A Review of Paul’s Intercessory Prayers

I just finished reading Gordon Wiles Paul’s Intercessory Prayers.

This is not a book for the faint of heart, it is full of greek phrasing and plenty of footnotes. That said, the author’s main points are as follows:

1. Paul had an intercessory prayer life which he adapted to Roman epistolary form through 1) wish prayers and 2) prayer reports. The wish prayers are hopes for what God will do and the prayer reports are descriptions of what Paul has been praying for until now.
2. While stylistically different, both serve the same purpose, to enhance the main point of their respective books. The prayers serve to wrap up sections or introduce them, but are intrinsically related to the core themes of the letter.
These conclusions seem fairly obvious to anyone who has read Paul’s letters and who has a prayer life themselves. Aside from some grammatical information and literary/textual criticism, the text was a long hard slog for me and the average reader will get more out of a good devotional on the prayers of Paul like Carson’s A Call to Spiritual Reformation.

About Scott Roberts

pastor of Hope in Christ Church, Bellingham, WA
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