Conversational Prayer – BT19
Drawing-near, conversational-prayer should be a habit of devotion of relentlessly asking, seeking, and knocking for intimate-fellowship with God Himself
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See Conversational-Prayer – BT4 for seeking God Himself and not just His stuff or help.
All the NT words for the monologue of “asking, seeking, knocking” that indeed can occur within the dialogue of proseuche conversational-prayer in order to “receive, find, and have the door opened” – see Conversational-Prayer – BT10 – are all at least in the Greek present tense, meaning an ongoing action, but often we see a present participle form used to stress that it is to be a lifestyle, routine habit. The “asking, seeking, knocking, drawing near” word meanings themselves all emphasize a “relentless begging, calling or crying out for, craving, striving after, and driven pursuit of.” That is the “hungering and thirsting” that Jesus speaks so often of (a). There is so much spoken about “trusting-relying-faith in patience-endurance” or “steadfast-persistence” or “holding fast without wavering” to “inherit the promises” (b) throughout the NT – see Obedient Steps of Faith – BT16. Meno “abiding in the Vine of Christ in order to produce much fruit” (c) means “to remain connected to or to dwell together with,” which implies a koinonia intimate-relationship with genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge instead of gnosis head-knowledge. We’ve also already seen in Conversational-Prayer – BT3 the idea of being “devoted to proseuche conversational-prayer” to routinely experience the promised grace-gift of Spirit-Baptism. <Notes> a) Matthew 5:6; John 4:13-15, 6:35, 7:37, b) e.g., Hebrews 6:12-15, 10:23, 36, c) John 15:1-4.
Jesus is our example of this kind of devoted, routine proseuche conversational-prayer (a), whether early in the morning (b) or all night (c), whether often alone (d) or sometimes with others (e). He even blessed little children this way (f)! In Isaiah 50:4-7, God says He will give the future Messiah [Jesus] “a skilled, trained tongue in order to train (g) by sustaining a logos message to him who is weary.” How? “Morning by morning He awakens…My ear to presently/ongoingly akouo hear/listen-to-understand/know, as those who are definitively/wholly prostithemi ‘trained as followers/disciples, joined toward-and-reaching the company of the one they follow’ . . . the Lord God has opened My ear and I was not rebellious – I did not turn backwards . . . the Lord God helps Me.” The “opening of our ears” is what we need to proseuche conversational-prayer for if we also want to be a disciple/follower of Christs! <Notes> a) Matthew 14:23, 26:35-36, 39, 42, 44; Mark 6:46, 14:32, 35, 39; Luke 3:21, 5:16, 9:18, 11:1, 22:41, 44-45, b) Mark 1:35, c) Luke 6:12, d) Luke 5:16; Matthew 14:23, e) Luke 9:28-29, f) Matthew 19:13, g) paideia: gentle, simple children-rearing education – see Least Among You – BT11.
Jesus even gave us a model format of how to proseuchomai conversationally-pray – not a ritual recitation like so many babbling pagans who “think by their many words they will be heard” (a). The ‘Lord’s Prayer’ how-to model was simply: humble adoration and worship, desperate asking/craving for God’s kingdom to come and will to be done, trusting-relying-faith in God for our physical needs for “your Father knows what you need before your aiteo subordinate-asking of Him,” trusting-relying-faith in God for the ability to forgive and then confessing this dependency, and trusting-relying-faith in God to withstand temptation/testing-to-prove-genuine and be delivered from the evil one’s works (b). Pretty simple but religious people make it complicated or turn it into almost a meaningless ritual, the very thing Jesus warned about! <Notes> a) Ecclesiastes 5:2; Matthew 6:7-15, 32, Luke 11:1-13, b) Matthew 6:13, 26:41; Mark 14:38; Luke 11:4, 22:40, 46.
Jesus taught much about routine habitual proseuche conversational-prayer: “Presently/ongoingly watch and/coupled routinely proseuchomai conversationally-pray at pas all-kinds-of times” (a). Instead of “losing heart,” we “ought always to presently/ongoingly proseuchomai conversationally-pray” (b), giving many examples of steadfast-perseverance in proseuche conversational-prayer (c). Jesus even definitively/wholly proseuchomai conversationally-prayed 3 times (d) for His deliverance from His upcoming tribulations (e). What we presently/ongoingly or definitively/wholly aiteo subordinately-ask in proseuche conversational-prayer for with trusting-relying-faith will then be received (f). Instead of retaliating against abuse, we are to presently/ongoingly proseuchomai conversationally-pray for and show unconditional-love for “our enemies” (g) and even forgive them when routinely proseuchomai conversationally-praying (h). When we presently/ongoingly [passively being in] proseuche prayer this isn’t supposed to be for show but a “secret” conversation with God (i), not continually proseuchomai conversationally-praying like the Pharisee in the Temple that thanked God he wasn’t like other men, but like the tax collector standing far off, who looked down and beat his chest saying ‘Be merciful to me, a sinner” (j). <Notes> a) Luke 21:36, b) Luke 18:1, c) Luke 11:5-10, 18:1-8, d) possibly as a symbol of completeness, e) Matthew 26:44, f) Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24, g) Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:28, h) Mark 11:25, i) Matthew 6:6 – this is the only occurrence of this middle/passive form, j) Luke 18:11, 14.
