Authority issues are hard to avoid and easy to confuse.
According to the Gospels, when Jesus taught his disciples to pray “Give us … forgive us … lead us… deliver us…” he gave us verbs in the imperative mood.
When he prayed from his cross, “Father forgive them they don’t know what they are doing”, he expressed “forgive them” as an imperative.
Why do I think this is important to consider together?
I’m guessing some of us were taught that the imperative mood carries the force of a command— requiring obedience.
But there is more. The textbook of Dana and Mantey (regarded by many as the gold standard of Greek grammar) tells us the imperative mood may carry the meaning of (1) command, (2) prohibition, (3) entreaty (request), or (4) permission.
At the very least this would explain why Jesus taught us to pray with imperative verbs. As in our own experience, context and intent show the spirit in which words are meant to be heard.
Could this also be one reason that the heart of God is variously expressed in the Bible with the voice of thunder, a quiet whisper, a pleading tear, a gentle urging, an inspiring challenge, or a groaning permission?
Could this explain why it is so imperative to hear the words of Scripture in light of what we have come to know about the needs of our own heart— as understood by the God of Eden and the Jesus of the Cross?