The Paroikos Bible Blog exists as a resource to those interested in Biblical studies and Koine Greek. It is hoped that this blog will simultaneously provide food-for-thought to the reader while pointing him or her in the direction of valuable resources, both in print and on the internet, that will further help his or her studies in the Word.

Mar 5, 2015

Some thoughts on prayer from 1 Peter

Generally I prefer to stick to discussing "academic resources" and what not, but who says academic studies can't be practical and spiritual? I recently had the privilege of preaching from 1 Peter 4:7-11 in BCM chapel, as well as teaching a 7-week course at 5pm every Sunday on 1 Peter to many church folk. One major item has stuck out to me in my recent studies: attitude impacts your prayer life!

Consider two passages. In 1 Peter 3:7, when discussing the husband's relationship to his wife, Peter exhorts men to respect/honor their wive's feminine-ness [the word there is not the normal word for "wife"], etc., lest their prayer lives be hindered. Yet the word "hinder" (both KJV and NET) is too wimpy, in my opinion, to accurately render the Greek. The word ekkoptw only occurs three times elsewhere in the NT, Matthew 5:30, Matthew 18:8, and 2 Corinthians 11:12--you can look those passages up and judge for yourself why I think "hinder" is too weak, lacking other semantic data! Thus, men, if you fail to honor/respect your wife, your prayer life will potentially be cut off! 

Secondly, take a look at 1 Peter 4:7. We are to be "self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of prayer" (NET--I agree with the NET here when it translates the preposition eis as "for the sake of"). In other words, proper mental attitude (or, perhaps, lifestyle in general?) seems to have a direct effect on prayer. Thus Wayne Grudem, in his Tyndale commentary, aptly states, "Christians who realize the end of the age could happen at any time should act in a certain way: therefore keep sane and sober for your prayers" [with the idea that this is "to assist your prayers"] (Grudem, p. 173).

In other words, attitude and/or action matters when it comes to your prayers, attitude regarding both the world around you and other people (especially one's wife!).