Conversational Prayer – BT14
Drawing-near, conversational-prayer is stopping our talking, busyness, and works to listen/hear to be taught directly by God – it’s the ‘easy button’ compared to bible-study
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Proseuche conversational-prayer is often the translation of the Hebrew word tephillah. Although the Hebrew can simply refer to prayer in general, or the action of praying in general even as intercession, or can refer to liturgical prayer, it often refers to the attentive “giving of ear to” shama/akouo listening/hearing towards God during prayer or of God listening/hearing our prayers: 1 Kings 8:28, 38-39, 45, 49, 9:3; 2 Chronicles 6:19-20, 35, 39-40, 7:15; Psalms 17:1, 66:19-20, 86:6; Nehemiah 1:6, 11; Daniel 9:17. As much as listening-to and hearing-from God is stressed in the OT and especially the NT, you certainly don’t see that many books on conversational-prayer either! My wife Charlotte and our counselor friend Elizabeth Roberts have found great growth from theophostic prayer now called transformational prayer and especially from 4 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice by Mark & Patti Virkler, which I’ve had family and friends benefit from greatly!
Isaiah 50:4 said the Messiah would be taught by God “how to sustain with a logos message in season to [him who is] weary.” Jesus indeed invited us: “[I strongly urge you to] You-all duete come-here-NOW pros ‘toward to reach the goal of’ Me all who labor-toil-work and/coupled overburdened (a), kai and/then I will give you ‘peaceful-rest, ease or repose.’ [I strongly urge you to] definitively/wholly take My yoke (b) upon you and/coupled/thus [I strongly urge you to] definitively/wholly manthano learn apo away-from Me (c) for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and [then] you will find peaceful-rest for your souls, for My yoke [is] easy (d) and/coupled My burden-load presently/ongoingly actually light (e)” (f). He said this right after v. 11:25 “these things” or v. 13:11 “the secrets of the kingdom” (g) remain “hidden from the ‘wise and understanding’” (h) but are “revealed to little children.” The context is the burden of the Jewish religion (a) with its many “works of righteousness” (i) to obey 613 commandments in the OT, more from the Oral Torah, and even the esoteric learning of the Greeks, which are indeed a huge burden to carry. Trying to know God through rules or gnosis book knowledge or philosophy is a lot of work! The solution is to come to Jesus, take a ‘vacation’ (j) from the book-learning gnosis info-knowledge and works of religion, and instead be directly meno abiding/connected-to the Vine (k) and let Him manthano train us directly by that harness connection – and Jesus said this was gentle, easy, and light – it’s the ‘easy button!’
<Notes> a) context: with the load of the Law’s commandments: Luke 11:46, b) training harness, c) manthano: “increase one’s knowledge, be informed, or hear or learn from” but here in person rather than from books, cf. ‘learned from the Father’ to be ‘taught by God’ per John 6:45, ‘learned Christ’ per Ephesians 4:20, learning by prophecy per 1 Corinthians 14:31, d) chrestos used as an predicate adjective so [is] supplied: manageable, mild, pleasant, kind, well-fit to the animal, so there’s no chaffing sores, e) in weight, thus easy to carry. The yoke/harness is not a long, heavy bar like you see in some carriages but ‘light as a feather,” f) Matthew 11:28-30, g) Luke 8:10, h) context: the Jewish experts of the scripture or Gentiles of philosophical writings, i) Titus 3:5; Romans 4:6, j) “Be still” of Psalms 46:10 “in order to yada/ginosko experientially, relationally know God” comes from raphah, scholazo: “take a vacation from your work, relax, peacefully-rest, quiet yourself, k) John 15:1-4.
The ‘yoke/harness method of learning’ directly from Jesus is relatively “manageably-easy (a) and/coupled My burden/requirements light (b)” so much so that we can actually find “peaceful-rest, ease or repose, that is a ‘vacation’ from our work,’ for our souls.” In context, it has to be significantly ‘easier and lighter’ than the ‘burden/requirements’ of the so-called “wise and understanding ones” of Matthew 11:25, especially since it is to be “revealed to nepios little children.” Nepios refers to milk-feeding infants or little children that still require the gentleness of a nursing mother per 1 Thessalonians 2:7 and Hebrews 5:13. Jesus said the ‘easy button’ was simply by obeying: “duete come-here-NOW pros ‘toward to reach the goal of’ Me . . . for I am gentle and lowly in heart” in Matthew 11:28. You have to ‘harness up’ to the lead-horse on God’s horse-drawn carriage, and that is Jesus. That is how we “definitively/wholly manthano learn apo away-from Me” in verse 11:29 (c). <Notes> a) chrestos used as an predicate adjective so [is] supplied: manageable, mild, pleasant, kind, well-fit to the animal, so there’s no chaffing sores, b) from elauno: wind that drives ships or clouds and from elasson: younger, smaller. The yoke/harness is not a long, heavy bar like you see in some carriages but ‘light as a feather,” c) manthano: “increase one’s knowledge, be informed, or hear or learn from” but here in person rather than from books, cf. ‘learned from the Father’ to be ‘taught by God’ per John 6:45, ‘learned Christ’ per Ephesians 4:20, learning by prophecy per 1 Corinthians 14:31.
