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I take this opportunity to remind you that begging has nothing to do with the supplications that can be read in the Bible. One might actually think that making supplications is like begging. But that is not the case. In order for everyone to have a clear vision, we will quickly focus on the explanation of the supplication.
The Bible speaks in many places of prayers and supplications. Several words have been translated as "supplication", but we will only take the Greek word DEESIS. This is used in:
Ephesians 6:18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints
Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
1 Timothy 2: 1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,
1 Timothy 5:5 Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day.
In the above passages, the word supplication is therefore DEESIS. It means: To pray for a specific need, to plead his cause, with humility.
This has nothing to do with a person who begs, insists excessively, a bit like a caprice. In the case we are studying, supplication is a determined form of action, in order to obtain something I need, by showing humility, submission. Praying with supplications is therefore a form of prayer in which I position myself as a son or daughter, with humility, without any self-importance.
We will notice that the Bible does not speak of prayers of supplication, but rather of prayers, and of supplications.
There are therefore no several ways of praying, there is only one, but to this way of praying we can add states, such as supplication for instance. Prayer is one thing, supplication is another.
It is interesting to see that in Hebrew supplications have a definition that well complements the definition of the word DEESIS in Greek. In the old covenant several Hebrew words have been translated by the same word "supplications". This can certainly confuse us sometimes, thinking, for instance, again in this case, that supplications are synonymous with begging.
If we take the Hebrew word CHANAN translated by supplications in 1King 8: 33, 1King 8: 47, 1King 8: 59, 2 Chronicles 6: 24, 2 Chronicles 6: 37, Hosea 12: 4, this word gives an idea of: compassion, grace, mercy.
To give us an additional notion, the supplications we address to God are: the fact of being in a state of recognizing that without Christ, I am not worthy to ask or claim anything from God. Of course there is a difference between this description and the fact of begging. If, then, we integrate the definitions of supplications into the passages of the old and new covenants, we come to an attitude in which we will show God that I recognize that without Christ I am not worthy to receive anything from Him. But also the fact that I express this with great humility. This whole attitude is not a denigration of ourselves, not at all.
I am still in this position of son or daughter that is mine, but simply I add the fact that I want to express to God that I am aware that all this is not a right, that all this is not without a price that was paid at the cross by Jesus Christ.
In the supplications, my position in Christ remains the same, my confidence also remains unchanged. There is no question of positioning yourself as a beggar, or a person who will beg his master to give him what he asks for.
The supplications are therefore sometimes added to the prayer, but only to express his humility, and his recognition of Christ's grace in his own life.
For our analysis to be complete, we need to add an explanation of this passage from:
2 Chronicles 33: 12-13 Now when he was in affliction, he implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.
The NLT translation says :
But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the Lord his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. 13 And when he prayed, the Lord listened to him and was moved by his request. So the Lord brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh finally realized that the Lord alone is God!
This passage from 2 Chronicles may suggest that we must beg, insist in order to win our case. We see Manasseh, this king of Israel, praying to God with supplications. Then the text tells us that God "lets himself be moved", and hears his supplications.
This expression "to let oneself be moved" is the translation of the Hebrew word ATHAR. Its definition is quite simply the fact: to fulfil, to be appeased, to accept to go in the direction of.
So here God simply accepted, or answered Manasseh because of his attitude of faith. In this passage the word translated by supplications is the Hebrew word TECHINNAH. It differs very slightly from ATHAR, but nevertheless maintains this notion of grace and mercy. He has this difference in that the attitude is more towards a change of self with the recognition of his state, rather than simply the recognition of a state as in ATHAR.
It is therefore out of the question here to think that God would have allowed himself to be "softened" by Manasseh. God simply responded positively to Manasseh's repentance. The Bible says that God does not change, that is, He does not make a decision to change it later because a person would have put pressure on him by various attitudes. It is therefore incorrect to think that God would agree to change his mind about a situation in my life because I will implore him as Manasseh did.
Bye for now.