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Clowney: A Biblical Theology of Prayer

Here’s a PDF of Edmund Clowney’s classic 39-page essay, A Biblical Theology of Prayer, courtesy of Beginning with Moses. It was originally published in Teach Us to Pray: Prayer in the Bible and the World, ed. D. A. Carson (Baker/Paternoster, 1990), 136-76, 336-38. (HT: TGC)

Below is an outline of Clowney’s essay:

I. PRAYER ADDRESSES THE PERSONAL GOD

A. God’s glory is personally revealed

1. In his works

2. In his name

3. In his presence

B. The response of prayer is personal

1. Prayer by persons in God’s image

2. Prayer by the whole person

C. The response of prayer is effective

II. PRAYER ADDRESSES THE COVENANT GOD

A. Prayer in the bond of the covenant relation

1. Prayer is grounded in God’s covenant

2. Prayer pleads the covenant relation

3. Prayer and the ceremonies of covenant worship

4. Prayer in the community of the covenant

B. God’s covenant Lordship shapes prayer

1. God’s zeal for pure worship

2. Our zeal for our Lord

a. Expressed in submission to his will

b. Expressed in confession seeking forgiveness

c. Petitions

d. Thanksgiving, praise, and hope

C. The renewal of the covenant restores and renews prayer

III. PRAYER ADDRESSES THE TRIUNE GOD

A. The renewal and fulfillment of prayer in Christ

1. Fulfillment of the petition of the faithful remnant

2. Fulfillment in Christ transforms prayer

a. Christ comes as Lord to receive prayer

b. Christ comes as Servant to offer prayer

3. Christ’s teaching renews prayer

a. Prayer to the Father

b. The prayer of trust

c. Prayer in the name of Jesus

4. Christ the Mediator of Prayer

a. The Mediator foreshadowed

b. His mediatorial office

c. His mediatorial sacrificed.

d. His mediatorial ministry

B. Prayer in the Spirit

1. The presence of the Spirit

2. The gifts of the Spirit

3. Union with Christ in the Spirit

C. Prayer to the Father

1. Prayer to the First Person of the Trinity

2. Prayer to the Father in the Son through the Spirit

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