Nine out of ten times that all of us deal with evil in our lives. The evil that is part of our life is not
the will of God. If you have an evil cinder that is part of your life, it is not the will of God. It is the
will of evil or an evil part of life. We do everything to eradicate the evil. Therefore our attitude
should not be “Whatever will be will be.”You won’t catch me having the attitude, “It’s inevitable.’
No. When there is evil that is part of your life, you go to work and try to eradicate it. Nine times
out of ten it is not God’s will that this evil be part of your life.
Now, I am keenly aware that there are times in our lives where we need to surrender to the evil
of life. Mother Teresa talked about the importance of surrendering to God and surrendering all of
your life to God. I have talked to someone who has to deal with surrendering her parent to
Alzheimer’s. Somebody else had to surrender their house into bankruptcy. Another old friend
that I had lost track of person made contact with an E-Mail announcing his divorce. Is this where
we say, “What ever will be, will be?”.
But nine times out of ten, that is not true. Nine times out of ten in our lives, we are to rise up and fight against those things which are evil. I must be distantly related to the women in today’s scripture. I think I would have responded in the same fashion. I am going to fight against this evil in my life.”
The other thing that I like about this woman is the way she prayed. She prayed in such a way
that she was constantly bugging God. I love that passage where she comes up to Jesus and
says, “Jesus, heal my child.” Jesus gives her the silent treatment. (Doesn’t that sometimes
happen to us when we pray to God? It seems all we get is silence.) But this woman wasn’t
intimidated by silence. She wasn’t intimated by the silence of Jesus.
So she goes and asks the disciples “Tell your master to heal me.” And they say, “He’s busy with
other things. He has to heal the Jews first and then the Greeks.” This woman is not intimated by
the disciples’ response either.
For a third time she tries. She comes to Jesus and says, “Heal my child. Please.” And Jesus
replied, “Woman you are like a barking dog, like a yelping puppy underneath the table at lunch
time.” She quickly replied, “But even a master feeds a barking dog and he shuts up. Feed me and I’ll be fine. Heal my daughter and I’ll be quiet.” It was the persistence of this woman in prayer. The moral of this story is that is the way that God wants us to pray. God wants us to pray with that kind of bugging, nagging persistence.
For example, I have a son who lives fairly close to us. David is his name. Our relationship has
had some of the highest peaks and the lowest valley. I might suggest that if you and you spouse
decide to have children, you might study (hyperactivity) ADHD. It might make it easier .When
we were all younger I once threatened to put someone elses name and address on his tidy
whiteys. The same lad was observed in technical college running workshops for the new
students who didn’t get it between classes.
When we lived in Connecticut I had a job that had extreme amounts of seasonal overtime (169
hours in a 15 week time frame) For the third time that year He asked, as I staggered into the
house “Doesn’t overtime ever end?” Pestering, persistent, unrelenting. Do you have any
children like that?
God says, “That is the way we are to pray.” We are constantly to be bugging God, coming after
God and asking these things. I must admit that since the situation has changed I miss sitting at
the front desk at Dinner for a Dollar. As the prayer requests are offered, it used to amaze me as
to how many different and complicate changes are in other people lives.
One month I was talking to a woman who had been praying for her daughter to get a job. Her
daughter for the longest time had been unable to find the kind of job that she needed and it was
very, very stressful for both this daughter and mother. This past month the daughter got a job.
The mother was so elated. The mother said to me, “I would bug God about this job always. And
God would say to me, ‘O, it’s you again.’” God may have thought at times, “I am getting tired of
It is that kind of persistence that is needed in our prayer life. We go and ask God for that evil to
be eliminated, for that healing to occur.
Now, for some of us, God is so busy with the big issues of life that he doesn’t have time for our
petty little concerns. God is in charge of the laws of nature, the laws of thermodynamics, the
laws and physics and God is running around taking care of all the big laws of the world and God
does not appear to have time for us and our little problems. That is NOT what Jesus teaches.
Jesus teaches that God is concerned about our cancer, that God is concerned about our
bankruptcy, that God is concerned about our drug or drinking problem, that God is concerned
about our marriage which is having problems, that God is concerned about all these things
which for us are not petty at all. God wants us to come and persistently ask him in prayer.
Well, I love that story about this woman in the scripture. I can see this woman coming up to
Jesus and saying, “Heal my child.” And Jesus gives her the silent treatment. How often do we
get silence from God? But silence is not to intimidate us.
And so she says again, “Jesus, please heal my child.” Jesus replies, “I am busy healing the
Jews first. The Greeks come later.” She said, “I need help now.” She was not intimidated by the
apparent busyness of Jesus. She again persisted, “Please, heal my child.” Jesus replied,
“Woman, you are like a yelping puppy. Yelp. Yelp. Yelp. Yelp. Yelp. You are like a yelping puppy
under my table.”
The woman laughed and said, “Well, you feed a yelping dog and you shut him up. How about me?” Jesus said, “Great is your faith. Your daughter is healed.”
That is the way we ought to pray.