Friday, January 3, 2014

The Bossy Prayer

I’m still trying to teach myself Greek (Step One of a larger project).  On New Year’s Day, I reviewed the Imperative verb tense, which is the command mode as in-- Do This!  Do Not Do That!  One of the examples given in the workbook was taken from the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13.  

Imagining the Lord’s Prayer as the issuing of commands intrigues me.  The first three command are indirect--
Your name be sanctified!
Your kingdom come!
Your will be done!

The next three orders are directed straight at God--
Hey God! Give Us Daily Bread!
You There!  Forgive Us!
Yo Divine One!  Deliver Us!

Prayer as Imperative, that’s the part that gets to me the most because my mode of praying is supplicative.  Ordering God around in prayer feels rude and disrespectful. But what if Jesus is giving his followers permission to do just that?  This would be consistent with his commands to Ask, Seek, Knock (Matthew 7:7, Luke 11:9) in prayer.

Prayer as an emphatic statement of my desire, no holding back, no false meekness, a guileless expression of what I think God should do in a situation, what I demand from the Divine.  I am stunned by the implications.  

Politeness is not needed.  Displaying proper etiquette is not what’s called for.  Decorum, modesty, and propriety are suspended.  Miss Manners needs to step aside and let Little Miss Bossy Pants have free range.

How do I make the switch from praying in the supplicative to praying in the imperative mode?  I’m going to start by repeating the Lord’s Prayer and making it more insistent.  Baby Steps first, and then I’ll see how things grow from there.

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