P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Something Happens)!
March Series: I’m Every Woman!
Lesson 2: March 9-15, 2022
AIM: After studying this lesson, students will realize that the old saying “prayer is the key, but faith unlocks the door” is still true today!
To receive our miracle, God expects a demonstration of our faith. Even when God appears to be silent, faith doesn’t walk away. Faith catches God at His word. Faith finds reasons to believe when there are reasons to give up.
When a child is in trouble you can’t beat a mother praying for that child! Today’s lesson demonstrates this fact. A mother will P.U.S.H. She will Pray Until Something Happens! This woman pushed her way to the Master and did not stop until her request was granted! She will P.U.S.H.! When a child is about to be born, the doctor will say PUSH! If she pushed to get her child into the world, she will continue to PUSH for them in the world!
Chapter 15 of Matthew begins with the tension between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders as Jesus challenges their teachings. Following that, Jesus continued traveling away from the Jewish dominated cities and reached the outskirts of the Israelite territory. Jesus went thirty to fifty miles north to the region of Tyre and Sidon (modern day Lebanon). These were the two main Phoenician cities just north of Mouth Carmel on the coast. The Phoenicians were better known in the Old Testament as Canaanites. This territory was predominantly occupied by the Gentiles who did not follow Israel’s religion. They were not Jews. They did not worship Jehovah. They were pagan worshippers. These people were a remnant of those chased out of the Promised Land by the Israelites several centuries ago. Although these Canaanites were Gentiles, yet they were in enough proximity, to have some knowledge about the religion and God of Israel.
Mark 7:24-25 (NCV)
24 Jesus left that place and went to the area around Tyre. When he went into a house, he did not want anyone to know he was there, but he could not stay hidden. 25 A woman whose daughter had an evil spirit in her heard that he was there. So she quickly came to Jesus and fell at his feet.
Look closely at this woman. . .
- Firstly, she was a woman who had no rights to come out in public and authoritatively demand a healing
- Secondly, she was a Gentile – who were treated inferior to the Jews
- Thirdly, she was a Canaanite – treated as an enemy by the Jews
But, most importantly, the woman knew all this but still comes seeking Jesus.
Let’s look at the Matthew account of the same incident. . .
Matthew 15:21-28 (NCV)
21 Jesus left that place and went to the area of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that area came to Jesus and cried out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter has a demon, and she is suffering very much.” 23 But Jesus did not answer the woman. So his followers came to Jesus and begged him, “Tell the woman to go away. She is following us and shouting.24 Jesus answered, “God sent me only to the lost sheep, the people of Israel.” 25 Then the woman came to Jesus again and bowed before him and said, “Lord, help me!” 26 Jesus answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and give it to the dogs.” 27 The woman said, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! I will do what you asked.” And at that moment the woman’s daughter was healed.
- A Sinner and a shameful woman (v. 21-22a)
- She was a. . .
- Descendent of the Canaanites.
- Dog according to the Jews
- Driven by hope and love
- She was desperate.
- She approached Jesus because she had a need. Her daughter was severely demon-possessed and she wanted her deliverance.
- We can safely assume that she had sought help from every possible source – the physicians of her times, the religious pagan priests… But all were futile. They were doctors with no healing power!
- But Nobody could deliver her daughter
- She was willing to take a. . .
- This Gentile district borders Galilee, and she no doubt heard about Jesus and his miracles.
Mark 1:27-28 (NIV) 27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.
Mark 1:32-34a (NIV) 32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons
Matthew 8:16 (NIV) When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.
- She would have heard that Jesus could heal all the demon possessed. This must have built her faith. So, she took bold faith and approached Jesus for her daughter.
- Noticed the mother had faith and told Jesus! It’s not the daughter’s faith but the mother’s faith!
Romans 10:17a (KJV) So then faith cometh by hearing
Mark 2:3-5 (NLT) 3 four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4 They couldn’t bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. 5 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.”
Hebrews 11:6 (NLT) And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
- Make Your Prayer Request Simple
“Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter has a demon, and she is suffering very much.”
- Length doesn’t matter
Matthew 6:7 (GNV) “When you pray, do not use a lot of meaningless words, as the pagans do, who think that their gods will hear them because their prayers are long”
Matthew 14:30 (KJV) But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me
- Language doesn’t matter
- the second title that she addresses Jesus with is “Son of David”. This is the one that is very amusing. This was meant to be the title of the Messiah.
