Conversational Prayer – BT9
What drawing-near, conversational-prayer is mostly NOT
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How do we get wisdom, understanding, and revelation from the Holy Spirit? By doing what Paul and others did – being devoted to proseuche conversational-prayer! This is really the only way we can personally “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our trusting-relying-faith” (a) and skopeo “fix our attention’ on the unseen things” of heaven in order to “not lose heart” (b). This focus of proseuche conversational-prayer is the essence of trusting-relying-faith and hope, keeping our eyes forward and not looking back, as Lot’s wife did upon Sodom and Gomorrah as God was destroying them, turning her into a pillar of salt (c). <Notes> a) Hebrews 12:2, b) 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, c) Genesis 19:26.
But what exactly is proseuche conversational-prayer? It’s really sad that so many English translations treat all the many completely-different-in-kind Greek words for our conversation with God practically the same by lumping them into the words “prayer” or “pray.” However, some words focus on man, others on God – some on the monologue of our speaking TO God, but many more on the dialogue of God speaking WITH us. Now we’ll explore the ‘monologue’ words!
The main word used for a monologue TO God is deesis “supplication in which we make our personal requests or petitions of need to God.” For many Christians and churches, that’s all prayer turns out to be! The NT uses the word 18 times for supplication to God so we won’t be “anxious about anything but also with eucharistia thanksgiving, by offering our aitema petitions to God” (a), just as Jesus did with “loud cries and tears,” and us doing so even by the means of the Spirit. According to the NT, this supplication should include: remembering/interceding for other Christians for deliverance and healing, for Israel’s peace and salvation, and for “all people, including rulers and all those in authority for peaceful lives in godliness and honesty” (b), especially because “the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and His ears open to their supplication” (c). And the NT says Christians are “the righteous, who are filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ,” because of living by trusting-relying-faith in Jesus Christ, the only Holy and Righteous One (d), thus ending and abolishing the Law that defined righteousness (e). <Notes> a) Philippians 4:6, b) 1 Timothy 2:1-2, c) 1 Peter 3:12 citing Psalms 34:15 “their cry”, d) Acts 3:14, 7:52, 22:14; Romans 1:17, 3:22, 5:17-19, 10:6; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Galatians 2:20, 3:11; Philippians 1:11, 3:9; Hebrews 10:38; 1 Peter 3:18; 2 Peter 1:1; 1 John 2:1, e) Romans 10:4; Galatians 2:21; Ephesians 2:15; Colossians 2:14; Hebrews 7:18, 8:13.
The Greek word deomai is the verb form of deesis above, meaning “to want out of lack, to desire or long for out of need, to entreat, plead or beg for, thus to supplicate out of recognized need,” used only 9 times concerning prayer. Christians are to entreat God to send out workers into His harvest (a), and at all times being watchfully-alert and/coupled entreating God to have strength to escape the judgments to come (b) – we will see in a later BLOG about “watching in prayer.” Deomai is also used of Christ’s supplicating for Peter’s trusting-relying-faith not to fail” (c) and Peter telling Simon the magician to repent/turn-to and/coupled plead/beg the Lord to forgive his attempt to buy the Holy Spirit’s enabling-power (d) – can you see the need to surrender-control in prayer? It is used of Cornelius, a God-fearing man, who supplicated to God regularly (e) and of Paul’s pleading/begging to God to visit the Roman church (f), like Paul’s team pleading/begging God night and day to see the Thessalonian church in person (g). We may not even know it’s the will of God but out of our great need, we are hoping it is, like the Christians who pleaded/begged to God for boldness to preach the gospel logos message and found out it was God’s will because they were then Spirit-baptized with enabling-power to do what they just prayed for (h). Many deesis/deomai prayers are NOT answered because the person’s monologue excluded finding out from God whether it’s even His will what they are praying for, because that takes the dialogue of proseuche conversational-prayer. Monologue-type prayer can really be ‘hit or miss’ and unanswered prayers of this type discourage many people from praying! <Notes> a) Matthew 9:38; Luke 10:2, b) Luke 21:36, c) Luke 22:32, d) Acts 8:22- 24, e) Acts 10:2, f) Romans 1:10, g) 1 Thessalonians 3:10, h) Acts 4:31.