Therefore “coming to [in order] to learn from” Jesus directly, must be the essence of proseuche conversational-prayer, the “easy” and “gentle and lowly/humble in heart” way that Jesus would teach us the “little children” we are to be like (a) – see Least Among You – and not the so-called “wise and understanding” bible-study experts like the scribes and Pharisees “who searched/studied the scriptures diligently [erroneously] dokeo supposing (b) that in them they would hold-to-have zoe genuine-life” but nonetheless “presently/ongoingly refuse to come to Me so that you may hold-to-have zoe genuine-life.” Although they prided themselves in ‘knowing God’s Word,’ as so many Christian scholars and pastors do, Jesus had this to say of them: “You do absolutely-in-fact-NOT have God’s logos message dwelling in you, for you do absolutely-in-fact-NOT have trusting-relying-faith in the One [Christ] whom He [the Father] has sent” (c). <Notes> a) Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:14; Luke 18:16, b) dokeo: have the opinion of, seem to think, suppose what seems to be, make a subjective mental estimate, which directly reflects the personal values of the person(s), making this a subjective judgment call, c) John 5:38-40.
We know from the NT that the “heavy burden that was hard to bear that is laid on people’s shoulders” is what the bible-study expert scribes and Pharisees “presently/ongoingly preach but don’t practice” (a). But this legalism came right into the Church! Peter challenged the Jewish-Christian “apostles and elders” of Jerusalem Church saying: “Why are you placing a yoke (b) on the neck of the [Gentile] disciples that neither our [Jewish] fathers nor we have been able to bear?” (c), so they prayed to know what to write the Gentile churches to do. God answered: “For it has-already-been dokeo supposed (d) to the Holy Spirit and/coupled to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols (e) kai and/specifically from blood and/coupled from what has been strangled and/coupled from [temple] prostitution (f). If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell” (h). These were all Gentile practices of temple idol worship (i). <Notes> a) Matthew 23:2-4; Luke 11:46, b) context: of circumcision as the ‘seal of obedience’ to the Law of Torah “instruction,” c) Acts 15:6-10, d) dokeo: see note ‘b’ above, e) offered to demons, thus co-participating with demons: 1 Corinthians 10:20; Revelation 9:20, f) porneia: sexual intercourse outside of marriage, harlotry common in temple worship, especially Corinth famous for it’s “more than 10,000 beautiful women prostitutes,” g) , h) Acts 15:28-29, i) see Acts 15:20, 21:25, cf. Romans 2:22; 1 Corinthians 5:10-11, 6:9, 8:4, 7, 10, 10:7, 14, 19; Galatians 5:20; Ephesians 5:5; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Peter 4:3; 1 John 5:21; Revelation 2:14, 20, 9:20, 21:8, 22:15.
By 95-110 AD, John has to remind Christians again of Christ’s only 2 commandments of “trusting-relying-faith in the Son and/coupled unconditional-love reciprocally to one another,” which together is the ONLY commandment of God (a), which are “absolutely-in-fact-NOT burdensome” (b), just as Jesus said in Matthew 11:30 above, “My burden is light [as a feather or clouds driven by wind] to carry.” Christ’s yoke/harness is not a long, heavy bar like you see in some carriages! Evidently, the teachers of the Law and likely Gentile religions (c) were still “trying to deceive them” (d). So John has to remind them, “you have absolutely-in-fact-NO need that anyone should presently/ongoingly teach you, for as His anointing (e) actually, ongoingly teaches you about ALL things, and is trustworthy, thus is of no lies – just as it has already taught you, meno abide-remain-dwell IN Him” (f). Christians don’t need a book or teachers, only the Holy Spirit to “guide them into ALL truth” (g) as promised in the OT (h). <Notes> a) 1 John 3:23, b) 1 John 5:3, c) both of them “antichrists” who “don’t confess the coming of Christ in the flesh” who are “practicing unrighteousness” and “denying sin”, d) 1 John 1:8, 2:26, 3:7; 2 John 1:7, e) context: Holy Spirit in 1 John 2:20, f) 1 John 2:27, g) Matthew 10:20; Luke 12:12; John 14:26, 16:13, h) Ezekiel 11:19-20, 36:26-27.
