January 29, 2017
Prayer for health: a demand or a supplication?
In the age in which we live, it is panegyrically exclaimed that each individual has the absolute right to obtain what he wants and to take pleasure in whatever he desires. Thus, influenced by this attitude, our prayers for health and healing seem to have become more of a demand rather than a supplication. We are unable to understand that life is a gift from God, to whom we should always offer thanksgiving. We also ignore the fact that the will of Man was given so as to urge us toward love. Will though needs to be rooted in humility so as to allow trusting human relationships to be formed and cultivated, thereby giving meaning to life.
The Canaanite woman’s character differs from the character of our times. Her faith was powerful because it was deeply founded in longsuffering and humility. Her determination to plead Christ to heal her daughter showed absolute trust in Christ’s person and a desire to establish a relationship with Him. Recognizing these virtues, Christ thus exclaimed: “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish. And her daughter was healed instantly” (Mat.15:28).
With this miracle, Christ wanted to show us the power of such faith. By healing the girl, He showed how important it is to have patience and to remain steadfast and persistent in prayer. Christ prefers us, as unworthy as we are, to beseech Him directly for what we want and for those that belong to us and not to depend entirely on others to do so in our behalf.
Just as the Canaanite woman was not discouraged when Christ reprimanded her, we also should not lose faith when petitioning Him. We need to have hope in God’s mercy! If we will to love God, God will show His love to us in ways that we never would have expected. As our love deepens for Him, so will our faith. As as our faith matures, our prayer life will mature as well. Our prayers will cease being a demand and they will become a supplication. Then, from a supplication they will become a doxology.