Asking in Faith

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.

James 1:6-7

Faith is not only important to please God, it is absolutely necessary to receive what we ask for in prayer. Certainly we all have needs, but the hand of God will move faster to those who ask in faith. Raising petitions to our heavenly Father with doubts is tantamount to telling Him that we do not believe Him capable of doing the things we ask of Him. Obviously, God would not be inclined to grant the requests of those who do not believe Him.

The Bible presents stories of men and women of great faith. One of these stories is that of the Canaanite woman, which we see in Matthew 15:21-28, Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

In this story, the Lord tested three times the faith of the Canaanite woman. The first test was keeping silent at his request. The second test was when the disciples of Jesus asked him to say goodbye and He answered them saying, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” The third and last test was when He answered the woman who was prostrate before Him: “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

The Canaanite woman successfully passed her three tests of faith. Before the first two trials, instead of resigning herself and leaving without fulfilling her request, the woman prostrated herself before Jesus and said, “Lord, help me!” And although the Lord’s answer might have seemed to many as cruel and offensive, the woman passed this final test by placing her rightful place, but recognizing that God’s mercy could reach her too, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” This answer moved the Lord, Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Today we do not have the Lord face to face as the Canaanite woman had, but prayer puts us in direct contact with Him. And although the first Lord’s answer is silence, our faith must stand firm in prayer. And if we continue in prayer and receive a no for an answer, that does not mean that it is definitive, but another proof of our faith. But if the Lord makes us see our unworthiness, instead of offending us, let us humble ourselves before Him by recognizing the smallness of our humanity and the greatness of His mercy. God bless you.

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