In this final quote from Fee, he discusses the role of prayer in Paul’s “Spirit-uality.”
Good stuff. I love the line about the prayerless life and practical atheism.
Prayer, therefore, is not simply our cry of desperation or our 'grocery list' of requests that we bring before our heavenly Abba; prayer is an activity inspired by God himself, through his Holy Spirit. It is God siding with his people and, by his own empowering presence, the Spirit of God himself, bringing forth prayer that is in keeping with his will and his ways.
It is probably impossible to understand Paul as a theologian, if one does not take this dimension of his 'Spirit-uality' with full seriousness. A prayerless life is one of practical atheism. As one who himself lived in and by the Spirit, Paul understood prayer in particular to be the special prompting of the Spirit, leading him to thanksgiving for others and petition 'in the Spirit,' even when he did not know for what specifically to pray. Whatever else 'life in the Spirit' meant for Paul, it meant a life devoted to prayer, accompanied by joy and thanksgiving. (867–868)
This is the final post about Fee’s book. Like I said, it is one of the best NT theology books I’ve ever read.