Friday, March 22, 2019

When prayer is present imperative ...


Our pre-existing environment for Prayer.

Our relationship for prayer is already present in a continuous mode, ever present from the beginning and through eternity. Luke’s Gospel gives more space and clarity to this environment in the 11thchapter of Luke. Matthew’s Gospel being earlier sets if off.

In Luke a disciple, unnamed, asks, “teach us to pray as John’s disciples.” Teach is in the aorist imperfect meaning action in the present now. Jesus begins with what is commonly called the Lord’s prayer.

In the Lord’s prayer are verbs of interest. Hallowed, come, be done, are all in the aorist imperative meaning now, in the present. Give changes to aorist imperative where giving will be continuous in the present. The giving has no beginning or ending, it is ongoing. We are in a pre-existing environment. And it is each day which re-enforces the continuous. Forgive moves back and puts the focus on what we are to do in the present now. Deliver in "deliver us from evil" is also aorist imperative with a focus on the present now.

The prayer environment in the verb forms move back and forth between a focus on the present now and continuously. This gets expanded as Luke continues with the start from Matthew. Luke adds a story of needing to get bread from someone who has already retired for the night. The disturbance causes (what was to be continuos, rest for the night} to be interrupted by the persistence (aorist imperative) of the intruder. Permission granted to intrude on God in a present now.

Here is where Matthew and Luke unite in their verb forms which expand on our prayer environment with Luke 11:1-13 and Matthew 7:7-12  

We are to ask, seek, and knock continuously in the present. There is no indication of time out. And if we do take time out what we left continues. We are in a prayer environment as the air around us. Prayer becomes part of our autonomic nervous system where our prayers continue while other areas of consciousness take center stage. Coming back reaffirms, adds to, revises, what we ask, seek, knock. At all times we are ready and open for the outcomes of these three modes. Aha! Moments await us. 


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