This morning I was asking Daddy what prayer is suppose to look like in my life. After watching a recent movie that is coming out on prayer where an elderly Christian woman cleared out all her clothes in her closet so she could pray there, I was pondering this. I realized that I had a preconceived idea of what it was “suppose” to look like to pray even the location. I’m not saying the praying is a closet isn’t right, if that’s your cup of tea and that is where you enjoy to be then have at it. The key word here is enjoy. For me it was locking myself away somewhere, in a closet, a special spot with my bible and journal, waking up at the wee hours of the morning trying to start my day right and then setting forth my requests before him, tired and miserable, it was a sort of begging and pleading session.
Praise God, I have since come to realize that I don’t need to get up early, sit in a certain spot, or beg Daddy. He wants us to enjoy prayer with him. He began to reveal to me some wrong thinking I have had. He reminded me that I am no longer a slave but a child of the most high God, just as my children don’t need to beg me for things that are good for them I don’t need to beg Daddy. If my daughter asks me for an apple do I make her beg for it or get it for her. I get it for her and I core it and peel it because I know that is how she likes to eat it and it is my joy to do so.
When we begin to understand the power we have living inside of us, that same power that raised Jesus from the dead, and we walk in the intimate relationship open to us with Daddy, the way we pray naturally changes. Our prayers don’t sound like begging anymore, we don’t do it out of obligation, but they become more of a declaring of the promises we have in Christ. It becomes constant communication with the one we love. It becomes an intimate time of friendship and revelation.
He was reminding me that prayer is constant communication with him, wherever I am and when ever I desire as he is always with me. He showed me that I was praying constantly to him as I was simply carry on that very conversation. That is what prayer is an intimate conversation with our Daddy. Just as I was sitting there asking him about what prayer looked like I was praying. I realized that my old view of what prayer should be had lead me to feel condemned; where as this new understanding of prayer was birthing forth freedom and life. I began to think what does that word Prayer even mean? So I started digging as I love to do and found the following definitions of the word prayer used in the new testament.
(I like to use the site biblehub.com to look up verses, as it is free and easy to use. You can use the Lexicon tab at there site to get the Greek and Hebrew definition of words, or you can simply look online for a concordance if you don’t have one. All numbers mentioned here are for Strongs. I have a more exhaustive Strongs than what is on the Bible.hub site if you wonder why some definitions are a little different)
When I converse with God and ask him about things and he answers me, there is a wish and an exchange of knowledge that happened. I love that this word references to proximity, being near to. As I realize that I am near to Daddy, and he is always with me I understand my standing with him. Sometimes we think he is far away up in heaven but that isn’t true, he is right here with us, his spirit inside of us.
Erotao (2065) make request from special footing, intimacy. To request on a footing of equality or familiarity that lends authority to the request.
When we understand our position as Son/Daughter, and that we are seated at the right hand of God, our prayers become bolder, more assured. (Eph 2:6) We request them in the intimacy of our relationship with Daddy expectant and confident.
Parakaleo (3870) to summon, invite from close beside, to make a call from being close up and personal, to offer up evidence that stands in God’s court.
Again we see the intimacy we stand in, being close up and personal with Daddy, if we are seated at his right hand we need only look over and make our requests known to him. I love that we can offer up evidence, we can speak forth our promises to him that we were given in Christ , we can declare the truth and speak it forth with the power of our words.
Euchomai (2172) is used of wishes not necessarily God-Birthed, unlike Proseuchomai which are God birthed. (HELPS Word-Studies) This word is only used in two verses 2 Cor 13:7, where the apostle is speaking to the Corinthian church and in James 5:17 which speaks of the Old Testament.
The last and final reference I found to prayer was Deomai (1189), which means request and beg because of lack. (Keep reading as this isn’t for you and me anymore if you are a believer.)
The following verses contained this word
Matt 9:38, and Luke 10:2, where Jesus is speaking to the apostles to pray for more workers. (This is pre-cross)
Luke 21:36-Jesus speaking to the Pharisees (again pre-cross)
Acts 8:22,24-Apsotles Speaking to unbeliever Simon who wanted to buy the apostles gifts of the Holy Spirit
Acts 8:34 Reference to Old Testament
2 Corinthians 5:20-Apostles begging disciples to be reconciled.
Due to Jesus we no longer have to beg, we are in an intimate position with him where we can make our requests known from that level of authority.
