A careful reading of the prayers recorded in the Bible would reveal a great deal of consistency even within their variety. From the prayers of Moses to those of the prophets and later, Jesus and the apostles, the prayers of the Bible have striking similarities. We should not be surprised by this. Whether Moses, the prophets or Paul, these men all prayed to the same God. They prayed for similar needs and looked to a common hope.
In the prayers of the Apostle Paul we see common themes. Even so, his prayers are not formulaic. In fact, as we read the apostle’s prayers we are struck by their warmth, depth, and love for Christ and his church.
Near the beginning of his letter to the Roman Christians, Paul assures them of his continued prayers for them. Near the end of his letter Paul pleads for the church to remember him in their prayers. Ever the teacher, Paul specifies certain features which will ensure that their prayers are both uniquely Christian and effective. The fact that Paul was an Apostle of the Lord Jesus did not diminish his need for the prayers of the saints. Indeed, he depended upon their persistent prayers knowing that both his effectiveness in ministry and physical well being were at stake. And from this we learn to trust the Sovereign God who answers our every prayer though not always in the way for which we plead.