Thursday, 13 November 2014

Pray? How? Beg? Demand?


Much of what we regard as prayer is actually nothing but lamenting and complaining, listing and begging, fighting a dead fight of unbelief (as against a good fight of faith) and going on and on about ourselves ...

... at least, that is the way I prayed until a few years ago when Abba Abba spoke to me.

I considered myself an intercessor for many years

We prayed and bound and prevailed and lamented for hours as intercessors, sometimes going through the night, sometimes going to specific locations (we had to be there), sometimes pressing through (that's what we were taught in church contrary to the Word of God), sometimes following a ritual or pattern or prescribed way. Sometimes we were visited by powerful lead intercessors, sometimes we lead as powerful intercessors, warring and fighting and pressing on and on and on ...

Then, one day ... 

I was the head of intercession in the church I attended at the time. But the Lord seriously spoke to me in more ways than one.

I had, at the time, become increasingly aware of the wondrous Grace of God as He revealed more and more of His perfect completed work of the cross to me.

Intercession was never to be the same again.

I came to understand

I came to understand and learn many things contrary to what I was taught, like:

Jesus is our only Intercessor.

I can not force anything on anyone through intercession.
Asking the way I did was almost always from a position of unbelief, now looking at the finished Work of the cross and His ultimate Provision.
Begging is unbelief and blasphemous.
Lamenting is blasphemous considered against the finished Work of the cross.
Pressing in and through and praying through was blasphemous considered against the finished Work of the cross.
Prayer in any prescribed, doctrinal way is nothing but law and contrary to what Jesus taught .

Impressing onto other people how to pray was nothing but my own self-centered indulgence and pride.
Fighting a war in prayer, the way I used to, was a total neglect of what Jesus did on the cross and in His resurrection - I fought a finished battle and ignored the battle that was won for me.

Who has to do something?

I came to realize that mostly when we are done praying our traditional prayers, God has a long list of tasks we require Him to do - Take away the sickness. Bless. Protect. Provide. Fight evil. Send angels. Go with. Change. Bring. Forgive. Take. Give. ... as if He did nothing on the cross! In many cases these are things He gave me authority to rule over because of the cross ... and I come to Him to ask for it ... ?

But Daniel, how can you say these things?

Not me. The Spirit of Truth and the Word of God!

Jesus explained the difference between an old covenant prayer and a New Testament prayer in John 16:23:
And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 
What day?

The day that the full price was paid completely and forever! 

Jesus was answering his disciples when they asked Him concerning what is this that he saith, A little while we cannot tell what he saith in verse 18 and was explaining to them what would happen with Him going to the cross. He explained both his death and resurrection as well as His purpose. That He who was born from above would come and abide in us as soon as we receive Jesus, and that His Spirit would empower us and work through us making our joy complete.

... and the asking part?

Then follows verse 23 quoted above that is so significant.

In the Greek there exist at least five to ten words for ask (prayer). These words depend on the context and they portray a different way of asking in every situation.

When Jesus uses the first ask he uses the word erōtaō which, coming from the root Greek word, according to James Strong, means in this context to: ask a favour, beg, beseech, desire, intreat, pray; to question, ascertain by inquiry (as a matter of information merely) - the way old covenant people used pray.

The second ask that Jesus uses follwing this sentence is a different word. He now uses the word aiteō with an all together different meaning. The meaning now is: strictly a demand of something due!

Can you see the finished work of the cross there?

In that day ... in this day?

Le me translate into simple English. Jesus says in this day (today) you will no longer beg Me but as an absolute truth I tell you, when you will demand whatever is due (provided for by His finished work on the cross and beyond), the Father, in My Name, He will give to you.

How can we demand from God?

You see, It's like my 10 year-old. When the scullery is stocked to the roof with sweets and candy and all sorts of nice things, she asks knowing fully well that it is there ... in fact she goes about declaring it, proclaiming it, confirming it. Her asking is different. She knows it is for her. In an instant she would fling the door wide open and receive and take hold of what is already provided right there. That is quite different from begging and asking and pleading for something not yet provided.

It is the same with Jesus. That is why we come boldly to Him. Not asking for a favour. He has already blessed us with ALL spiritual blessings and favours. He Who gave His only begotten, beloved Son, how will He then not also give us all things?

There is no need for me to do all sorts of silly prayers. I am His beloved and He, the Beloved is in me! I am a Kingdom heir! I am the recipient of His unmerited Favour, His Kindness, His Goodness, His prosperity and abundance. I can demand what is already there!

So, now asking changes

When Jesus continues from verse 24 onward He continues with only the word aiteō. We can lay hold of it. Demand it. It is given. It is finished! Blessed be His Name!

What follows?

Again Jesus explains in verse 24:

Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full

Using the word aiteō He explains how that if we demand what is done (finished), we shall receive (lambanō).

Lambanō is that beautiful Greek word explaining what we need to do most of all:

to take 
to obtain 
to hold 
to take hold of 
to open your hands and receive 
to embrace 
to be amazed 
to make it your own

... and not only that. We get yo apply and appropriate what we have received!

Isn't His Grace just tooooo much for you to ever comprehend?

Praise Jesus!
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