Daddy lead me to two verses this morning as I was asking him why some prayer isn’t answered.
And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.
All-Pas: one piece at a time, each part of a totality
Ask (aiteo): ask, desire, beg
Prayer (4335): towards, exchange, wish/prayer
Believing: Pisteuo (4100) have faith in (from 4102-pistis, derived from 3982-be persuaded) Faith is God persuading us of the truth to the point that we thus believe. Belief comes from God’s persuasion and is never from our own works.
Receive: actively lay hold of, lay hold of aggressively, accepting what is offered and available, accept the invitation.
I use to think that it was because I didn’t believe enough that my prayers weren’t being answered but that isn’t true as that puts the effort of believing on my own works. This verse is showing us that we can ask for all things, every part we wish for and through Daddys persuasion we will lay hold of it and accept what he is offering.
For example, this morning I came to Daddy asking him to show me what prayer meant, that was my wish, his exchange with me was his wisdom and revelation, he convinced me that prayer no longer looked the way I thought it did (exposed a false thinking). His persuasion allowed me to believe and lay hold, aggressively accept the truth offered. Praise God! Daddy said to me I invite you into belief by persuading you with my love. I exchange with you my wishes as you give me yours, when you are persuaded by me, to the point of believing, then you can actively lay hold of and accept my offer.
The other verse he lead me too was James 4:3
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend [it] on your pleasures.
Ask: is same as in Matt 21:22, ask, desire, beg
Not Receive: (2983) Lambano=actively lay hold of to take or receive, lay hold of aggressively, accepting what is offered. Sounding familiar yet with the above verse on receive.
Wrong Motive (2560-Katos) adverbial form of (2556) Kakos- which is from the root (2549) kakia-inner malice, rotten (poisoned), dealing with character, worthless. Here is where it gets interesting, the word Poneros refers to the effects of Kakos.(See strong 2556 reference here to see the link) Poneros which is often translated evil in the New Testament but means: to toil, pain, laborious trouble and comes from the word Ponos (4192)which means to toil. Toil is defined as hard work, labor, exert oneself, slave, strive, work one’s fingers to the bone. Daddy’s will
Spend (1159): waste, squander, spend ones time, energy, resources, to exert great effort by doing something
Pleasures (2237) sensual pleasures, gratification of sinful desires (desires stemmed from unbelief)
I think it’s important here to first get a correct definition of sin, I believe sin is unbelief. Not believing God was the original sin in the Garden. Out of unbelief actions flow, but I believe all actions the world would define as sin come from the root of unbelief.
This divine law isn’t what some of you are probably thinking, as I myself once did, a set of rules and regulations. If we BELIEVE in Jesus and are saved, we are under the New Covenant of Grace the new covenant obedience is simply BELIEF. Please note that obedience properly defined is the hearing and agreeing with God, it’s the response to what is heard. (5218) It is agreeing with who Daddy says we are, righteous, justified, perfect, Holy, and on and on. Hence disobedience would be disagreeing not believing what is heard/said and still striving/toiling to obtain it by your own works.
2) Hamartia (266) –self-originating, self-empowered, inward element producing acts. This shows us sin is coming from self, inward
We are righteous, wether we believe it or not it’s who we are. The choice is always ours, just as it was in the beginning to believe the truth or not Unrightouesness is unbelief; it is not seeing our equitality of character to our creator. It is not seeing in intention in creation, his desire for intimacy. Likewise righteousness is seeing and believing the equity of our character and actions, it is walking in out divine approval, it is being fully persuaded of our justness in the eyes of God by the free gift of his Grace that came from Jesus. (Romans 3:24)
My paraphrase of James 4:3 So I ask and do not lay hold of what I ask for as I have a defiled view of my true identity, which leads to me toiling/laboring unto my own efforts squandering what I have been given (Grace) by my own great efforts to satisfy my personal gratification of my self work.
Unbelief is the key here; I am not believing daddy, but my own works. Daddy loves me too much to grant me something that will put me under the bondage of toil and labor that he paid so much to get me out of.
May we ask in assurance of our identity in him today and stand on the promises he has given us. May we be persuaded to the point of belief in all areas of our likeness of Christ until we actively lay hold to all that is already ours. May we stop striving in all areas for what has already been given to us and sink into the lazy boy of his Grace and rest in his goodeness and simply receive from the one who loves us the most.