The Biblical Meaning of Desire – Six Categories

Prayer A to Z

Here is a biblical study of the term desire. I thought it would be beneficial, in my study of prayer, to get a thorough understanding of this term desire, since prayer has so much to do with it. The biblical meaning of desire is quite broad. In my study I found sixteen Hebrew and Greek words translated as desire, and have put them in the following six categories:

To delight in: Hebrew – chapets, taavah.  This term, as indicated by these two Hebrew words and their verses, convey the idea of delighting in, to be pleased with, satisfied with, and to incline toward.  Thus the meaning here is that when we desire a thing it brings us pleasure and satisfaction, and we are drawn toward it.  The desire could be for good or for evil.  Most of the references I found in conjunction with these words…

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10 Forms of Prayer

Prayer A to Z

 

The forms of prayer are simply the various expressions of our personal life toward God that agree with the various moods or attitudes we have or choose to have.  Thus the many forms of prayer are quite endless, for there are as many forms of prayer as man has characteristics of personal life—as he has moods or attitudes.  Here are ten forms of prayer, which I will describe briefly:

1. The prayer of adoration. We should adore God in all our praying, but generally, this is the way we should begin our prayers (and our day)—saying, “Hallowed be Thy name.”

2. The prayer of confession. This is the only form of prayer that should come out of our lips when we have sinned.  For, it is the only form (or expression) that would be true and honest.  Moreover, without confession fellowship with God would be impossible.

3. The prayer of thanksgiving. We…

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9 Descriptions of Prayer by Various Authors

Prayer A to Z

Prayer is so very basic, yet it is also so deep and boundless in it meaning. In my reading I have found nine different descriptions of prayer.

 1. Prayer is asking and receiving. According to E.M. Bounds, “Prayer is the outstretched arms of the child for the Father’s help.  Prayer is the child’s cry calling to the Father’s ear…Prayer is the seeking of God’s greatest good, which will not come if we do not pray.”

Matthew 7:7-8 says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

Again E. M. Bounds writes, “Prayer is asking, seeking and knocking at a door for something we have not, which we desire, and which God has promised to us…Prayer is the voice of need crying out to Him who is inexhaustible in resources.  Prayer is helplessness reposing with childlike confidence on…

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The News: Is Changing the Channel the Solution?

Changing the news channel is the solution to so many conservatives these days. I can see how that will reduce your stress and give you peace. But is that the real solution? Can you really go through life without knowing what’s going on in the world? Doesn’t God want you to be aware of things so you can pray intelligently? Isn’t it our Christian duty to try to make our country and our world a better place? If we are commanded by God to pray for our leaders, should we not also know what to pray for them (1 Tim. 2:2)?

I know that almost all of the news these days is slanted toward the left side. But there are things we can do. When I read the newspaper, I generally just read the title and only as much as I can stand. And I always talk to myself about it and ask questions. Here are four articles headlines I read—with my comments and questions.

Parents relieved as Pfizer seeks child vaccine approval

–But how many parents really want this?

Trump tried to pressure atty. General

Yes, he was trying to do what’s right! He was trying to stop the election fraud! Is anyone tired of all the Trump bashing?

Senate Ok’s temporary debt limit extension

–Is that really good news? Do we really want more debt?

Biden makes case for vaccine requirements

Is that good to take away our freedom?

I think it is important to ask questions. Also, I think it is important to have alternative news sources—other than the mainstream sources. Fox news is still fairly good. I know that they have tried to plug in those liberal voices to make it fair or something, but you have a brain and you can see what voices are the best.

Check your radio stations. Here in Minnesota, there are a number of channels that have more conservative voices. Here is a list of them that I think are fairly good.

  • Clay Travis and Buck Sexton program (they are replacements to Rush Limbaugh)
  • Sean Hannity show
  • Jay Sekulow

Three Types of Petitions—from the Disciples Prayer

Prayer A to Z

The following article is an excerpt from this book.

When we look at the Disciples Prayer (or The Lord’s Prayer), I believe we see three types of petitions that Jesus taught (Matthew 6:8-13).

 1. Invocation

We get this idea from the first three requests:  “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name; Your Kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

This first type of petition, according to Jennings, is the invocation of our prayer; it is the summoning of the Spirit of God that He would come to us and be God to us, to help us pray and do His will.5  

Yes, it is asking Him to help us pray that His name be hallowed–let Your name be hallowed. And bring your kingdom to us; and bring your will to us.

