Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Word Study Wednesday: Prayer and Supplication

I've decided to start a series on prayer. Prayer is our way of communicating with our Heavenly Father, therefore it is a necessity. I believe there are different types of prayers - prayers for healing, warfare, emergencies, daily conversation, and needful prayers. Today's study explains one way of presenting our requests to the Lord.

Phillipians 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." (ESV)

I've heard this verse many, many times - so much so that I never really paid attention to the meaning of the words anymore, but rather recited them from memory. As I prepared for this study, I became curious of the word supplication. The Greek word for supplication is "deesis" (pronounced deh-ay-sis) and it means "prayer, request, supplication" (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance). So, reading the verse with this definition, it sounds like "...but in everything by prayer and prayer..." but that seems a bit repetitive. I then looked supplication up on and it defined it as a "humble prayer."

I also looked up the definition for prayer and it seemed to make the verse a bit clearer. The Greek word for prayer is "proseuche" (pronounced pros-yoo-khay), meaning "prayer (worship)."

Now I read the verse as "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by worshipful prayer and humble prayer and thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

This is how Jesus prayed when He was in the garden before His arrest. Mark 14:36 says "And he said, 'Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what You will." He worshipped the Lord by acknowledging His power - "all things are possible for You..." Then he humbly asked the Lord to take away his cup, but "not what I will, but what You will." Jesus didn't list off his accomplishments or say why he deserved not to die. He put aside his will and prayed for God's will.

Present your requests to God in a humble and worshipful matter. Most importantly, pray for His will, not yours.


Melyssa said...

I find I have a lot of mini-prayers through out the day. When I think of a friend, something good happens, something is bothering me or I get a bit scared. I think of it sort of like sending a text message or an instant message to my Heavenly Father.

I like how you broke this one down. I think we may have lost of a lot in all of the translations of the Bible (from Ancient Greek ending up in English). From what I've been told the Ancient Greek makes more sense and is more specific.

As always, great job. Thanks for posting!

Robbie Iobst said...

Worshipful prayer. Humble prayer. I am going to really think about this one, Jo. Thank you and I am excited to see what more God will teach me through you!

Joanna said...

Thank you for your comments.

Melyssa - I know what you mean - I pray mini-prayers throughout the day as well. It's how we communicate.

Robbie - I'm glad you enjoy my posts. Trust me, I'm excited to see what God wants me to learn as well.

smithsk said...

Great post, Joanna - I needed that. And I really like Melyssa's metaphor of sending a text message to God.

Denise Miller Holmes said...

We are taught to come boldly to the throne but also to be humble in our prayers. Jesus example of requesting then asking the Father for His will to be done is the perfect example of how this works. Good post, Jo.