Conversational Prayer – BT6
What proseuche conversation-prayer exactly IS
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Proseuche/proseuchomai conversationally-prayer seems to be the clear emphasis of the NT, fully eclipsing all other Greek words used for prayer. Although these 2 words can include the ideas of a one-way conversation or monologue of wishing, asking, entreating, petitioning, or supplicating, or even the attitudes of child-like confident trust or self-deprecating humility, or even grateful thanksgiving that the others words for prayer focus on, these 2 words evidently include much, much, much more: 1) “worshipful devotion” (according to Vines) and more importantly, 2) “an exchange (pros) of wishes (euche) towards or facing (pros) one another.”
In other words, this kind of prayer is a dialogue conversation WITH God “immediately before and facing Him” (pros), hence involves “adoration, devotion, and worship” that is in itself an “offering to God.” In early Greek, a physical offering was brought to make the prayer more acceptable to God, but later the prayer itself became the acceptable offering. Www.preceptaustin.org also notes that Vines indicates that “proseuchomai/proseuche carries with it a notion of worship that is not present in the other words involving supplication. Thus, this kind of prayer is meant to bring us face to face or in close, relational contact with God.” Www.renner.org recognizes this kind of prayer “demands surrender, consecration/sanctification/holiness, and thanksgiving from us as we come face to face with God.” Www.hebrew-streams.org recognizes that “Jewish apostolic worship can be discerned by focusing on words such as prayer (predominantly proseuche and proseuchomai in that section), praise, thanksgiving, blessing, and on the content of hymns.”
Specifically, biblical prayer predominantly uses the Greek noun proseuche, meaning “properly, an exchange (pros) of wish-petitions (euche) towards or before (pros) another, but particularly of holy prayer of worshipful devotion specifically towards God.” The ‘exchange’ aspect means it is a dialogue, not a monologue. Therefore, it doesn’t necessarily involve the monologue of asking, entreaty, or supplication as we saw in the previous BLOG. However, proseuche can also refer to “a place set apart or suited for the offering of holy prayer, such as a synagogue, or the bank of a stream or shore of a sea where Jews could wash their hands before holy prayer (a).” Proseuche is used 37 times in the NT: “If you have trusting-relying-faith, whatever we aiteo subordinately-ask in proseuche conversational-prayer, you will lambano ‘grab hold of to receive’” (b). Deacons (c) were chosen so that the apostles could “proskartereo persistently-relationally-be-devoted-to proseuche conversational-prayer and/coupled the service/ministry of the gospel logos message (d) – this absolutely is not a reference to bible-study, but prophetically hearing from God ‘what, when, where, and how’ to spread the gospel logos message. <Notes> a) Acts 16:13, 16, b) Matthew 21:22, c) servants of physical needs, d) Acts 6:4.
This devotion wasn’t so different than what the earliest Christians enjoyed: “They were proskartereo persistently-relationally-devoted-to together in proseuche conversational-prayer with one mind” (a), and “themselves proskartereo persistently-relationally-devoted-to . . . proseuche conversational-prayer” (b). Paul tells Christians as “members of the Body-of-Christ, using the grace-gifts given to them” how to “present their bodies as living sacrifices, . . . which is their logical liturgical-worship-service” and then giving a list of imperatives for strong-urgings, including “routinely being proskartereo persistently-relationally-devoted-to [in/by] proseuche conversational-prayer” (c). In Paul’s final instructions to the Colossians, he strongly urges them to “ongoingly-be proskartereo persistently-relationally-devoted-to proseuche conversational-prayer and/coupled be routinely gregoreo vigilantly-watching in this with eucharistia thanksgiving” (d). Paul tells Timothy “[I strongly urge you] that deesis supplication-prayers, proseuche conversational-prayers, enteuxis confident-approaching-intercessions, and eucharistia thanksgiving be made on-behalf-of all people, for kings and those in high positions, that we may lead a eremos ‘undisturbed, placid, tranquil, composed’ and/coupled hesuchios ‘still, quiet, calm, steady, settled’ life” (e). Peter believed the end was near, saying: “So be sophroneo sound/temperate-minded (f) and/coupled nepho sober-minded (g) eis ‘towards and reaching the goal of’ proseuche conversational-prayer” (h). <Notes> a) Acts 1:14, b) Acts 2:42, c) Romans 12:1-12, d) Colossians 4:2, e) 1 Timothy 2:1-2, f) sophroneo means “safety-minded, safe as to what regulates life like our diaphragm, also derived from phroneo, controls our ability to breathe which controls our heartbeat and thus our life. It also means to have a sober outlook that reflects true balance, truly moderate, controlled to blend the extremities of truth on both side of a matter,” g) nepho: not intoxicated or drunk, temperate, self-controlled, clear-minded, rational, h) 1 Peter 4:7.
