The Meaning of Prayer and Supplication

March 24, 2014

The Meaning of Prayer and Supplication

 Part 1

The Word

Text: Acts 2:41-42; Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6-7; Matthew 18:18

Authority, Transparency, Unity

Life together for the early Church was centered under steadfast teaching of the truth under the authority of the Word, with leadership appointed by Jesus. He gives the same kind of leadership to the Church today (Ephesians 4:11-12). Fellowship was transparent, and they continued in the “breaking of bread” to foster a unity of spirit.

…and Prayers

Not just the singular prayer, but plural — in all manner of prayings. Not even counting those expressions of worship, thanksgiving, and praise that are exalting to the name of the Lord, but in just those terms that speak of our approach to God to petition, to entreat, to make request or specific call for action, there are no less than eight or nine expressions used in the N/T scriptures basically wrapped up in three concepts:

  • General kinds of prayers, asking, beseeching the Lord
  • Supplication
  • Intercession

They include:

  • Prayer that invokes God’s blessing
  • The generic term of praying to God
  • The beseeching or imploring of the Lord, almost begging, but not as a beggar.
  • The explicit asking, calling to Him with a desire of our heart
  • Prayer that is a binding action

It’s this binding action that comes into relationship with the term supplication.

Whenever we pray, something happens of divine intervention. Ephesians 6:18 underscores prayer in the sense of spiritual warfare because we are a people that are going toward the Lord in a generation that is moving away from the Lord.

His good grace toward us

The word used most commonly in N/T scripture for prayer is proseuchomai Three things comprise the word: the preposition that means “toward,” the EU—we use that for eulogy—meaning good. The ending of the term is from the Greek word for grace. If you were to put it all together it is known to mean prayer, but the whole concept used here in Acts 2 is talking about coming toward the Lord on the basis of His good grace toward us.

Coming toward the Lord because we have full acceptance. It emphasizes that movement toward Him on the grounds of grace, on the grounds of what He will do for us irrespective of what we have done. That’s not only in terms of receiving the forgiveness of God for your sins but also regarding your petitions in prayer.

The early Church was not just piling up hours of prayers (Matthew 6:7). The compounding of prayers — praying continually — was built on the fact that they knew that they had good access to the grace of God, and they were moving toward Him, seeking to see His kingdom worked as they were praying. They were asking on the basis of His grace.

This term is interesting also because of the two other words between which it appears in the Greek lexicon. The preceding word means “to approach, to move toward, or to come toward where you’re accepted.” It seems the Lord even arranged a language with its surrounding and related words to make a speech to us. The one just before saying, to come toward Him in open approach. The word following it means to hold toward.

This skein of words convey the whole concept of prayer. To make a bold approach to the Lord, to ask on the basis of His good grace, and then “hang in there,” and hold on.

Wishing You and Yours A Merry Christmas

December 21, 2013

During this most auspicious occasion of our celebrating Christmas I wanted to admonish you that as we get caught up with the shopping, eating, present giving and getting along with all the wonderful eats which most of us will share with friends and family around our tables, let’s not forget the wonderful amazing reason for the season!

For it was over two thousand years ago when the Sovereign of the Universe left His Thrown in Glory, conceived in a virgin and carried for nine months, traveled to a little town called Bethlehem where there was no room for her to deliver her baby but a barn full of animals which had a feeding troth for the animals which she laid her new born Son in and wrapped Him in swaddling clothe. This Child grew and became a Man who after thirty three years gave His life on a cross that we might have eternal life and live and be with Him forever.

God because He loved us so much gave up the life of His Son Christ Jesus to die for our sins and that we might have life and have it more abundantly. So as you’re hanging stockings around the fireplace and Christmas tree this year please keep Christ in Christmas and hang a stocking for Him! And in that stocking fill it with love, charity, gratitude, and most importantly Praise for the one who sacrificed it all that we might live.

And from our family to yours we say, Glory to God in the Highest, Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards all men! Merry Christmas!

Prayer Fasting and Supplication

September 17, 2013

Today is Fast, Prayer and Supplication day at the Craig household, and it is always amazing to me how this flesh of mine just screams out for attention in areas and for things that as a rule I would never want or consider!

There has never been a time when I’ve thought that a Macdonald hamburger was even appealing yet, today one was flashed up on my screen as I was finishing a meditation for CMoTWS&F website and immediately my flesh began craving for this horrible for my health hamburger!

Isn’t it common that when we are denied something we want it more or when we are told that we can’t do something we often will go out of our way to do it! I have come to the awareness that my flesh if its desires were left unchecked would have more over eating to the point of obesity and death, over drinking to the point of total dependence upon alcohol or death, over canalization to the point of abomination or death and over selfish and prideful to the point of human alienation, isolation, hatred and murder!

Galatians 5:16-26 warns us against our flesh and admonishes us in this manner; “16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
I thank my God for His truths and for shinning His light on the depravity of my heart if it were not kept in check by the divine power of His Holy Spirit. Let no one deceive you or let not you be deceived by yourself. All of the emotions and passions we are bombarded with are those that are common to a fallen human race! Only through Jesus Christ and the acceptance of His perfect liberty which He secured for you and me on the Cross are we set free from the bondage, power and sting of sin and death.

Crucify your Flesh and crucify it regularly! Have a great Week!

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