St. Paul and Prayer


We can see from St. Paul’s letters that prayer was an important part of his life. He prayed because God was the center of his universe. “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36) “Pray without ceasing,” he told the Thessalonians, “In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17–18)

Paul addresses his prayer to God the Father, in the name of Jesus, and by the power of the Holy Spirit: “In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.” (Romans 8:26) Paul rarely prays for worldly things like health, prosperity, or healing. These things don’t last. He says that “we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)

Ephesians offers a good summary of Pauline prayer,

“. . . that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17–19)