An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 10 - Practical Truth - Page 55 of 277
touch with Him in fellowship and communion, and that in spite of all external
pressure of circumstances.
Paul could therefore declare in truth that his prayer life was
continuous and uninterrupted, and those who follow him even as he followed
Christ, will ever desire to know in daily experience such a blessed spiritual
In considering this vital subject, let us look at the words used by the
Holy Spirit in the New Testament that are translated 'to pray'.
Deomai occurs 22 times and is rendered in the Authorized Version 'pray'
12 times, 'beseech' 9 times and 'make request' once.
Its root meaning is to be in want or need, and this expresses one of
the basic conceptions of prayer, a consciousness, on the part of the
believer, of his weakness and insufficiency, and a desire to come into living
touch with the Almighty One Who declared 'All power is given unto Me in
heaven and in earth' (Matt. 28:18).
Euchomai, to wish strongly, occurs 8 times and
is translated both 'pray' and 'wish'.  Its compound proseuchomai is of more
frequent occurrence, 87 times in all, 83 of which are translated 'pray'.
Here prayer is the expression of a strong desire to the Lord, either personal
or in respect of others.
Erotao, to interrogate, to ask.  Out of 58 occurrences in the New
Testament, fourteen times the word is rendered 'pray'.
'To interrogate, to ask, implying familiarity, if not equality; hence
never used of our prayers to God, while it is used of Christ's prayer
to the Father' (John 14:16; 16:26; 17:9,15,20). (Critical Lexicon and
Concordance to N.T., E. W. Bullinger, D.D.).
It is the word that is consistently used in the Gospel of John which stresses
the Lord's Deity.
Parakaleo, to call beside or near, in order that the person concerned
may assist.  The word is used 105 times in the New Testament.  Among its
usages, three times it is rendered 'intreat', six times 'pray' and 43 times
'beseech'.  Again the conception behind the word is one of need and the
calling to our side of the Lord to help and strengthen.  It comes over into
our language as paraclete and is applied to the Holy Spirit (John 14:16
Comforter) and to the Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 2:1 Advocate).
To the foregoing Greek words must be added the word enteuxis --
intercession.  The word means a falling in with or coming together, and then
to intercede, specially with relation to the needs of others.  This is
perhaps the highest conception of prayer, where self is relegated to the
background and the welfare of others is put first and foremost.
In 1 Timothy 2:1 the apostle says, 'I exhort therefore, that, first of
all, supplications (deesis from deomai), prayers (proseuche from
proseuchomai), intercessions (enteuxis) and giving of thanks (eucharistia) be
made for all men'.  This covers prayer in a wider sense and gives us an
indication what our prayer life should be like, and the range it should