There is a story of a woman from Canaan that heard about Jesus. In her desperate concern for her daughter’s healing, she ran after Jesus calling out “Have pity on me, Lord, ..! My daughter is tormented by a demon!” Jesus doesn’t respond immediately and others around Him were ‘bothered’ by the woman and asked Jesus to send her away. Jesus appears to be harsh at first (you have to read the entire passage in Matthew 15:21-28), but he does so in order to strengthen the woman’s faith.
Her perseverance is recognized by Jesus and he tells her “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.
This story is a good lesson for us all. The woman’s confidence in Jesus whom she believed was the Messiah, and her boldness bore fruit – her request for her daughter’s healing was answered.
The woman’s boldness came from her deep humility, her love for her daughter, and her trust that Jesus could heal her daughter. This is a good formula for our prayer as well. We must recognize our insignificance in our relationship with Almighty God, and that God who is almighty still desires us to have a personal, intimate relationship with Him.
We begin by recognizing that we need God, not only for our own well being but also for the people we love and share our lives with. Humility will lead us into obedience to the Word of God, and obedience will be the source of the hope we long for and the peace that only Christ can give.
Let us remember this story of this woman from Canaan; our faith and trust in Jesus will bear fruit.
“Persevere in prayer. Persevere, even when your efforts seem barren. Prayer is always fruitful.”
(St. Jose Maria Escriva, The Way, p. 101)