arrow to previous dayarrow to next day
Monday, December 16, 2019

Daily Devotion for September 19, 2016

<i>Jesus and the Canaanite Woman</i> by Mattia Preti, c. 1660. | Matthew 15:21
Jesus and the Canaanite Woman by Mattia Preti, c. 1660. The improvements in figure painting of the late Baroque show clearly in the exceptional rendering of woman. Interestingly, most paintings of this story include a dog in the scene. Perhaps to identify it?



532 people in our community are currently praying with you.

Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.


Mina, an Italian pop singer from the 70s, uses her extraordinary low range and rasping, anguished style to produce a unique Magnificat, set to a beautiful minor-key melody by Marco Frisina. One can hear the Virgin foreseeing the crucifixion. Fabulous.

Prayer for the Morning

Heavenly Father, I do not fear this day, for you are with me wherever I might go, your light to shine ahead, your footsteps to lead the way. I do not fear this day, for your word will be my guide. Your strength will sustain me and your love revive me, this day and all days. I do not fear this day, for you are with me. In the name of Christ, I call upon you.


Ancient Prayer for Those Who Govern

Lord God, I pray for all kings and others in authority. You, Master, have given them the power of sovereignty through your majestic and inexpressible might, so that we, acknowledging the glory and honor which you have given them, may be subject to them, resisting your will in nothing. Grant to them, Lord, health, peace, harmony, and stability, that they may blamelessly administer the government which you have given them.

For you, heavenly Master, King of the ages, give to the sons of men glory and honor and authority over those upon the earth. Lord, direct their plans according to what is good and pleasing in your sight, so that by devoutly administering in peace and gentleness the authority which you have given them they may experience your mercy. You, who alone are able to do these and even greater good things for us, we praise through the high priest and guardian of our souls, Jesus Christ, through whom be the glory and the majesty to you both now and for all generations and for ever and ever.



Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made me one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Grant that in my earthly pilgrimage I may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know myself to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. I ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.


Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.

<i>Christ Carrying the Cross</i> by Fra Angelico, c. 1438.
Christ Carrying the Cross by Fra Angelico, c. 1438.

Psalm 117 (KJV)

O praise the Lord, all ye nations:
praise him, all ye people.

For his merciful kindness is great toward us:
and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever.
Praise ye the Lord.

Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 15:21-28 (ESV)

The Faith of a Canaanite Woman

And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.”

He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.”

And he answered, “It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.”

She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.”

Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that hour.

Notes on the Scripture


n today's Scripture, Christ travels across a national border into Phoenicia, part of the Roman colony of Syria. Tyre and Sidon are ancient cities which, although they lay in the land promised to Abraham and Moses (map) were never really conquered by the Hebrews. In the day of Joshua, Tyre (but not Sidon) was allotted to the Tribe of Asher (map), but it was not held. The littoralLittoral: of, relating to, or situated on the shore, especially a sea shore. strip where Lebanon lies today became the land of the powerful, sea-trading Phoenicians, and even the great Empire of Israel under David and Solomon ended just south of Tyre (map).

What, we may fairly wonder, was Jesus doing traveling outside Israel? For Sidon and Tyre were synonymous with idolatry and fornication (see Matthew 11:20-24); they were not only heathen, the land of the Hebrews’ dearest enemies (the Canaanites), but also ports filled with sailors, which have been dens of iniquity since time immemorial.

The Bible does not tell us “why”, but two motives seem reasonable. First, Christ is coming near the end of his ministry and has entered the phase when He will prepare for the crucifixion. He seeks a short time of solitude and quiet. He is safer in Phoenicia, away from the hand of the Herods, the Pharisees and scribes; and He is also insulated from the hoards of Jews who now follow him wherever he goes in Galilee and Judea.

But, perhaps a more important reason is that He has one more thing to accomplish in his ministry: A token to prove to the disciples that his grace will extend to the Gentiles. For this was the only time He ever ventured outside the land of the Jews (other than the flight to Egypt as an infant).

Most theologians will credit Christ with foreknowledge of the events told in today's passage. If so (and it makes perfect sense), his treatment of the woman is a bit of theater. When He says, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” He is playing devil's advocate. Indeed, it would be hard to think He was sincere, as the sentiment would contradict both his own words and the great body of prophecy, e.g., that He would be “a light to lighten the Gentiles.” (Luke 2:32) Also, see Psalm 117, above.

The key to the woman's approach is when she kneels before Christ and calls him simply Kyrie, “Lord”. A request to a great man had to be turned into a prayer to the Living God.

When Christ makes the remark about giving the children's food to dogs, it is not quite as harsh as it sounds to us, because the word He uses refers specifically to household pets. He might be teasing her a bit; one could reasonably imagine a slight smile in his tone. Or, if not, He is requiring her to show persistence or steadfastness, which is so often recommended to us in various epistles (e.g. Colossians 1:23).

endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“Loving the Stranger”

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible

Printable Format for Today’s Devotion

Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Deuteronomy 10:17-19 (ESV) : The Lord your God . . . loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

About Daily Prayer

Follow us on Facebook
Join the Daily Prayer Group.

If you are new to Daily Prayer, welcome. This page provides a non-denominational, Bible-based devotion every day, including prayers, Scripture, Bible study, music, and art, designed to be usable for worship and the deepening of faith by any person who confesses Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

We hope you will take a look around at some of the features. Registration is not necessary, although if you do register, you will be greeted by name and be able to record your scores on our Daily Bible Quiz, Match-a-Verse, and Memorize Favorite Bible Verses features.

We do not email anything, except replies to emails from readers. Registration asks for an email address as a means of verifying that people are real, but this is kept completely private and never used.

“The mind of God is greater than all the minds of men, so let all men leave the gospel just as God has delivered it unto us.” ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Note: Only registered members who are logged in will be able to see or post Comments. Apologies: we have had to do this to prevent spam.

Daily Quiz

No scores available at this time.

Our Community Around the World: Visitors July 1, 2009 - October 1, 2018

US  35,556,010
PH  2,900,733
CA  2,234,451
UK  1,468,687
AU  269,322
MY  65,993
ZA  51,385
SG  49,058
NG  44,005
IN  43,546
AE  33,122
SA  29,493
TT  29,087
KE  27,995
NZ  48,220
BB  25,751
JM  20,844
FJ  17,844
KY  16,993
CN  16,385
DE  14,541
HK  12,325
KR  11,058
GH  10,924
DM  10,005
IT  10,002
FR  9,455
TZ  9,220
BM  8,941
BS  8,277
MW  7,459
ID  7,441
LC  5,995
ZW  5,478
GU  5,759
PK  5,589
CZ  5,325
CO  5,286
UG  5,459
HN  4,555
VC  4,106
QA  4,008
MX  3,569
KW  3,592
BR  3,421
NL  3,356
TH  3,225
BZ  2,994
BW  2,653
OM  2,551
BG  2,547
BO  2,420
EG  3,991
CH  4,560
NA  2,006
ES  2,245
AW  1,818
PR  9,258
LK  2,644
IE  2,546
IL  2,116
GY  1,935
ET  1,839
TW  1,832
CM  1,831
BE  1,674
DK  3,945
LB  1,443
ZM  1,209