Paul prayed. Even as he put his quill pen to paper, he often interrupted his correspondence to glance prayerfully heavenward. Evidence of ceaseless prayers can be found in each of his thirteen epistles (Romans 1:8-10; 8:26-27; 15:5-7, 13, 30-33; 16:25-27; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; 2:14; 12:7-10; 13:7, 9, 14; Galatians 1:3-5; Ephesians 1:15-21; 3:14-21; Philippians 1:3-6, 9-11; 4:4-7; Colossians 1:3-14; 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3; 2:13; 3:11-13; 5:23-24; 2 Thessalonians 1:3, 11-12; 2:13; 3:1-3, 5, 16; 1 Timothy 1:17; 2:1-2, 8; 2 Timothy 4:22; Titus 3:15; Philemon 4-7).
Paul wrote, “Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:17–18, ESV). For the Apostle, that wasn’t just theoretical. He was ceaselessly, constantly, consistently, aware of God’s presence, and the lines of communication remained open. It is possible that two years in a Caesarean prison, and two more years under house arrest in Rome, gave Paul the time, the opportunity, and the continuous motivation to pray. So, look closely at a few of those prayers, penned while he was in Roman imprisonment.
“I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the mighty working of his strength”(Ephesians 1:16–19).
“I pray that he may grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power in your inner being through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:16–19).
“I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus ... And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, so that you may approve the things that are superior and may be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:3–11).
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints because of the hope reserved for you in heaven ... For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, so that you may have great endurance and patience, joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. In him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:3–14).
“Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1).