But it is even more than that.  It is asking…

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Update: Life Changes

Church change. I have been praying about this and churning it over in my mind for a few months. And I finely now have made the change. I feel a little sad about it—not to see certain folks regularly. But I feel I must move on to what I think is the right move. I’m not going to talk about the reasons, but there are doctrinal reasons. So, I feel that I am following the Lord, but yet I am sad. I feel a peace about it. Yet I know there will be struggles, and I must endure them and push on.

Working less. This last summer I worked much more that I figured I would. And I was suffering in the heat—90-degree heat for many days. I think I have to push myself to slow down. I have resolved to take more days off between jobs—I’m a house painter; semi-retired. And I will take only easy jobs. I will not quit working completely, because I really like what I do. But I also like days off and having time to write and read more, etc.

Health issues. I’m finding that I’m having more and more health issues—because of my age I suppose. But it is also a challenge to concentrate more on good eating habits and regular exercise, etc. Nobody wants to be sick—unless you have a death wish. I know that much sickness in people is because of heredity. But we can’t use that as an excuse. We all, especially us older folks, must work extra hard to keep ourselves healthy—watch our diet, exercise, and deal with any illnesses. And I find that daily prayer is very helpful. I follow the Jabez prayer. Why not? He prayed that God would bless him and keep him from harm (1 Chron. 4:10).

The Petition Part of Prayer

Prayer A to Z

 

As I see it, from my study of this topic, there are two very basic natures or meanings of prayer: (1) petition, and (2) soul to soul communication with God (which really includes all parts of prayer). In this post we will focus on petition.

According to the original Biblical words translated for us as “prayer,” every Hebrew and Greek word I studied (three Hebrew words and eight Greek words) indicate that prayer is petition—asking God for something.  It is an expression of a wish or a desire; Christian prayer is an expression of a wish or desire to God.  We see this particularly in the following Greek words: euchomai (to pray to God, to wish for), deomai (to desire, to want, to ask, and to beg), and deesis (a wanting, a needing, then an asking, entreaty, and supplication).

Here we see in these words that desire comes first…

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What Is the Meaning of Prayer?

Prayer A to Z

There are so many different views on the meaning of prayer.  One author, John R. Rice, says that prayer is nothing but petition.  He insists that prayer is not meditation or communion or spiritual enjoyment or praise or confession or humiliation; “[it is simply] asking something definitely from God.”1

Many other authors (that Rice would say are liberal or modern) seem to say the opposite—that prayer is fellowship and communion and friendship with God, and not a demand for His gifts. For example, E. M. Bounds said, “Prayer is communion and intercourse with God. It is enjoyment of God.”2

Ronald Dunn seems to agree with Rice.  He wrote, “Prayer is an act. While we should live in an attitude of prayer, prayer is more than an attitude.”3

Others I have read would disagree.  They would say that since prayer is communion and fellowship with God that would…

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The Puritans: A book by D. M. Lloyd-Jones

I have finished blogging through the book The Sermon on the Mount, by D. M. Lloyd-Jones. Now I am reading another of his books, The Puritans: Their Origins and Successors. Again, as is the habit of Lloyd-Jones, the book is actually taken directly from his sermons. This book is a compilation of messages from yearly conferences on the subject of the Puritans; they met in Westminster Chapel in London, from 1959 to 1978. And so, I intend to blog through the book as I am reading it. We will see how it goes. The first chapter is on the history of revival, and I intend to just put down in my words those portions that I have highlighted. Here goes.

  • He starts out by telling where revival has not broken out: the Roman Catholic Church, the Unitarian Church, and the Anglican Church. And he gives the reason; that they have confined the Holy Spirit.
  • But there was great revival in other places: Northern Ireland, Scotland, Germany. The moving of the Spirit came to America through Jonathan Edwards, to Whitefield and to the Wesleys and others.
  • Charles Finney was known for the way he created revival by his methods: his evangelistic campaigns, etc. It was interesting how he had sort of a formula to bring it about. Whereas others just waited for it and prayed.
  • With some groups there has seemed to be very little interest in revival: the Calvinistic brethren, Charles Hodge, the Plymouth Brethren, and others. They disliked it because of all the emotion and phenomenon related to it; they didn’t trust it.
  • Even the Puritans themselves didn’t seem to teach anything about revival.
  • The Plymouth Brethren thought it was wrong to pray for revival, because they said, the Holy Spirit had been given already at Pentecost. They said that nowhere in Scripture are we taught to pray for revival.
  • The church seems to be divided into two groups: those that are only interested in the emotional and unusual things accompanied by revival, and the group that distrust all unusual things. But they are both wrong.
  • The history of the development of the church is largely a history of revival.
  • An important point is this: salvation always starts by revival. Salvation is a work of the Spirit. And that work happens suddenly on the soul when the soul is suddenly revived.
  • Man cannot start a revival. It comes when God decides. And he cannot stop it either. God brings it, keeps it going and stops it when He chooses.

