Previously I wrote about the faith of the Canaanite woman. She shamelessly insisted her daughter be healed of a demon that was tormenting her. She united her faith with Jesus’ ability in her impudent petitioning. The whole scene would have never passed the white glove test. Dirt, tears, screaming, pushing, people, passion…it was a mess. But she not only had her petition answered, she was also commended for her great faith.
This display was what I was writing about in my post, “God Likes Our Faith-Filled Insistence.” There is a big difference between acknowledging our utter dependence on God while prayerfully requiring His supply, and coming to Him in a pitiful state as if He neglectfully withholds from us and is not good and generous. It has been a struggle for me, recovering neurotic that I am.
Centurion Prayer Life
Today I want to show another Gentile who received an answer to his request and also was commended for his great faith: the centurion. This man knew where the answer would be found and with great faith entreated Jesus for His Answer.
The centurion could have easily thought that his request would not be answered. He was a Roman commander, an occupier of the land. The Romans subjugated the Jews and suppressed them as any occupying force does. Romans saw Jews as beneath them, but this centurion bowed low to inquire. Additionally, he would have had to pass through the thought of whether this JEW was going to answer him with a miracle, especially with what they had done to His people. See, life is sordid! Emotions and fears and situations are messy. But the centurion, as with all of us, had to rise above the mess with faith in God, the Answerer. Neither social structure nor situation can stop the insistent, faith-filled prayer.
I wrote a post a while ago about impudent prayer. In it I referenced the parable in Luke where the man requests bread from his neighbor in the middle of the night.
I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.
Luke 11:8 ESV
Our answered prayer isn’t only about relationship; it is about faith-filled insistence. And this is how the Father desires us to come. This has seemed somewhat obscene to my sensibilities. How do you demand of God, the Creator of everything? And why would He answer such impudence? Because He is Creator of everything, He is our only supply and our faith is the only thing that pleases Him.
Pray like a Centurion
It’s not our screaming demand. It’s not our relationship. It’s not even our tireless petitioning. Our prayers are answered by the insistence that comes from the faith that knows He is the only answer. Faith powers our insistence, not our desire or will or desperation. This just makes my self-focused prayers pathetic.
Christ gave us the model of prayer in the Lord’s Prayer. And right there He says, “Give us this day our daily bread!” Not, “Please can I have?” Not, “If you are willing, could you possibly?” No, “You God ARE my supply, I must have it from YOU!” “Give us” is a far cry from “Could you.”
“Give us” is faith that He is my Father in Heaven.
“Give us” is faith in “Thy Will be done.”