The only time Jesus got angry was when the Jewish religion had turned His “house of proseuche conversational-prayer” into a “marketplace” even for dishonest business by robbers (a). The last verse of the OT is a prophecy in Zechariah 14:21 about the future temple of God after the Lord returns: “And there shall no longer by a Canaanite in the house of Yahweh of host on that Day.” The Canaanites were the peddlers of religion that Jesus drove out 400 years later, possibly a partial fulfillment of this prophecy and certainly completely fulfilling Jeremiah 7:11! <Notes> a) Matthew 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 18:10, 19:46 citing Jeremiah 7:11.
The early Christians were also devoted to this kind of routine proseuche conversational-prayer – that’s what they spent much of their time together doing in the ministry of the gospel logos message, not bible-study (a), and “devotion to the ministry/service of the gospel logos message was directly coupled to “devotion to proseuche conversational-prayer” because that’s how they heard from God what to say and do (b). The proseuche conversational-prayer even comes with visions (c) or angelic visitations (d) with supernatural deliverance (e) and healings (f). <Notes> a) Acts 1:14, 24 2:42, 3:1, 9:11, 12:12, 13:13, 14:23, 15:28, 16:16, 21:5, b) Acts 6:4, 6, c) Acts 10:9, 30, 11:5, 22:17, d) Acts 10:30, e) Acts 12:5, 16:25, f) Acts 9:40, 28:8.
This is how Christians received Spirit-baptism, even long after their water-baptism (a) – see also Conversational-Prayer – BT3. This “routine proseuche conversational-praying by-the-means-of the Spirit (b)” and “routine proseuchomai conversationally-praying at pas all-kinds-of times by-the-means-of the Spirit with proseuche conversational-prayer and/coupled deesis supplication” (c) is how you are “to build yourself up in your most holy Trusting-Relying-Faith,” which in turn, was directly related to “tereo ‘watching/guarding to maintain/keep’ yourself in The Unconditional-Love of God” (d). <Notes> a) Acts 8:12-19, b) Jude 1:20, likely in tongues as in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15– see also Conversational-Prayer – BT22, c) Ephesians 6:18, d) Jude 1:20-21.
Thus Paul strongly-urges: “I boulomai ‘resolutely plan’ then that in every place the men should presently/ongoingly proseuchomai conversationally-pray, lifting up holy hands” (a). Paul tells Christians to “be presently/ongoingly proskartereo persistently-relationally-devoted (b) to proseuche conversational-prayer and/coupled be routinely gregoreuo watching (c) in this with eucharistia thanksgiving” (d). Paul also strongly-urged Christians to “routinely be proskartereo persistently-relationally-devoted (b) in/by/with proseuche conversational-prayer” (e), and “presently/ongoingly be proseuchomai conversationally-praying without ceasing” and rarely stated “God’s will for us” to include this (f). <Notes> a) 1 Timothy 2:8, b) proskartereo: earnest, constant diligence, assiduous attendance, close adherence, c) gregoreuo: be alert, vigilant, cautious, d) Colossians 4:2, e) Romans 12:12, f) 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.
Proseuche conversational-prayer is how Christians dealt with suffering (a), even anointing sick Christians and thus confidently-persisting in proseuche conversational-prayer for healing (b). The prayerful laying on of hands for healing (c) was also for blessing (d), for ordination (e), sending missionaries (f), and to open doors for the logos message (g). <Notes> a) James 5:13, b) James 5:14, 16, 17; Acts 28:8, c) Matthew 9:18; Mark 5:23, 6:5, 7:32, 8:23, 25, 16:18; Luke 4:40, 13:13; Acts 9:12, 17, 28:8, d) Acts 6:4, e) Acts 1:24, 14:23, f) Acts 9:40, 13:13, 20:36, 21:5, g) Colossians 4:3; 2 Thessalonians 3:1.
