When Paul Prayed
Dr. J. Vernon McGee
It's interesting that we don't often think of Paul as an outstanding man of prayer. When you
think of anyone excelling in any field of service in the early church, Paul the apostle must be up
toward the top. We would put him at the top of the list as a great missionary of the cross, and
we can't think of any greater example of apostleship than Paul. If we were to make a list of ten
of the greatest preachers of the church, we would certainly put Paul as number one. He was also
one of the greatest teachers. The Lord Jesus was, of course, the greatest of all - "Never man
spoke like this man" (John 7:46) - and Paul certainly followed in that tradition. He is also an
example of a good pastor. According to Dr. Luke, Paul wept with the believers at Ephesus when
he took leave of them. He loved them, and they loved him.
But how about being representative of a great man of prayer - would you put Paul on that
list? We think of Moses yonder on Mount Sinai interceding for the children of Israel. We think
of David with his psalms and the confession of his awful sin. We think of Elijah who stood
alone before an altar drenched with water at Mount Carmel. Then there was Daniel who opened
his window toward Jerusalem and prayed every day even though he lived in a hostile land under
a hostile power. The Lord Jesus was the Man of prayer, so much so that one of His disciples
asked Him, "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1). But did you know that Paul was also a great
man of prayer? With all of his other qualities, we seldom think of Paul as a man of prayer, yet
this is the field in which he excelled, I believe, above all others.
When I was teaching at the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, I would ask the students during
their studies of Paul's epistles to make a list of all his prayers. They were to put down every
time Paul said he was praying for someone. Lo and behold, student after student would come to
me and say, "I had no ...
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