Blog Post by Sister Diane Foster

A. S. K. THREE DEGREES OF PRAYER

 

Have you ever asked Yahuah to help you stop a sin? Have you ever prayed to have the strength to yield, not to temptation? Have you ever prayed to become a better human? Have you ever prayed for healing or the healing of a loved one? Have you ever prayed that Yahuah fills you with His Ruach haQodesh? How did it feel? How about something tangible like a car, home, or refrigerator?

 

When we are open to Yahuah, we yield to the Ruach haQodesh, asking for and believing by faith that His will, will be done. However, what does it mean to ask our Heavenly Father for something?

 

What Father among you whose son asks for bread shall give him a stone, or if he asks for a fish shall give him a snake instead of a fish, or if he asks for an egg shall give him a scorpion? If you then, being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father from heaven give the Set-apart Spirit to those asking Him! (The Scriptures 1998, Luke 11:11-13).

 

The verses above are part of a sectional theme called “The Lord’s Prayer” [1]. Being placed here by Luke shows he had a message he wanted to give about asking and praying. This prayer was given by Yahusha in response to His disciples asking a question. In this sense, Luke brought the word “ask” full circle; first, by showing how we appeal to our Heavenly Father, seeking a way to approach our Heavenly Abba (teach us to pray), and then how to go about doing it (knock and the doors will open). The Lord’s Prayer is about asking, seeking, and knocking. In asking, seeking, and knocking, we learn about Yahuah, who we are in Him, and, more importantly, who He is in us. This knowledge begins the transformative process of a life of abiding in Him.

 

ABIDE

If you remain in Me, and My Words remain in you, whatever you desire, you will ask, and it shall happen to you. (Hebrew Roots Bible, 2012, John 15:7).

 

Then Yahshua said to the Jews who had believed in Him, If you continue in My Word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (Hebrew Roots Bible, 2012, John 8:31-32).

 

A.S.K.

This three-letter acronym word spells out a powerful message!

 

  1. Ask. The act of appealing to Elohim Yahuah. How can the sinner, the lost, the hurt, and the unrighteous find favoritism with Yahuah?
  2. Seek. Seeking is how to approach His Throne of Grace (Hebrews 4:16).
  3. Knock. Knocking is having the humility and confidence that Yah will hear us and, we have the humility to come before Him in prayer.

 

ASK SEEK KNOCK

 

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (King James Version, 1988, Matthew 7:7-11).

 

ASK

In Hebrew, the word is shaal, and it looks like this in Modern Hebrew: שאל

 

The above is Modern Hebrew, however, this blog will address the interpretation of shaal from a paleo-Hebrew perspective. Paleo is a pictorial representation of an ancient language which in this case is Hebrew. A picture tells a thousand. Shaal looks like this in pictorial Hebrew.  

Reading from right to left, the first letter is sheen/shin. It is a picture of teeth; it means something sharp to consume or destroy. Next is alef, the first letter of the alphabet. It is a picture of a bull or ox; it means leader or head of the family. The last letter, lamed, is the letter K. Lamed is a picture of a staff. It is a symbol of authority, meaning to teach, bind, or yoke.

 In Hebrew, the word is spelled with an S, an A, and an L. The Greek spelling is spelled Aiteo. In English, it becomes ASK. Regardless, what is fascinating is that the meaning is the same.

Of uncertain derivation; to ask (in general): – ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require. Asking means a request as a favor, which implies a search to understand something hidden; it involves the idea of urgent need; by implication asking is a form of learning by casual intelligence and knowledge. (Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries).

With added awareness, we get a good picture of the above definition. This blog will not devote much space to it; there is so much there. But, do look at the definition and pictures and see where the Ruach haQodesh leads you. Abba, the ox, or leader, is at the center of it all. With authority, He teaches us Himself and His Torah. We crave and desire Him as He teaches us as we learn the ways of dying to sin. His Word is stronger than a 2-edged sword. Abba wants us to yoke with Him.

 

From the Greek with Hebrew grounding with an English Twist

 

 

A  in Hebrew means Abba. Our Abba is amazing! Everything begins and ends with Him; from the point of asking, He, the Alpha, and Abba is where we focus our desire. The language of our Father is filled with purpose. Yahuah, as our Father and Head, wants us to come to Him first in all things and all matters. Our desires, cravings, searches, knowledge, and understanding should always begin with Yahuah, the Head of our lives. Yahuah is the WayMaker.

