How many times have I stormed the gates of heaven, petitioning my Abba Father on behalf of my children? I can’t even count the number. The things that have brought me to my knees for my kids are numerous…and some of them have compelled me for many years. For so long, in fact, that sometimes I wonder if my prayers are even ‘working’. Is God hearing them? Is His heart of compassion, His heart for this desperate mother moved enough to act on her prayers? And then I read this amazing encounter in Mark 7 and I knew the truth. This post is for When Your Mom Prayers Are Desperate.
Have you ever wondered if you mom prayers even matter? If He hears you? Maybe you’ve prayed something for your precious child for so long you think that God is tired of hearing about it. And now He is just ignoring your pleas.
Well, my friend, I know for sure that He hears every supplication, every appeal, and every single petition you have ever made. He has seen each tear that has fallen from that broken heart. And He has put every single one in a bottle – that is how much He cherishes them.
To get a better understanding of how our anxious mom prayers matter to Jesus, let’s take a look at the passage in Mark 7, verses 24-30.
Jesus Longs For Quiet and Rest
We start our encounter with Jesus kind of sneaking into a house because He wanted to be alone. He had just spent time with a huge crowd in the land of Gennesaret, and it wasn’t long after the feeding of the 5,000. It is likely that He was exhausted from His ministry.
From ministering to others…
You see, He was constantly being surrounded by throngs of people. People who just wanted to touch his robe for His healing power. Families brought their sick loved ones to Him for healing.
But, He wanted just a little reprieve from ministry.
He Can’t Hide From Those Who Need Him
But such a man can’t hide from those who are desperate.
I don’t know if people just felt His power or if His heart was drawn to the sick. Perhaps it was both.
Either way, a distressed mom heard about Him – you know how gossip gets around, right? She found out where He was and sought him out.
Her only hope for her daughter was Him. Her only hope was to fall at His feet.
That Hope compelled her to find Him.
The fact that Jesus wanted to be alone and not bothered is probably this woman’s first strike against her – or the first strike against her petition being heard and granted. But she plows on full-throttle anyway.
Like any mother would. Right?
So Many Counts Against Her
Her daughter had an unclean spirit within her. Now how on earth does a child obtain an unclean spirit? What could have possibly happened to this child that she was exposed to the demonic?
So, here we have a child with an incredibly serious problem. That is another strike against this woman. Take into account she was a Gentile, a Gentile woman, well that’s strikes 3 and 4.
But this doesn’t matter. Not to a desperate mother who is pleading for her child’s heart.
And when our children are caught up in sin, and all sin has been influenced by unclean spirits, our prayers are critical. To ask the Almighty to break the power of sin over the lives of our children so that they can walk in truth…
Well, there is nothing I’d like more for my kids.
And I am sure you long for the same thing, otherwise, you wouldn’t have read this far.
The cry of a desperate mother pleading on behalf of her child is not something that goes unnoticed by the King.
A Heartless Response
However, Jesus’ response to her is rather shocking…and sounds heartless.
I’m not sure exactly what is going on in this exchange – I would have loved to have been witness to it. But, I do wonder…is Jesus mocking the self-righteous Jews here?
Maybe Jesus is kind of saying, “Let the Jewish mothers have all of my miracles”.
I, mean, the Jews were used to having Jesus to themselves. He was their miracle worker. And she wasn’t fit to request anything of Jesus because she was a Gentile woman – especially since her child was in such an eyebrow-raising state.
What kind of mother allows her child to become demon possessed??? I would NEVER let my children come under the influence of unclean spirits. She is unfit to care for even sheep, let alone children!
And on it goes…the judgment placed upon her by all the perfect Jewish mothers.
Huh…mommy wars have probably been around for a long time!
So, was He mocking their judgments? I wonder…
She did not let the judgments of other stop her from boldly approaching her Hope.
And Jesus knew this…He knows everything. He probably heard the whispers of judgment around town.
The Best Response
I love this woman’s response to Jesus.
She doesn’t just give up.
She keeps fighting for the heart of her child.
And I wonder if she does it kind of ‘tongue in cheek’.
When the Jews looked at the Gentiles, they saw them as ‘dogs’.
She was ‘less than’. Looked down upon. Probably even more so because of the nasty situation her daughter was in. Because that only happens to terrible mothers, right?
She is saying that she knows that the miracles are reserved for the perfect Jewish mothers, but even the desperate, messed up, failing mothers get a minuscule crumb from the feast.
I’ve Got This
And then Jesus says the most wonderful words a mother could ever hear.
“I’ve got this”.
That is essentially what He says to this mother. He’s taken care of it. Her daughter is safe in His hands.
And she goes home, fully trusting Him. Believing Him at His word.
She hasn’t seen the outcome yet. She hasn’t seen the miracle.
But she believes.
Scripture doesn’t say where this woman lived or how far she traveled to get to Him.
But when you are waiting on God’s answered prayer, the ‘journey home’ can seem endless. You haven’t seen any good on that dirt path yet. You wonder if you heard correctly…that Jesus loves your child even more than you do and He’s got this. Prayers and praise are on your lips the entire way home, still uncertain of what you’ll find when you get there.
The journey is long…longer than you ever imagined.
But, my friend, you will get there. You will see the miracle. You will witness your prayers being answered.
Because that is just who He is. That is His character.
He responds to the prayers of a desperate mother.
Don’t give up praying. Let the perfect mothers says what they want…they aren’t the ones praying (and they really ought to be!).
Prayer for the Prodigal
Jim Cymbala wrote an incredible book on prayer, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire: What Happens When God’s Spirit Invades the Hearts of His People. In it, he shares how he and his wife never gave up praying for their prodigal daughter who was caught up in a sinful lifestyle. After a very long time, his daughter returned to the Lord. What a testimony to God’s faithfulness, and that He hears and acts upon the prayers of desperate parents. I absolutely loved this book and it ignited a passion for prayer in my spirit like I never had before.
How are you praying for your child today? Feel free to share in the comments, that way us other ‘Gentile’ mothers can join you in praying. OR, if you want something more confidential, sign-up for my newsletter and you’ll gain access to my private Facebook discussion group. A safe place for all of us “Gentile” mothers to confide in each other, support and encourage each other and pray for each other.
I’ve created a set of worksheets to accompany this post. Simply subscribe to my weekly newsletter to get it. You will also get a small set of scripture verse cards to encourage you in praying for your child. If you are already a subscriber, check my subscriber freebie page to get your copy.
My friend, Kaylene, wrote a book on prayer for children. It will be available on Amazon by December 11. To make sure you don’t miss out on these books, go here to get on the waitlist.
If you found this post helpful, you might be interested in my online Bible study course that is coming up. It is for tween/teen girls who want to draw closer to God, and, in turn, draw closer to their mom.