Encouragement to prayer from a distressed mother

In Mark 7:24-30, we have the moving account of the Syro-Phoenician (Gentile) woman who humbly and persistently implored Jesus to heal her demon-possessed daughter.

Commenting on this account, J.C. Ryle makes this application:

In  the first place, this passage is meant to encourage us to pray for others. The woman who came to our Lord, in the history now before us, must doubtless have been in deep affliction. She saw a beloved child possessed by an unclean spirit. She saw her in a condition only one degree better than death itself. She hears of Jesus, and beseeches Him to “cast forth the devil out of her daughter.” She prays for one who could not pray for herself, and never rests till her prayer is granted. By prayer she obtains the cure which no human means could obtain. Through the prayer of the mother, the daughter is healed. On her own behalf that daughter did not speak a word; but her mother spoke for her to the Lord, and did not speak in vain. Hopeless and desperate as her case appeared, she had a praying mother, and where there is a praying mother there is always hope.

The truth here taught is one of deep importance. The case here recorded is one that does not stand alone. Few duties are so strongly recommended by Scriptural example, as the duty of intercessory prayer. There is a long catalogue of instances in Scripture, which show the benefits that may be conferred on others by praying for them. The nobleman’s son at Capernaum–the centurion’s servant–the daughter of Jairus, are all striking examples. Wonderful as it may seem, God is pleased to do great things for souls, when friends and relations are moved to pray for them. “The effectual frevent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5. 16)

— J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels

One Response

  1. What a sweet “duty” it is.

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