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  • Writer's pictureLisa Lenning

A Persistent Praying Mom


“But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” (Matthew15:25, ESV)



One of my daughters gave me an early Mother’s Day card that really encouraged me.

The front of the card said, “Few things in this world are as powerful as a mom’s prayers”.

I admit that I have a tendency to remember all of the times as a mom that I messed up, or handled things poorly with each of my children.

Maybe you struggle with that as well. When I talk to other moms of any age, that seems to be a common struggle – to be a good enough mom.

But one thing us moms can do, no matter our age, or stage in the parenting journey, is pray.

You may wonder if God hears our mom prayers, or if they make a difference.  We can look to mothers in the Bible for some encouragement. Mary, the mother of Jesus, and her song of praise to God recorded in Luke 1:46-55, is a worshipful prayer of confidence in what God has done and is going to do through her child.

Or Hannah’s prayer of desperation for a son (1 Samuel 1:11), that she would give him back to the Lord. “For this child I prayed” (1 Samuel 1:27).

But the prayer of an unnamed Canaanite mother in Matthew 15 is one I want to learn from and remember. Jesus was traveling outside of Jerusalem, in the area of Tyre and Sidon, which were Gentile regions. This distressed Canaanite mom came to Jesus and begged,

“Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” (Matthew 15:22)

It is remarkable that this woman, who was considered a pagan, recognized the divine power of Jesus to heal and cast out demons. Jesus did not answer her at first, which seems uncaring, but perhaps was to give her an opportunity to persist in seeking him.

She doesn’t give up! When Jesus answers, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house Israel”, she kneels before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” (vs. 25)

Jesus again seems to test this mother’s faith when he answers, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”(vs.26)

Surprisingly, she does not get offended or angry. Her next comment astounds me.

“Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”(vs. 27)

What an example of humility, faith, and persistence in prayer as a mother!

I just love how Jesus responds. “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.”(Matthew 15:28).

Maybe you are longing to be a mother, yet your prayers seem unanswered. Or you face an unplanned pregnancy and are overcome by fear.  Keep kneeling at the feet of Jesus. He sees you and loves you.

Whether you are a mom of babies, teens, or adult children, remember that one of your greatest honors, and perhaps even responsibilities, is to bring your children to Jesus in prayer. Your humility, faith, and trust in Him will not be in vain.

Keep Praying Mom!!

P.S. If you want to jump-start your praying, I recommend the excellent Stormie Omartian books The Power of a Praying Parent, The Power of a Praying Grandparent, and The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children.

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