One night as I was asking the Lord, “Why do we need to relentlessly pursue You,” as I was drifting off, I heard Him tell me, “You must be like a little child to ‘see’ the kingdom of God.” I knew from all my studies about knowledge that eido mental ‘seeing’ perception/knowing is how the OT prophets “knew” God, and how the completely-different-in-kind New Covenant promises this for us ALL now, “from the least among you to the greatest” (a), since the so-called “last” shall be first, and the so-called “first” shall be last (b). Yes, the secrets of the kingdom will remain hidden from “the wise and learned” but revealed by the Spirit to little children (c). Jesus spoke so much about being like little children and absolutely not desiring to be arche ‘firsts’ or megas big, ‘head honchos’ with authority over others. To be great in God’s kingdom we must be like slaves that only take orders from others, servants like Jesus (d). The OT was all about a hierarchy of leadership and teachers from “the greatest to the least,” but now God has done away with ALL of that, actually turning it upside down – see Coaches and Facilitators and Least Among You. <Notes> a) Jeremiah 31:34, b) Matthew 19:30, 20:16; Mark 9:35, 10:31; Luke 13:30, c) Matthew 11:25, 13:11; Luke 8:10, 10:21, d) Matthew 20:25-28; Mark 10:42-45; Luke 22:25-27.
So, I asked the Lord, “Why a little child?” Then the Lord showed me a little child pulling relentlessly on their parent’s clothes, persistently calling out UNTIL their request was granted. Then the Lord said, “That’s what I meant when I said, ‘If you, not being ‘good,’ give grace-gifts to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father, who is ‘Good,’ give you the Holy Spirit (a) to those who routinely aiteo subordinately-ask Him?” (b). Then I understood, this is the WAY to routinely proseuchomai conversationally-pray “for Thy Kingdom to come, Thy will to be done on earth as it is already in heaven” (c). This is the WAY to “routinely zeteo diligently-seek the Kingdom of God first” (d) – relentlessly like a little child just as with trusting-relying-faith – see Obedient Steps of Faith – BT16. <Notes> a) or ‘good grace-gifts’ in Matthew 7:11, b) Luke 11:13 and parallel Matthew 7:11, c) Luke 11:2; Matthew 6:10, d) Matthew 6:33.
Our NT English bibles use the word “devotion” 15 positive times and 5 negative times for: 2 times for devotion to Christ (a), 2 times for God versus negatively money and the things it can buy (b), 4 times to proseuche conversational-prayer (c), only 1 time to the Apostle’s teaching (d), only 1 time to the public reading (e), only 1 time to the ministry of the gospel logos message (f), only 1 time to the koinonia fellowship (g), only 1 time to ministry/service of the saints (h), only 1 time to the breaking of bread (i) (j), 2 times to good works that Christians were to devote themselves to be beneficially fruitful to others, especially those in urgent need (k), but 1 time negatively of devotion to Jewish myths and endless genealogies (l) or 1 time prosecho giving heed to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons (m) or 1 time paraphero being-carried-away to diverse and strange teachings concerning special foods (n). From this we can see 4 references to God or Christ and 4 times to conversational-prayer, eclipsing all other positive uses combined! <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 7:35; 2 Corinthians 11:3, b) Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13, c) Acts 1:14, 2:42, 6:4; 1 Corinthians 7:5, d) Acts 2:42, e) 1 Timothy 4:13 – “of scripture” is erroneously inserted into the text in many bibles, but the context is that of Paul’s own writings to this new pastor-in-training, and only until Paul returned to return his training of Timothy and/or personal preaching – see Logos Word of God – BT10, f) Acts 6:4, g) Acts 2:42, h) 1 Corinthians 16:15, i) love feast and Lord’s supper, j) Acts 2:42, k) Titus 3:8, 14, l) 1 Timothy 1:4, m) 1 Timothy 4:1, n) Hebrews 13:9.
Add to this Christ’s and Paul’s strong urgent calls: “They ought always to proseuchomai conversationally-pray and/coupled not lose heart” (a) and “Stay alert at all times, proseuchomai conversationally-praying” (b) and His teaching on persistently asking, seeking, and knocking until God answers (c). We’ve already seen above the many strong urgent calls by Paul for that devotion of prayer in: 1 Timothy 2:8, Ephesians 6:18, Colossians 4:2, Romans 12:12, and 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18. <Notes> a) Luke 18:1, b) Luke 21:36, c) Matthew 7:7-8; Luke 11:9-10.
It’s just so sad to see the modern day Church so devoted to just about everything else other than actual, genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, for Jesus said in John 17:3 that this alone is zoe genuine-life everlasting, by being devoted to patiently-waiting, watching, listening, worshipful, conversational-prayer.