Another Greek verb erotao is used to mean: “to form a question, ask, request, entreat, or even beg” as often used concerning supplication. It is used only 5 times in the NT: of Jesus “entreating the Father to send the Holy Spirit” (a), of Jesus “entreating the Father to NOT take His disciples out of the world” (b), and of Jesus “entreating NOT only on their behalf but also on the behalf of all those who will have trusting-relying-faith” (c). Once again you can see that Jesus had that questioning, subservient attitude of “Not My will but Thy will be done” (d), but there is a confident-assuredness implied that this is the will of God. Erotao is also used of a Christian’s confident-requests of the Father in Christ’s name/authority – there’s the source of our confidence – that are answered directly by the Father, not as a request by Jesus to the Father in our behalf (e) that is another kind of prayer called intercession. Note this is somewhat synonymous with aiteo below: Christians can certainly aiteo ‘subordinately ask/petition’ God to grant zoe genuine-life to another Christian found in sin as long as it isn’t currently life-threatening (f), but John isn’t telling them to eroteo entreat God concerning life-threatening sin (g) (h). Again, it seems that eroteo has more confident-assuredness than aiteo subordinate-asking. <Notes> a) John 14:16, b) John 17:15, c) John 17:20, d) Luke 22:42, cf. John 5:30, 6:38, e) John 16:23-26, f) in other words, you have time to ongoingly ‘aiteo ask’ for deliverance from their sin, g) it’s time to act, for you to help, not go home to ‘aiteo ask’ God to help, h) 1 John 5:16.
However, the Greek noun euche by itself has much less ‘confident-assuredness’ because it means “a wish expressed as a petition to God” but in James 5:15 the euche wish-petition of/belonging-to The-Trusting-Relying-Faith would eliminate any such doubt, and this would heal the sick. However, it can also mean “a vow that obligates oneself” as in Acts 18:18, 21:23. When the prefix pros meaning “towards and interacting with another, or before another in time or place, even of bending or lying prostrate before” is added to euche to create proseuche, the meaning is thus greatly intensified and expanded, which we will talk about in the next BLOG, but you can still see the surrendering-control aspect to God we see both in euche and proseuche.
The Greek verb from of euche is euchomai, meaning “to wish, will, or wish-petition,” used only 5 times in the NT: of Paul’s shipmates lost in a storm at night where they dragged 4 anchors from their ship fearing that they would run aground into the rocks, wish-petitioning for the day to come [to be able to see the rocks]” (a). It’s used of Paul wish-petitioning that the Corinthian church wouldn’t do wrong but instead what is right, being strong, and thus restored (b). It’s used of John wish-petitioning for his friend Gaius that all will go well with him, for good health, even with his soul (c). It’s used of Paul defending himself before King Agrippa concerning his gospel of bodily resurrection, a doctrine that the Jewish king should agree with, so he isn’t embarrassed to preach this truth of Christ’s resurrection and for the king to be a Christian whether in a short or long time. In fact, he wish-petitions to God that ALL who were hearing him that day would become like him, except for these chains (d). Based on its limited usage, and the element of doubt because it’s so difficult to have trusting-relying-faith about it as in James 5:15 above for euche, maybe a bulk of our praying should be more than just wish-petitioning? <Notes> a) Acts 27:29, b) 2 Corinthians 13:7, 9, c) 3 John 2, d) Acts 26:29.
The Greek noun form of aiteo below is aitema and thus refers to “a specific–petition or request for a specific thing, either of God or man, but from a subordinate position,” used only 3 times in the NT: The Jews’ specific-subordinately-asked-petition of Pilate to crucify Christ (a), and of Paul encouraging Christians: “Be anxious about nothing but through proseuche conversational-prayer and/coupled deesis supplication-prayer [both together] with eucharistia thanksgiving, let your specific-subordinately-asked-petitions be made gnorizo experientially, relationally known to God” (b) – yes, there is a place of monologue within dialogue as long as it is in kononia relationship with God. Finally, John tells us that “This is the confidence that we have toward God: If we should aiteo subordinately-ask anything kata down-from/according-to His will, [then] He presently/ongoingly akouo listens/hears-to-understand/know us, and/coupled then-if we eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know that He akouo listens/hears-to-understand/know us, [then] if whatever we might aiteo subordinately-ask, [then] we have already [with ongoing results] eido mentally ‘seen’ to perceive/know that we echo hold-to-have those aitema specific–petitions that we have already [with ongoing results] aiteo subordinately-asked from Him” (c). But that’s the trick isn’t it – you have to know beyond a shadow of doubt that your aitema specific-subordinately-asked-petitions are “down-from/according-to His will” or you “must in-possibility-NOT suppose that he will lambano ‘grab hold of to receive’ anything from the Lord” (d). But how are you going to know this unless you akouo hear-to-understand/know from the Lord His will in proseuche conversational-prayer – see also New Covenant Ways – BT16. Without this, much of our aiteo subordinate-asking isn’t being answered by God because we are so self-centered in our asking (e). <Notes> a) Luke 23:24, b) Philippians 4:6, c) 1 John 5:14-15, d) James 1:6-8, cf. Matthew 21:21, e) James 4:2-3.