Conclusion

We are called above everything else to pray for revival. Let us pray for the outpouring of the Spirt of God, just as they did between the Ascension and Pentecost. Let us stir ourselves up to take hold of God.

Why Prayer is Necessary: #9 – To Carry Out God’s Work

God is at work in heaven and on earth. He works in heaven through Christ who sits at His Father’s right hand, and He works on earth through the Holy Spirit in us. 

God’s work in heaven.  The work of Christ in heaven is His intercession, of which, according to L. Berkhof, the following elements are found: (1) the offering of Himself as the perfect sacrifice having been completed;  (2) the appearing of Himself now before God as a representative of his people (Hebrews 9:24);  (3) the perpetual presence of the completed sacrifice of Christ before God—being a constant reminder of His perfect atonement;  (4) Christ’s appearing before God now as our Justifier—and He is constantly reminding God that we are justified in Him;  (5) Christ’s appearing before God now as the sanctifier of our prayers and our services;  (6) Christ’s loving care for His people, helping them in their difficulties, trials and temptations (Hebrews 4:15); and finally (7) it is prayer for all believers: for all our spiritual needs, for protection against dangers and against the enemy who constantly threatens and accuses us, that our faith will not cease, and that we will be victorious in the end.4

The prayers and intercession of Christ is absolutely necessary, both for our help on this earth and for our completed salvation; for though His atoning work on earth has been completed, He now and forever must remind God of that former work and be our Representative and our Justifier.  This of course is no problem for Christ, because He is God—He is perfect and lives forever.  As Hebrews 7:24-25 states, He abides forever, holding His priesthood permanently.  Hence, also, he is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

God’s work on earth.  On the whole, God’s work is to get people to believe in Jesus so that they might live forever with Him; for as Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent” (Jn. 6:29). 

Now if we were to briefly describe the work of God on earth, we would start with the work of His Son Jesus Christ.  The work of Christ while on this earth was to die for our sins in order that He might bring us to God (1 Pet. 3:18).  That work has already been accomplished.  And so, having completed His work on earth, He returned to His Father in heaven.  And there, He is working as our advocate to complete our salvation through His intercession. 

But God sent another advocate to help us here on the earth—the Holy Spirit, who abides with us forever (Jn. 14:16).  He is the one who continues God’s work on this earth—that of helping people to believe in Jesus (John 16:8-9), guiding them into all truth (Jn. 16:13), and dispensing grace to them whenever they need it.  For He being the Spirit of Christ is full of grace and truth (Jn.1:14).

Now, one of the ways in which the Holy Spirit helps us is by interceding for us as we pray—since we do not know how to pray as we should.  He tells us what to pray for and how to pray for those things.  He shows us the will of God and how to pray according to His will (Rom. 8:27).  He also makes us believe how necessary it is for us to pray for certain things, and then urges us on in prevailing prayer.

Here are three elements of God’s work, in terms of prayer, that we should be involved in:

1. Prayer for workers.  Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Therefore beseech the lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest” (Matt. 9:37-38).

2. Prayer for Faith. When Jesus came into His own town, among His own people, the Bible says, “He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief” (Matt. 13:57-58).  We must conclude by this that the reverse is also true—that where there is faith many works of God will be done. 

In order for the works of God to be done in your town you must pray for faith.  In fact I suggest that you saturate your town with believing prayer. Then, as God begins to work, you will see the power of God become unleashed causing many to believe.     

3. Prayer for deliverance and victory.  Satan will do everything he can to discourage us.  Prayer is necessary for our deliverance and victory.  When Peter was arrested and put in prison, while he was held there to be mistreated and killed, the church of God was fervently praying for his deliverance.  And on that very night when prayers were made, an angel miraculously delivered him (Acts 12:6-17). 


4 L. Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand rapids, Michigan:  WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1979), pp. 400-404.