 

S in Hebrew is Sade/Tsade. It looks like someone kneeling or bowed down in surrender and humility. In all humbleness, we boldly approach His throne. Tsade/Sade also means righteousness, honesty, uprightness, piousness, and correctness.[2] We cannot approach Yahuah any other way. He knows all, and He sees all. He knows our intent and purpose. The unrighteous, dishonest, proud, and misled cannot come to Him.

 

I confessed my sin to You, and I have not hidden my iniquity; I said I will confess over my transgression to YAHWEH, and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah. On account of this, let every righteous one pray to You at a time of finding; surely, when great floods come, they will not reach him. (Hebrew Roots Bible, 2012, Psalms 32:5-6).

 

Seek YAHWEH while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the man of vanity his thoughts, and let him return to YAHWEH, and He will have mercy on him; and to our Elohim, for He will abundantly pardon. (Hebrew Roots Bible, 2012, Isaiah 55:6-7).

 

 

K in Hebrew is Kap/Kaf. It is a picture of an open hand which symbolizes covering, hallowing, a hollow, and opening. The hand is used to knock the purpose of the door to open.[3] In Greek, the word is Krouo, a primary verb. It means to rap, knock, thump, pound, or strike. In other words, to make noise to let one’s presence be known. To knock is used in the absolute sense, meaning it has no limitation.[4] Knocking, like prayer can be persistent until a way opens. Once again, such a powerful acronym is the word ASK.

 

Yahusha said:

 

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. (King James Bible, 1988, Matthew 7:7).

 

As mentioned above, Luke quotes Him as saying it as part of The Lord’s Prayer pericope. Imagine. Yahusha, as the Son of Yahuah and speaking as the Good Shepherd said:

Then said YAHUSHA unto them again, Amein, Amein, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. (The Eth Cepher, 2013, John 10:7).

A door implies an entrance to something or someone. In this sense, it is Yahusha. We enter in for forgiveness, redemption, and salvation. The door, which is Yahusha ha Mashiach is for those who seek righteousness. We stand at the door and knock, we ask to come in, and in His love and mercy, the door opens. The sheep in the fold of Yahusha hear His voice; they have a discerning ear, an ear to understand; they also have an obedient heart and want to follow on to know Him. In doing so, no strange thing can come and beset us. Those who have tasted that Yahusha is good (Psalms 34:8) and have experienced this within their souls become equipped with divine insight to know when Satan tries to inflict his charms, tricks, and deception. We become better equipped to discern between good and evil.

As a Believer, this is my reason for knocking at the sheepfold gate. Knock, and it shall be opened; the door of mercy and grace shall no longer be shut against you as enemies and intruders but opened to you as friends and children.[5] This message is so vital that Yahusha repeated it in the book of Revelations when He spoke to the church of Laodicea:

Behold, I stand at the door and call; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and will sup with him, and he with me. (Jubilees Bible, 2010, Revelations 3:20).

 

How wonderful it is that this works both ways! We are told to knock, and the door will be opened, and Yahusha also says He too will knock on our door, the entrance to our souls! As said earlier, we learn who we are in Him and who He is in us!! This learning begins with understanding and doing His Word. Let us move deeper.

 

BESORAH-THE GOOD NEWS!

If you stay (Abide) in Me, and My Words stay (Abide) in you, you shall ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. (The Scriptures 1998, John 15:7).

 Our Elohim Yahuah is conditional. As the conjunction “IF” implies, it means “on condition that.” Yahusha, who is Yah’s Word wrapped in flesh (John 1:14), says to stay in Him as He is the Door and the Way to Salvation. He also says to stay or abide in His Word. We are remain in Yahusha. This means keeping our focus and attention on Him always. If we do this, we can ask for spiritual, mental, and emotional health. Yahusha will also give us the desires of our hearts.

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. (English Standard Version, 2001, 1 John 5:14)

Our confidence comes because we know we are abiding in Him.

 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (English Standard Version, 2001, Psalms 37:4).

Confidence is the assurance that God will do what He promised to do. His Word stands sure. We can be assured of this when we believe.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (English Standard Version, 2001, Mark 11:24).

 

Sometimes believing can be a tall order. Yet, this is what is required in order for us to receive Yahuah’s blessings. Humans can make believing difficult. I speak of myself as well. Yet, like myself, I am sure you can think of a time when your mustard seed belief resulted in a huge blessing. I can think of one.

