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Paul's Prayers - An Example for Us to Follow

– What Do You Pray About? –


APPENDIX 1 - an Attempt to Combine The Different Parts of Paul's Prayers For The Saved Into a Single Outline


An Important Note:

This outline is only an approximation, based on the NIV translation. Some verses, may be capable of being translated in a slightly different manner - which would result in minor differences in the precise logical arrangement of various parts of the prayers. This means that certain details in the outline could need to be revised, if a different translation were used. However, the over-all message would remain the same.

An example of this would be Philemon 1:6. Does the active expression of one's faith result in a growing understanding of the good things we have in Christ... or does a growing understanding of the good things we have in Christ result in a greater desire to actively express one's faith? All translations show that there is a close connection between the two - and that was our focus in the main article (PART 1, above). However, in the following outline, which is based on the NIV translation, the active expression of one's faith is described as logically coming first. (Technically, if both are occurring in our lives, we won't have to worry about which one comes logically first!)



The most extensive descriptions of Paul's prayers involve requests for those who had repented from their sins, and turned to God for salvation. This first outline lists some of his prayer requests for these people. The list in this first section focuses on the ultimate goals he desired for their lives.

1. That they would have a growing friendship with God.

Both of these requests are directly connected with the next item in this outline. (They are also based on what God would do in, and for, them - which is mentioned in SECTION 2, below.)

2. That they would know how wonderful it is, to belong to God.

Because it is so wonderful to belong to God, they needed to know how to live, so that they could enjoy this relationship. The next item in this outline focuses on what Paul told them. (Of course, it is not just a matter of them needing to know these things. People who belong to God will also want to know these things, so that they can do them. God's children want to learn the ways of their "Father in heaven.")

3. That they would know how to live.

What is the purpose, or reason, for living this way? This last item in the outline tells us.

4. That they would reach the ultimate goal in life.



There were certain things that would be necessary, in order for these ultimate goals (see SECTION 1) to be reached. And so, Paul prayed not only for the final outcome to be accomplished in their lives, but also for the means of reaching that final outcome.

1. Things he prayed that God would do.

2. Things he prayed would happen to them.

3. Something he prayed that they would do.



Finally, we may want to ask why Paul prayed these things. In the context of several of these prayers, he tells us. Basically, there were two reasons for his desire to pray for them:

1. They had accepted the good news about salvation and Paul had heard about their acceptance of it.

2. Their love for each other was visible and Paul knew about it.

Dennis Hinks © 1999, 2001

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