READ: Mark 7:24--8:13
THINK: Throughout the Gospel accounts of Jesus life, two things are typically evident when Jesus performs miracles for people: His compassion and their faith. Jesus does not do miracles simply to prove himself, or to show off His power, or as a sign for those who otherwise refuse to believe. He does these extraordinary works because He feels sincere empathy for people who are hurting, suffering or in need. But He does expect something from us when we come to Him with our needs. Jesus expects us to entrust our lives and situations completely to Him. And He wants us to demonstrate persistent dependence on Him, even when we do not understand everything or see immediate results.
RESPOND: In what way did the Greek woman demonstrate great faith? Was Jesus being disrespectful to the woman, or was He trying to accomplish something else in the way He interacted with her? (See 7:27 note.) Why must God's people be perseverent and persistent in their prayers? Why do you think that Jesus took the man away from the crowd to heal him (v. 33)? In what ways did Jesus demonstrate compassion for people? (See 8:2 note.) How did His compassion affect His ministry and relate to His miracles?
PRAY: Give Jesus thanks for His intense compassion. Then pray for something or someone that you may not have prayed for in a while because you had forgotten about the situation or given up hope for an answer.
ACT: Think of someone who has likely been praying for something specific (e.g., healing, spiritual salvation of a family member, etc.) for a long time and has probably wrestled with doubts and hopelessness. Contact that person in some way and humbly offer a word of encouragement. Let them know that you will pray for them, and do so on the spot if you are speaking with them over the phone or in person. Ask them if there is anything you can do to help them or the person or situation they have been praying for.
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