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Praying with Paul, 2nd Edition

A Call to Spiritual Reformation

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God doesn't demand hectic church programs and frenetic schedules; he only wants his people to know him more intimately, says top-selling author D. A. Carson. The apostle Paul found that spiritual closeness in his own fellowship with the Father. By following Paul's example, we can do the same. This book calls believers to reject superficiality and revolutionize their lives by embracing a God-guided approach to prayer.

Previously published as A Call to Spiritual Reformation, this book has now been updated to connect more effectively with contemporary readers. A study guide, DVD, and leader's kit for the book are available through Lifeway and The Gospel Coalition.

Introduction: Neglected Prayer
1. Lessons from the School of Prayer
2. The Framework of Prayer: 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12
3. Worthy Petitions: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
4. Praying for Others
5. A Passion for People: 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
6. The Content of a Challenging Prayer: Colossians 1:9-14
7. Excuses for Not Praying
8. Overcoming the Hurdles: Philippians 1:9-11
9. A Sovereign and Personal God
10. Praying to the Sovereign God: Ephesians 1:15-23
11. Praying for Power: Ephesians 3:14-21
12. Praying for Ministry: Romans 15:14-33
Afterword: A Prayer for Spiritual Reformation

The Author

  1. D. A. Carson

    D. A. Carson

    D. A. Carson (PhD, University of Cambridge) is emeritus professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and is the author or editor of more than fifty books, including The God Who Is There, Commentary on the...

    Continue reading about D. A. Carson


"Though the book is not a comprehensive theology of prayer, the author aims to work through the Pauline prayers for the purpose of showing how the reader can begin to align their prayers with Scriptural priorities and grow through this process. Carson accomplishes this purpose with a combination of sound biblical exegesis, personal reflection, and pastoral wisdom. . . . Each chapter has questions for review and reflection, which provides the reader an opportunity to apply the material. . . . If one is looking for practical book on prayer that draws from brilliant exegetical insight Praying with Paul is a must read. . . . The principles discussed in the book allow the reader to see a truly God-centered approach to prayer as opposed to other popular works on prayer. On a practical note pastors could use the exegetical outlines of each text as a teaching tool. It could easily be adopted for a small group or one-on-one discipleship material. Make sure to pick up this book."

Michael Cooper,

Servants of Grace blog

Praise for the First Edition

"[A] prophetic book on prayer. . . . With engaging exposition, Carson shows how the apostle Paul kept eternal values at the center of prayer. . . . Carson gives many helpful, practical illustrations. . . . A Call to Spiritual Reformation is a manifesto for profound, other-centered, God-guided praying. Such prayer is not caught up in the tyranny of the urgent but the urgency of the eternal."

John R. Throop,

Christianity Today

"[This book] provides an excellent balance of biblical exposition, theological reflection, and practical advice on prayer. . . . [Carson's] comments and reflections on biblical texts are penetrating and enriching. . . . The greatest need for churches today is not education, evangelism, or programs but a deeper knowledge of God. The book contributes to filling that need by assisting those who read it to a fuller life of prayer."

Mark A. Seifrid,

Review and Expositor

"This work is one of the best recent efforts that integrate biblical praying with the whole Christian life. . . . One emphasis a serious reader comes away with is how urgent it is to get on with what the book calls for: to pray and not just say nice things about how important prayer is. This means to pray the way God directs, especially through the example and instructions of a brother who says so much about it--Paul."

James E. Rosscup,

Master's Seminary Journal

"Illustrations are interesting and illuminating and applications forceful and relevant. The reader is guided, gently yet persuasively, towards a reformation in personal dealings with God. This excellent and timely book can be heartily commended."

Edward Donnelly,

The Banner of Truth

"Although a gifted academic, the author of this book writes with a pastor's heart. He has no pretensions about the quality of his own prayer life, and yet the practical wisdom and exegetical insights afforded in this book are a telling testimony to the Spirit of God's presence in his own upbringing. . . . The text of Paul's prayers provides a wealth of material for Christians to frame their own prayers, and Carson's careful examination of the apostle's prayers brings this bounty within the reach of the average reader. . . . It is a book with rich insights, both exegetical and pastoral, and should be read by all those desiring to improve their prayer life, or more importantly those who desire that their prayers might conform to the pattern that God has provided in the apostle Paul."

Glenn N. Davies,

Reformed Theological Review

"The book is characterized by Carson's usual penchant for accuracy of exegesis. . . . This is a book for anyone who wants to get to know God's Word better and improve one's prayer life at the same time."

Evangelical Presbyterian

"The exposition of Paul's major prayers is much what we have come to expect from Dr. Carson: scrupulously careful exegesis, sound doctrine simply explained, detailed and stirring application, and a warm pastoral spirit. I would commend it highly."

John Legg,

Evangelical Times

"This book is good for layman and minister alike. It is a challenge to the shallowness which characterizes much of modern Christianity, and I gladly recommended it."

Angus Smith,

Monthly Record of the Free Church of Scotland

"The whole book is to be commended. . . . The answer to the problem of prayerlessness is in spiritual reformation, and this book shows how it may be accomplished by following in the steps of St. Paul and making his priorities ours. The questions for review and reflection which close each chapter are very much to the point and, wisely used, will help to correct what is amiss and supply what is lacking in our approach to prayer."

W. M. Moss,

English Churchman

"The questions at the end of each chapter make the book ideal for use in small groups or Sunday school classes. A study of Paul's praying can bring our praying into conformation with God's Word."

Don Schaeffer,

Alliance Life

"This book contains information, insight, wisdom, and practical theology that will enhance the prayer life of any believer. . . . Read the book; the change in your prayer life will be worth it."

Michael R. Spradlin,

Mid-America Theological Journal

"Don Carson is saying some things of great importance to the Christian church today in this book on prayer. . . . This book is highly recommended for careful consideration by Christians."

David Carey-Jones,

Evangelical Magazine of Wales

"This is a very practical book about how we can learn from the Bible to pray in line with God's plans. . . . This easy-to-understand, biblical book is to be recommended to anybody seeking to learn to pray effectively and in keeping with God's plans."

Rosemary Lambley,