Thursday, 13 November 2014

Pray? How? Beg? Demand? erōtaō and aiteō

Much of what we regard as prayer is actually nothing but lamenting ...

... and complaining, and listing and begging, and fighting a dead fight of unbelief.

How much of what we pray is in fact going on and on about ourselves?

Do we ever take dominion and fight the good fight of faith?

Praying and begging and crying out to God and petitioning Him is the way I prayed for many years. Later on I prayed more like a Charismatic or Pentecostal.

I considered myself an intercessor for many years

We prayed and bound and prevailed and lamented for hours as intercessors. Sometimes we would go on through the night. Sometimes we would go to specific locations (we had to be there). Sometimes would encourage each other to press-through (that's what we were taught in church). Sometimes we would follow a ritual or pattern or prescribed way that we have seen from someone somewhere before. Sometimes we were visited by powerful lead intercessors and sometimes we would lead as powerful intercessors, warring and fighting and pressing on and on and on ...

Until a few years ago when Abba Abba spoke to me.

Then, one day

I was the intercession leader in church at the time. But the Lord seriously spoke to me just by saying What are you doing? Where is the finished work of Jesus in your prayer?

And He reminded me and taught me.

I became increasingly aware of the wondrous Love and Grace of Jesus as He revealed more and more of His perfect completed work of the cross to me.

Intercession would never 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 Intercessor.
  • I can not force anything on anyone through intercession.
  • Asking the way I did was almost always from a position of unbelief, especially when now I was looking at the finished Work of the cross and His ultimate Provision.
  • Begging is unbelief and blasphemous.
  • Lamenting as I was was blasphemous considered against the finished Work of the cross.
  • Pressing in and praying until there was a break-through the way I was 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 total unbelief in light 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. Forgive. Save. Be with. Help. Fight evil. Send angels. Go with. Change. Bring. 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 ... ? Praying like this I was abandoning my god-given dominion.

But Daniel, how can you say these things?

Not me.

The Spirit of Truth and the Word of God!

There is a different way to pray

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 (erōtaō) me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask (aiteōthe Father in my name, he will give it you.
Hitherto have ye asked (aiteōnothing in my name: ask (aiteō), and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.


Jesus says to pray in that day, doesn't He?

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.

Rewind to verse 18 and you will see that Jesus 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 the One born from above, that He would come and abide in us as soon as we receive Him, and that He would give us His Spirit to 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 exists more than one word for ask (prayer). These words depend on the context and they portray different ways of asking in every situation.

So, let's look closer.

Ask one - When Jesus uses the first ask it is 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. 

So, Jesus says in that day we will beg Him nothing ...

Ask two - The second ask that Jesus uses in this sentence, saying that following that day we shall ask, is different Greek word altogether. He now uses the word aiteō,  with an all together different meaning. The meaning now is: strictly a demand of something due

Instead of begging in the old covenant way, following that day we shall now demand something already there for the taking!

Jesus talks about restored, New Testament, dominion authority!

Can you see the finished work of the cross there?

In that day ... in this day?

Let me paraphrase 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 My 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 a six 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 there 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. We already have His 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.

It is due.

I can demand what is already there!

So, now asking changes

When Jesus continues from verse 24 onward He no longer uses erōtaō but aiteō instead.

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 (aiteōnothing in my name: ask (aiteō), 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). Click here and here for more on lambano.

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 to apply and appropriate what we have received!

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

Praise Jesus!
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