While Jesus was on earth, He was always defending His ministry to the bible-student scribes and Pharisees, for “it is written in the Prophets (a), ‘And they will be [the ones] ALL taught of/belonging-to God.’ Everyone having akouo listened/heard-to-understand/know para ‘from close beside’ the Father kai and/thus having manthano learned presently/ongoingly comes to Me” (b). Yes, manthano generally means “increase one’s knowledge, be informed, or hear or learn from” but here in person from God rather than from gramma writings. But what about after Christ ascended? <Notes> a) Isaiah 54:13; Jeremiah 31:33-34 the distinction of the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant cited in Hebrew 8:10-11, b) John 6:45.
Paul regarding Christians who “should no longer be walking/living as the Gentiles do . . . because of the agnoeo ignorance (a) that is in them,” because “that is absolutely-in-fact-NOT the way you manthano learned The Christ” (b). Notice Paul didn’t say “learn about Christ,” which is what you would get from hearing others like himself or reading books. However, in another letter Paul says there is a place for sharing prophecies, “each in turn” and “letting the allos ‘others of the same/similar kind’ diakrino ‘judge-thru thoroughness’ (c) what was said . . . you can ALL prophesy one by one, so that ALL may presently/ongoingly manthano learn and/coupled ALL be parkaleo encouraged-close-beside” (d). The Holy Spirit as the close-beside Parakletos “advocate, intercessor, and counsel” thus parkaleo encourages-close-beside the congregation through the prophets. In context, is is any wonder that Paul said earlier “Now I thelo will-desire-purpose you ALL to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy” (e). Therefore the allos ‘others of the same/similar kind’ could mean other prophets they should all be, or other Spirit-kind-of people operating in/by/with the grace-gifts of the Spirit, not the agnoeo ignorant (a) and certainly not the idiotes idiot-outsiders that may wander into the church (f). In another letter, Paul says: Now concerning brotherly-love you have absolutely-in-fact-NO need for [anyone or me] to write to you, for yourselves [are] (i) [the] you-alls theodidaktos taught–of–God (i) to unconditionally-love one another” (j). This may be referring to the entole officially-decreed, universally-binding commandment to unconditionally-love one another” given to by Christ that some of these Christians may have been fortunate enough to have heard – see Logos Word of God – BT16. Some scholars believe Paul wrote this 51-52 AD, 19-20 years after Christ’s death, so it’s possible, but Paul’s use of this only-once-occurring word theodidaktos in the NT is saying this is what these Christians are characterized as NOW – people who are NOW taught-of-God. This can must be a reference to the present/ongoing teaching of the Spirit of Christ (k), especially since Paul earlier spoke of the Holy Spirit to these Christians, particularly of its enabling-power during His preaching they witnessed and the joy they experienced of/belonging to the Holy Spirit even in their suffering (l). Obviously Paul is referencing the same “taught-of-God” that Jesus was in John 6:45 above as prophesied in the OT (m), but here particularly of the Holy Spirit that would dwell in them to do just that (n) after Christ ascended (o). See also Teaching page.
<Notes> a) Ephesians 4:18, 1 Corinthians 10:1, 12:1, 14:38, b) Ephesians 4:18-20, c) diakrino: to judge thru-the-realizing-channel-of being thorough, thus to investigate or discriminate thoroughly either rightly by close-reasoning or wrongly by going too far or vacillating back and forth, as determined by the context, d) 1 Corinthians 14:27-31, e) 1 Corinthians 14:5, f) 1 Corinthians 14:16, 23-24, i) theodidaktos is a predicate adjective so the verb [are] is supplied. In Greek writings the theodidaktos were those who spoke directly with the gods, therefore publishers and interpreters of divine oracles, versed in sacred science, j) 1 Thessalonians 4:9, k) Romans 8:9; Philippians 1:19; 1 Peter 1:11; Acts 16:7 l) vv. 1:5-6, 4:8, m) Isaiah 54:13; Jeremiah 31:33-34 the distinction of the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant cited in Hebrew 8:10-11, n) Matthew 10:20; Luke 12:12; John 14:26, 16:13, o) Ezekiel 11:19-20, 36:26-27