclude the series with a look at resetting our communication with God—our prayer life. In Matthew 15, the conversation between the Canaanite woman and Jesus gives us a great example of what our prayer life can look like. There are three specific observations we can make about her interaction with Jesus.

1. She had a request. (Matthew 15.22; Mark 7.24–26)

This woman had a significant need. Her daughter was possessed by a demon and suffered terribly. A parent would do anything to ease this level of suffering in their child, and she had heard about Jesus. She knew the stories and had heard of Jesus’ miracles. Perhaps she’d even heard of Him casting out the legion of demons from the man in Gadarenes.

2. She was persistent. (Matthew 15.23–27)

In Jesus’ silence, and even direct opposition to her request, she refused to let the obstacles prevent her from seeking help from the only person who could help her daughter. Jesus commended her “great faith,” not because of what she received, but because she refused to allow her circumstances to keep her from Him.

3. She received a prize. (Matthew 15.28; Mark 7.29–30)

Jesus rewarded her “great faith” with an incredible reward—exactly what she sought. Her daughter was healed and set free from the demonic oppression.

The interaction of this woman with Jesus provides a model for us in our prayer lives. We each have problems and concerns that weigh us down on a daily basis. We need to be willing to overcome the circumstances, the mindsets, and the obstacles in order to persistently bring our needs to Him in prayer. God will reward our persistent pursuit of His intervention. He takes pleasure when our faith persists in spite of pressure.

Discussion Questions:

  1. In what ways have you seen God work in the needs and circumstances of others? Like the Canaanite woman, let these observations give you boldness to approach Him with your needs.
  2. What answers have you received that you can make known, in order to encourage others to come to God with their requests?
  3. Do you think Jesus initially heard the woman’s request? Her persistence led Him to answer. What request have you grown impatient waiting for God to address? Commit to remaining persistent even when God seems silent.
  4. What obstacles are you facing in your prayer life (rejection, doubt, hurt, busyness, etc.)? Pray about these too!
  5. Who can you ask to hold you accountable in your prayer life? Find an accountability partner and make a plan that will help you reset your prayer life and develop a rhythm of praying in spite of life’s pressure.