Jesus educated His disciples much about the need for proseuche conversational-prayer. Some demons “come out only by proseuche conversational-prayer” for healing (a). Jesus led the way: He would spend the whole night in proseuche conversational-prayer upon a mountain (b), and “got up from proseuche conversational-prayer” in the garden before His death (c). The earliest Jewish Church before 70 AD, as was their Jewish custom, went to the temple for proseuche conversational-prayer (d). Before this Jesus drove the merchants out of the temple, because they had turned God’s “house of proseuche conversational-prayer for all nations” into a “house of trade (e),” not just a “den of robbers” (f). Many of today’s churches have also turned their building into ‘a marketplace’ with every thing possible for sale, even equipped with a full-blown coffee shop, right outside the door to the inner sanctuary! I went to a Christian concert at a Calvary Chapel in Tucson, Arizona and there were tables of stuff for sale from the entrance all the way past their bookstore right up to their coffee shop, but although it cost more than Starbucks, I was not allowed to drink it in their sanctuary for the concert. “Agent Smith” from the Matrix, complete with wires sticking out of his ear, immediately told me I had to take it out to sit at a few tables among all the merchandise and watch the concert from big screen TVs, even though I paid good money at the entrance. Had I known all this would take place, I would have done a U-turn. I could feel the Lord’s heart inside me weeping the whole time. When I finally got inside the sanctuary to watch the artist, he didn’t even have a band, and despite all his theatrics could not get anybody to worship except the first few rows. The rest of the people were looking at their phones. Man, I about cried! Were are these people: God-fearing Jews like Cornelius had their “proseuche conversational-prayers heard by God” (g). Christians were ektenos ‘extended-out without let-up’ making of proseuche conversational-prayer for Peter while in prison (h). This important because “the proseuche conversational-prayers of the saints ascend before God” (i). I sure didn’t see much from this supposedly ‘on-fire’ church! <Notes> a) Mark 9:29 – “and fasting” was added in later by Catholic monks who practiced this OT “tradition of the elders” that is not even specified in OT Law, b) Luke 6:12, c) Luke 22:45, d) Acts 3:1, e) a marketplace, emporium of merchandise, f) Matthew 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46; John 2:16, g) Acts 10:4, 31, h) Acts 12:5, i) Revelation 5:8, 8:3-4.
Paul encouraged a devotion to prayer: “Thru-the-realizing-channel-of pas all-kinds-of proseuche conversational-prayer and/coupled deesis supplication-prayer, routinely be proseuchomai conversationally-praying in all kairos ‘suitable, right, seasonable, opportune seasons/occassions’ by-the-means-of [singular] Spirit and/coupled eis ‘toward and reaching the goal of’ this, be routinely agrupneo vigilantly-watching by-the-means-of all proskarteresis devoted-relational-perseverance and/coupled deesis supplication-prayer for all the saints” (a). Evidently “proseuche conversational-prayer and supplication-prayer” are distinct parts of “praying” and this can be done by the means of the Holy Spirit, especially being vigilantly-watching to entreat God for others. Paul encourages: “Be anxious about nothing but through proseuche conversational-prayer and/coupled deesis supplication-prayer [both together] with eucharistia thanksgiving, let your specific-aitema subordinately-asked-petitions be made gnorizo experientially, relationally known to God” (b). Paul advises Christians married couples to not abstain from sex except for specific mutually-agreed-upon times of sholazo ‘being still devotion’ (c) to proseuche conversational-prayer d)” (e). Paul remembers Christians in his own proseuche conversational-prayers (f) and included God in his travel plans (g), even asking Christians to do so on his behalf (h). It’s not easy doing this: Paul “agonizoma agonized in proseuche conversational-prayer” for others (i). You have to endure in prayer: Widows truly in need have set their hope on God, having continued in their deesis supplication-prayers and proseuche conversational-prayers night and days (j). <Notes> a) Ephesians 6:18, b) Philippians 4:6, c) sholazo: being still, ceasing activity, taking a vacation, in order to give oneself to, d) “And fasting” was added by Catholic monks in later manuscripts because of their assimilation of OT “traditions of elders” not even found in the OT Law – see Net Bible note. This ‘borrowing’ from the OT is shameful but part of The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit, e) 1 Corinthians 7:5, f) Ephesians 1:16, 1 Thessalonians 1:2, Philemon 1:4, g) Philemon 1:22; Romans 1:10, h) Romans 15:30, i) Colossians 4:12, j) 1 Timothy 5:5.
James encouraged prayer in the midst of suffering too: These suffering Christians should proseuchomai conversationally-pray (a) just as Church elders were to proseuchomai conversationally-pray and anoint sick Christians with the same confident-persistence that Elijah did for rain, who “proseuchomai conversationally-prayed with proseuche conversational-prayer” (b) (c). <Notes> a) James 5:13, b) a Hebraic structure found here in the Greek to show intensity, c) James 5:14, 16, 17.
Peter speaks of proseuche conversational-prayer too: He tells Christian husbands to treat their wives with time perceived-value/honor, as a fragile vessel so nothing will hinder their proseuche conversational-prayers (a). “Therefore since the end of all has already [with ongoing results] eggizo ‘drawn extremely close’, definitively/wholly be sophroneo sound/temperate-minded (b) and/coupled definitively/wholly be nepho sober-minded (c) eis ‘towards and reaching the goal of’ proseuche conversational-prayer” (d). <Notes> a) 1 Peter 3:7, b) sophroneo means “safety-minded, safe as to what regulates life like our diaphragm, also derived from phroneo, controls our ability to breathe which controls our heartbeat and thus our life. It also means to have a sober outlook that reflects true balance, truly moderate, controlled to blend the extremities of truth on both side of a matter,” c) nepho: not intoxicated or drunk, temperate, self-controlled, clear-minded, rational, d) 1 Peter 4:7.
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