Now the most common word for petitioning is the Greek verb aiteo, meaning “to ask or petition from a subordinate position, to willfully crave, call or cry out for, require or demand, or beg for?” It’s used in the NT only 27 times: of Christians strongly-urged to ongoingly be subordinately-asking the-one-routinely-giving-God for wisdom, but subordinately-asking in/by/with trusting-relying-faith thus without doubting, and “it shall actually be given to him kai and/because” this “one-routinely-giving-God’ does so “to ALL generously and/coupled in-possibility-NOT finding fault” (a). “The subordinately-asking for wisdom” is one of the few explicitly-stated prayers that God will always answer – that’s exactly what Solomon did and “it pleased the Lord that Solomon had shaal/aiteo subordinately-asked this, saying ‘Because you have asked THIS . . . behold I now do according to your dabar/rhema directly-spoken-words, behold I give you a wise and discerning mind greater than all before or after you. I give you also what you have not shaal/aiteo subordinately-asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king king shall compare with you in all your days’ ” (b). Solomon didn’t fall into the asking-trap James warns of: “you presently/ongoingly are absolutely-in-fact-NOT echo ‘holding to have’ because you presently/ongoingly are in-possibility-NOT subordinately-asking,” and “if you are presently/ongoingly subordinately-asking kai then you absolutely-in-fact-NOT presently/ongoingly lambano ‘grabbing hold of to receive’ because you wrongly are presently/ongoingly subordinately-asking in order that you might ‘spend or squander’ in/by/with your-own passions” (c). If Solomon would have asked for the other things that God gave to him, he would have got nothing. The whole ‘name it and claim it faith movement’ is bogus! <Notes> a) James 1:5-6, b) 1 Kings 3:5, 7-13, c) James 4:2-3.
Nevertheless, aiteo is used of subordinately-asking the Father directly in Christ’s name/authority to lambano ‘grabbing hold of to receive’ (a) or “directly subordinately-asking Jesus in His name/authority” (b), but do you really want to involve Christ’s authority in something that’s not God’s will? We already saw above that John says we can only have confidence before God: “This is the confidence that we have toward God: If we should aiteo subordinately-ask anything kata down-from/according-to His will, [then] He presently/ongoingly akouo listens/hears-to-understand/know us, and/coupled then-if we eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know that He akouo listens/hears-to-understand/know us, [then] if whatever we might aiteo subordinately-ask, [then] we have already [with ongoing results] eido mentally ‘seen’ to perceive/know that we echo hold-to-have those aitema specific–petitions that we have already [with ongoing results] aiteo subordinately-asked from Him” (c). The question really is whether we have that eido prophetic-visionary knowledge from God? Martha had this kind of confidence by involving Christ in the possible raising of her brother Lazarus from the dead: “Even now I eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know that whatever you subordinately-ask from God, God will give you” (d). John also gives us this confidence: “If whatever we might be presently/ongoingly aiteo subordinately-asking [then] we presently/ongoingly actually are lambano ‘grabbing hold of to receive’ from Him [only] because we presently/ongoingly actually are tereo carefully-watching/guarding-to-maintain The Entole ‘officially-decreed, universally-binding commandments’ of Him (e) and/coupled we presently/ongoingly poieo ‘do to make occur’ the things pleasing before Him” (f). It’s that simple! <Notes> a) John 16:23, 24, 26, 15:16, b) John 14:13-14, c) 1 John 5:14-15, d) John 11:22, e) there are only 2 commandments in context, integrated into 1, per v. 3:23, of trusting-relying-faith and/coupled unconditional-loving, f) 1 John 3:22.
