Intercessory prayer in the New Testament and in modern thought.
Bauman, Edward Walter
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The problem of this dissertation is to examine the New Testament teaching on intercessory prayer, and apply it to certain rational objections to this type of prayer raised in modern thought. Within the field of the theology of prayer, few subjects are more vital or more perplexing than intercession, that type of petition offered in behalf of others. Almost everyone who takes the Christian religion seriously prays at some time for other persons. Monica prayed for Augustine, for example, expecting her prayers to have a real influence on God, and through Him, on Augustine. Similar belief in the objective efficacy of intercession was shared by most Christians down to modern times, but now serious questions have been raised concerning the value of such prayer. An entirely subjective view of prayer is held by many persons today, but such a view is incoherent. All prayer implies communication with God, and certain types are meaningful only if God actually responds. Either prayer must be rejected altogether, or the reasonableness of belief in its subjective and objective efficacy must be accepted. Ultimately the whole life of religion is thus bound up in the modern "problem" of prayer: Is it reasonable to believe in the objective efficacy of petition and intercession?
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University
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