Prayer as Persuasion: The Rhetoric and Intention of Prayer

Patrick D. Miller Jr.

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 10/1/1993

Issue: Biblical Interpretation for Christian Ministry (Vol. 13, No 4, Fall, 1993)

The prayer for help, commonly called a lament, is the dominant form of prayer in the Old Testament, not only in the Psalms but also in the many examples of prayers in prose and prophetic material. A careful study of these prayers enables one to suggests that, in a variety of ways, such prayers have as a primary function the effort to persuade and motivate God to act in behalf of the petitioner who is in trouble and needs God’s help. That is evident in the prayers as a whole but is underscored in particular aspects of their form and rhetoric.

Download Article PDF