Jesus preached the same confidence: “Whatever we might definitively/wholly subordinately-ask by-the-means-of proseuchomai conversationally-praying, [if] we routinely have trusting-relying-faith, then we shall actually lambano ‘grab hold of to receive’ it” (a). Christ only gives us this confidence if: “you meno abide/remain/live in Me and/coupled My directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words (b) meno abide/remain/live in you” (c). If we have the same goal as Christ does: “I chose you and/coupled appointed you that you should go and/coupled bear fruit and/coupled that your fruit should meno abide/remain/live” then we can also have this confidence: “so whatever you might definitively/wholly subordinately-ask the Father in My name/authority, [then] He might definitively/wholly give it to you” (d). There’s also enabling-power in numbers, just as the evidence of 2-3 witnesses are needed for just judgments (e), when 2-3 Christians are gathered in Christ’s name/authority insuring Christ’s presence so that if even if two sumphoneo ‘agree harmoniously together like a symphony’ about-about any matter, if they definitively/wholly subordinately-ask [then] it shall actually ginomai ‘come into being or birthed’ for them para from-close-beside My Father, the [One] in [singular] Heavens” (f). <Notes> a) Matthew 21:22; cf. Mark 11:24, b) these are not written logos messages, even of the gospel, and definitely not graphe OT scripture of gramma writings that can only produce gnosis informational-knowledge of the bible, c) John 15:7, d) John 15:16, e) Deuteronomy 17:6, 19:15; Hebrews 10:28; Matthew 18:16; 2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:19, f) Matthew 18:19.
In ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ model follow-up teaching about prayer, Jesus strongly urges using the imperative: “Ongoingly subordinately-ask and it shall [some indefinite future time] actually be given . . . [same for seeking and knocking] . . . for everyone who routinely is subordinately-asking actually, ongoingly lambano ‘grabs hold of to receive’.” We have to have trusting-relying-faith that “the Father shall actually give good things to those who are routinely subordinately-asking Him” (a), where Jesus clarifies what these are referring to: “give the Holy Spirit to them that routinely ask Him” (b), who then gives the “good things” to the Church, this being the grace-gifts of/belonging to the Holy Spirit (c). <Notes> a) Matthew 7:7-8, 11; Luke 11:9-11, b) Luke 11:13, cf. Acts 2:38, 10:45; Hebrews 6:4, c) Ephesians 4:8; Hebrews 2:4.
Finally, Paul has confidence that “God can do far more by His enabling-power than we can subordinately-ask or even imagine” (a). Therefore, Paul’s team ceaselessly routinely proseuchomai conversationally-prays to God and/coupled routinely subordinately-asking to fill the Colossians with the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of God’s will by-the-means-of pas ‘all-kinds-of’ wisdom and/coupled understanding (b) Spirit (c). We already saw John encouraging Christians to aiteo ‘subordinately ask/petition’ God to grant zoe genuine-life to another Christian found in sin as long as it isn’t currently life-threatening (d), but John isn’t telling them to eroteo entreat God concerning life-threatening sin (e) (f). From all this study, we can see that our monologue of relaying our craving, our needs, our requiring, our begging, and our demands as subordinately-asking from God can be within the practice of proseuchomai conversational-praying, but we will find that the latter involves much more of a dialogue where we listen more than talk! <Notes> a) Ephesians 3:20, b) adjectively: that belongs to the Spirit, thus Spirit-kind-of, c) Colossians 1:9, d) in other words, you have time to ongoingly ‘aiteo ask’ for deliverance from their sin, e) it’s time to act, for you to help, not go home to ‘aiteo ask’ God to help, f) 1 John 5:16.
Proseuche conversational-prayer is so much more than asking, petitioning, wishing, our giving or supplications to God. Proseuche conversational-prayer doesn’t necessarily involve petition or supplication, though this asking can certainly happen during it (a), as with petitions to remember Christians (b), for travel (c), and for needs to be met to give us hope (d). This is in keeping with the trusting-relying-faith we see that Paul has in proseuche conversational-prayer for practically everything in Christianity (e). <Notes> a) Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24; Romans 1:10; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 1:9, b) Ephesians 1:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; Philemon 1:4; Romans 15:30; Acts 12:5; Colossians 4:12, c) Philemon 1:22; Romans 1:10, d) 1 Timothy 5:5, e) Ephesians 1:15- 16, 3:14, 6:18; Romans 1:10, 8:26, 10:1, 15:30; 1 Corinthians 7:5, 11:4-5, 13; 2 Corinthians 1:11, 9:14, 13:7-9; Philippians 1:3, 4, 9, 1:19, 4:2; Colossians 1:3, 9, 4:3, 12; 1 Thessalonians 1:2, 3:10, 5:25; 2 Thessalonians 1:11, 3:1; 1 Timothy 2:1, 8, 4:5, 5:5; 2 Timothy 1:3; Philemon 1:4, 6, 22.