- How does this Gentile woman know this title? She would have probably been aware of the Jewish hopes of the Messiah.
- She would have heard the people saying “Son of David” called Jesus, drove out demons.
- She trusts that this Jesus is that Messiah, the Son of David
- Living hope displayed
- To this trust, she attached her hope of her daughter’s deliverance.
- This is the strange contradiction to the Jewish religious leaders who refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah.
- She pleads with Him for mercy. You can imagine the cry of a desperate mother for her suffering daughter!
- Be Steadfast in Praying (v. 25)
25 Then the woman came to Jesus again and bowed before him and said, “Lord, help me!”
Steadfast in spite of what appears to be a. . .
- Disinterested Jesus (v. 23a)
- Jesus knew the pain of the spiritually oppressed. He was moved with compassion and delivered all the demon-possessed who were brought to him in his country. But what was Jesus’ initial response to this woman crying out of agony.
- The Bible says – He answered her not a word.
- How many times have we experienced this? Sometimes, we pray but we are met with the silence of God.
- We cry out in agony, but God seems to be silent.
- It may appear that God doesn’t hear our prayers.
- There are times that things get worse before they get better. God sometimes remains silent to test our faith and perseverance.
- This is a mystery. His silence is not because God is cold-hearted, or He wants to destroy our faith…but to explore it.
Matthew 15:29 (GNV) “At this the woman came and fell at his feet, “help me, sir!” She said.
Luke 18:1 (GNV) “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to teach them that they should always pray and never become discouraged.”
- Disconnected Jesus (v. 24)
- The woman keeps crying out. Like the persistence of a little child who wants to get something from his momma!
- Denying Jesus (v. 26)
- Faith, at times, need to be tested.
- A faith that cannot be tested is a faith that cannot be trusted
Hebrews 11:1 (NLT) Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.
James 2:17 (NLT) So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
- Enter Your Secret Closet
Matthew 6:6a (KJV) “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet. . .”
- Shut the Door
On. . .
- Pushy People
- Prying eyes
- Provoking tongues
Matthew 6:6b (KJV) “. . .and when thou hast shut the door, pray to thy Father which is in secret.”
2 Kings 4:4 (GNV) “Then you and your sons go into the house, close the door . . .”
- Show Sincere Faith (v. 29)
- Faith is not believing God can do it – that’s a fact.
- Faith is not believing God will do it – that’s fantasy.
- Faith is believing God will do it for me .
Matthew 15:29 (GNV) “That’s true sir,” she answered, “but even the dogs eat the leftovers that fall from their masters’ table.”
Matthew 17:20 (MSG) “Because you’re not yet taking God seriously,” said Jesus. “The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.”
Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
Hebrews 11:6 (MSG)” It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.”
- The Savior Will Reward Your Faith!
- Little faith moves mountains. Great faith moves God!
Matthew 17:20 (GNV) “It was because you do not have enough faith,” answered Jesus. “I assure you that if you have faith as big as a mustard seed, you can say to this hill, ‘Go from here to there!’ and it will go. You could do anything.”
Matthew 15:28 (MSG) Jesus gave in. “Oh, woman, your faith is something else. What you want is what you get!” Right then her daughter became well”.
PRAYER PRINCIPLE: Ask God for the strength required when your faith muscle is being exercised.
SOCIAL JUSTICE PRINCIPLE: Be ready to intercede when you see someone on a faith journey.
EVANGELISM PRINCIPLE: Share with others what Christ did so that we could be free from the penalty of death.
STEWARDSHIP PRINCIPLE: It takes faith to be a consistent giver; get busy demonstrating your giving faith.
DISCIPLESHIP PRINCIPLE: No matter how painful it may be when you’re going through, keep praying no matter what you are experiencing.
NEXT WEEK’S LESSON: Poppa was a Rolling Stone but
Momma was a One-Night Stand
SERIES: I’m Every Woman
NEXT WEEK’S READING: Genesis 38:1-11; Jonah 1:3; Luke 10:30;
2 Corinthians 6:17-18; Deuteronomy 25:5-10; Matthew 22:24; 1 Samuel 16:7;
Numbers 32:23; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Luke 12:2; Matthew 7:1, 4; Romans 2:1;
James 4:12; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Matthew 1:1-3; Isaiah 55:7; Ezekiel 18:21