O GOD, Who seest that of ourselves we have no strength; Keep us both outwardly and inwardly; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
--Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church
Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
--Matthew 15.21-28 NKJV
As Jacob wrestled with God, so did the Canaanite woman. Though seemingly ignored and treated rudely by Jesus, she refused to give in or let up until she (like Jacob) received his blessing. She knew that she had to strength to hear her daughter and persisted to implore Jesus for healing. Through her actions, she proved herself a true, spiritual daughter of Israel.
Like the Canaanite woman, we do not possess the strength or ability to heal and defend ourselves, from spiritual or physical assaults. And so we pray today that God will continually protect us, not by our own merits or worth, but by the unending grace of Christ Jesus our Lord.
Photo by Julian Schiemann on Unsplash