However sadly, many Christians think that proseuche conversational-prayer is primarily giving God our needful requests or begging pleas, as “God-fearing” Jews often did (a), when that is what supplication entirely is as we saw above, even though it is important to do so “with thanksgiving” in order to “not be anxious about anything” (b), especially to petition God to send out workers (c), before going on a mission (d), or for boldness to preach the gospel logos message (e). Nevertheless, proseuche conversational-prayer than aiteo/aitema subordinate-asking that can be synonymous with deomai/deesis supplication (f), though we need to still confidently eido ‘see’ to perceive-to-understand/know what is God is hearing from us (g). Proseuche conversational-prayer is more than erotao entreating, even if confidently because it’s in Christ’s name/authority (h). Proseuche conversational-prayer is certainly more than euche wish-petition God, even if with trusting-relying-faith to heal the sick and deliver them from sin (i) or the verb form euchomai used to wish-petition during frightening storms that you won’t die (j). <Notes> a) Acts 10:2, b) Philippians 4:6, c) Matthew 9:38; Luke 10:2, d) Romans 1:10, e) Acts 4:31, f) Philippians 4:6, g) 1 John 5:14-15, h) John 16:23-26, i) James 5:15, cf. 3 John 2, j) Acts 13:7, 9.
‘Asking’ prayer has a lot of qualifications in order to be answered. We’ve already touched on some of this. Jesus says “you shall receive if you remain/dwell in Me and/coupled My directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words remain/dwell in you” (a) and especially in order to bear fruit for God (b). James says, “You ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your own passions” (c). John says, “This is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything down-from/according-to His will He hears us, and if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, then we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him” (d). Jesus teaches much about what to “seek/strive foremost” and what to “treasure in our hearts” – it’s not our “stuff” to “worry about” or to “seek/strive after like the godless Gentiles do” but for “the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (e) and to be “laying up treasures in heaven not on earth” (f) and to be “serving God not money” (g), which is, as Paul says, just “setting your mind on things of the flesh” rather than “things of the Spirit” (h), for the “cravings of the flesh oppose the cravings of the Spirit” (i). Instead we are “not to be anxious about our lives” (j), but to have trusting-relying-faith in God to meet our “daily bread” needs (k), knowing that “your Father knows what you need before you ask Him” (l). The very last thing Jesus said we should ask for ‘Lord’s Prayer model,’ the last thing is that is often a recap of the first thing as every good speaker does, is routinely ask the Father for “the good things/grace-gift of the Holy Spirit” (m), which is the “how-to” enabling-power for the first thing we ask for “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done” (n). <Notes> a) John 15:7, b) John 15:16, c) James 4:3, d) 1 John 5:14, e) Matthew 6:32-33, f) Matthew 6:19-20, g) or the things it can buy: Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13, h) Romans 8:5, i) Galatians 5:17, j) Matthew 6:25, 31, 34; Luke 12:22, 26, k) Matthew 6:11; Luke 11:3; Philippians 4:6, l) Matthew 6:8, m) Matthew 7:11; Luke 11:13, n) Matthew 6:10; Luke 11:2.
Just as the religion of the Jews had turned God’s “house of proseuche conversational-prayer” (a) into something else – even a market place (b), the religion of church-ianity and even bible translation has turned much of biblical prayer from a proseuche conversational-prayer dialogue into primarily a monologue of many Greek words for giving God our ‘shopping list’ or ‘honey-do list.’ However, we will see the NT uses of proseuche/proseuchomai dialogue-prayer far outweigh all uses by all words combined for monologue-prayer. Yet, you would never know because of most of our English bible translations. There is something wrong with this – see Bible Info. Because of this many Christians think of God as a ‘cosmic vending machine’ or a ‘cosmic Santa Clause,’ when this is hardly the NT view of even the relatively few mentions of monologue-prayer! Can you imagine how you would feel if every time your kids came up to you, it was simply to ask for something? Well, let’s look more into what biblical prayer really is! <Notes> a) Acts 3:1, b) Matthew 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46; John 2:16.