But is it Prayer? Proseuche!


Passing on something that has helped and encouraged, challenged and focused me in strong ways…. The most frequent word in the New Testament for “prayer” is the Greek word “proseuche.” I’ll keep this short, but THINK about the ramifications of this. The first part of the word, “pros,” means to “belong to” or “come near to” or “to pertain to” or “draw nigh.” It means “DRAWING VERY CLOSE” as if to speak something clear and intimate from very close proximity. How could God possibly view a “one way” relationship, with requests but no belonging or nearness? You know.

The second part of the most frequent word for prayer is “euche” (ooo-kay, or yoo-kay, depending on who taught the Greek class). This word means a desire, a passion, or a vow. It implies a surrender and capitulation, a sacrifice and a promise. Is it prayer, then, if there is no giving of who we are, in reality rather than generality?

When I pray, when you pray, do we view it in our hearts as DRAWING VERY NEAR TO OUR FATHER, IN A HEART-POSTURE OF SACRIFICE and exchanging our very life TO MAKE A VOW TO OUR GOD, as we present our case, our desires, our needs, our intercession for others? “Prayer is a place of decision, an altar where we freely vow to give our lives and desires to God, in exchange for His Life.” Prayer, proseuche, is not offering a wish list of our desires to a far away God. That would be BORING, and not very fruitful anyway. But, PROS-EUCHE is to draw very near, belonging to Father—to make our vow TO Him, as we present our requests, needs, and confessions, our worship and our intercessions for others.

Can it even BE “proseuche”—“prayer,” really, if it doesn’t involve “drawing near” and “vowing” in sacrifice and love? So, when I pray next time, will I be PRAYING? I want to. What will I say, how will I act, that will demonstrate to Him I am drawing near rather than drifting through shallow or ritualistic self-centered words? How can I show Him that this is TWO WAY, and I am paying near and dear attention to Him, as I desire and need from Him? What IS my “vow” to Him, specifically? What am I clearly offering Him and vowing of costly things to me, beyond vague generalities? When I pray next time, will I be PRAYING, PROS-EUCHE? Ooooo! Exciting stuff!


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