Once, my car battery died. I tried with all my might to disconnect the cable that felt like it was fused to the battery post. I tried with all my strength but could not loosen that cable! Nightfall came, so I decided to give up for the night. I was new in the city and had no one to call. At the time, I had no roadside insurance. I prayed before going to bed, asking Heavenly Father to help me solve my problem. I prayed to Him like I would ask my natural Father for help, and then I went to sleep feeling confident that my problem would be solved. The following morning, I got dressed and went out to my car; this was before business hours. Without giving it a second thought, I raised the hood. No sooner had I raised the hood of the car, than the maintenance guy from the complex came out of the manager’s office! Now that’s trusting and believing. He mentioned he had to start early that day! Had I not raised the hood of my car, he may not have come out of the office at that time. Well, tried as he may, he could not loosen the cable either! We simply believe it had somehow become fused.

To make this true story, along comes a woman on her way to work. She pulls into the apartment complex and offers her assistance. As it turned out, she worked at Auto Zone, a car parts store. She had with her the perfect tool to loosen the battery. After getting the battery loose, she took me to Auto Zone to purchase another battery and cable! I know it was Yahuah through the Holy Spirit who led this woman to help me. I thanked Him for being my Deliverer. Yes, he delivers us from all sorts of situations. All we need is to ask and believe in confidence that He will. I, like a child, believed and did not doubt or concern myself with doubting that somehow, Heavenly Father would take care of my need.

By the way, was I abiding in Yahusha? During this period of my life, I was re-establishing myself in Him, and He caused me to be aware that He was listening! Now, this blessing was physical for, you see, He had already blessed me spiritually to the point that I was learning how to depend on Him for my needs. Do you have a story where Yah made Himself known to you? Were you having childlike confidence and assurance that you believed He would do what you asked of Him?

Abide is an action word, a verb. It is something we must do. Abide is to stay, and to dwell. Endurance also comes to mind, as being steadfast. We must be present with Yah. 

This verse reminds me of this verse: 

I delight to do Your will, O My Elohim; and Your Torah is within My inmost soul. (The Hebrew Roots Bible, 2012, Psalms 40:8). 

To delight in something is to love something which brings me to still another verse:

 

If ye love me, keep my commandments (King James Bible, 1988, John 14:15).

 

Abiding takes strength, love, faith, and hope to remain. Hope causes us to dwell. Enduring is our faith in eternal and everlasting life. Being present is what is required, the mind must not waver if it does bring it back by taking every thought captive.

 

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through Elohiym to the pulling down of strongholds. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohiym, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Mashiach, And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. (Eth Cepher, 2020, 2 Corinthians 10:4-6).

 

To abide is to remain in season and out of season. Abide is like a wedding vow pledging to remain loyal for better or worse, in sickness or health, in times of trouble and times of peace. We are the Bride of Yahusha and He wants nothing but good for us, and this is the Besorah! 

One more thing, we cannot ask for anything without forgiveness in our hearts. How can we seek Yah for grace, mercy, and forgiveness when we will not give it to another? How can we knock at His door, or how can He enter into us while we carry forgiveness? We are to forgive others their trespasses as we ask to have our trespasses forgiven.

 

And Yahusha answering saith unto them, Have faith in Yahuah. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. (King James Bible, 1988, Mark 11:22-26).

 

Forgiving others can be tough. Some have had mighty sins committed against them. Some people would rather seek revenge over forgiveness. Some people can hold grudges, resentment, and even hatred toward those who have wronged them. For a person to pray while carrying forgiveness is to pray in vain. The prayer will be ineffective, useless, and futile because Yahusha said if we do not forgive, He will not forgive us. What do we need forgiveness from? Our sins and trespasses.

 

We need His strength to forgive some people. Some sins committed against us are easier to forgive than others. These types require spending time in Yahuah for healing. During these times we seek Heavenly Father for relief from the emotional upheaval, hurt, and pain caused by another. We also seek help for the ways we may have sinned as a result of what happened to us. This is when we knock at His door. We cannot continue to live with them as it will block our prayer life. Bitterness must leave our souls and be replaced with forgiveness.

 

 

Another blog will be written to address confession, and repentance as issues of forgiveness. Until then, I invite you to read the blogs DON’T FORGET ME, and SHAME.

 

May this Besorah be a blessing to you.

 

Endnotes:

[1] The Lord’s Prayer is the title of this sectional theme. I found this same theme name usage in over 40 Bible versions including The Hebrew Roots Bible, The Eth Cepher, The Scriptures, and The Complete Jewish Bible.
[2] Chamin Bentorah, 2015, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
[3]  Frank T. Seekins, 2016, Hebrew Word Pictures.
[4]  AMG International, Inc., 19922, The Complete Word Study Dictionary.
[5] Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, 1708-1714.

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