Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Prayers of Paul

Ron Julian:
The prayers of the apostle Paul are a wonderful example of Christian maturity expressed through prayer. In most of the letters he wrote, Paul included a prayer for his readers. Paul's prayers are touching, profound, eloquent, and loving; in addition, however, they are a guide to us in our own journey of faith. Paul's heart was fixed on the essential things, things which are true and important and indispensable. Paul's prayers, then, become a mirror in which we can examine ourselves, asking whether our concerns are anywhere close to Paul's.

Read the whole thing.

Here is Julian's conclusion:
In the middle of a life filled with assaults from all sides, what more important thing can we do than cry out to God for the strength to believe? What more loving thing can we do for each other than to ask God to open all our eyes, strengthen all our hearts? Paul got it right; he knew very well what the churches truly needed. May God have mercy on us and let us see; may our prayers show that we know our true need and know the only One who can meet it.

For an excellent book-length treatment on Paul's prayers, see D. A. Carson's A Call to Spiritual Reformation.