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Standing in the Breach
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Standing in the Breach

An Old Testament Theology and Spirituality of Intercessory Prayer

by Michael Widmer

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At the heart of this study is a biblical-theological approach to central passages on intercessory prayers in the OT. After examining these largely prophetic prayer dialogues, Widmer argues that they provide an important key to biblical theology and spirituality. Furthermore, a close reading of prayers by Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Joel, and Amos reveals fascinating insights into the portrayals of these characters and confirms strong conceptual associations with Moses, Israel's archetypal mediator. Widmer reads these prayers in both their immediate literary and wider canonical contexts. The ultimate aim of this study is to gain a deeper understanding of the God whom the church worships and confesses to be the Father of Jesus Christ.

Particularly pertinent is the finding that many OT prayers interact with God's nature as revealed to Moses in Exod 34:6-7. Yhwh's fullest revelation is also given in the context of an intercessory prayer. Widmer argues that intercessory prayer and theology have a hermeneutical-spiral relationship, mutually informing and correcting each other. It is in engaging with a loving and holy God that the phenomenon of divine mutability must be understood. Overall, Standing in the Breach suggests that fundamental biblical themes such as God's mercy and judgment, divine retribution and forgiveness, covenant mediation, substitutionary suffering and atonement, and eventually the dynamics of the cross are all intrinsically related to and illuminated by prophetic OT intercessory prayers.

Product Details

Publisher: Eisenbrauns
Publication date: 2015
Bibliographic info: Pp. xiv + 592
Language(s): English


Cover: Cloth



Widmer's book is a good example of solid, methodologically astute evangelical Christian scholarship. Although those readers who do not share the author's view pertaining to the unity of the Old and the New Testaments will by necessity disagree with many of the theological conclusions and reflections, they may nevertheless profit from the exegetical discussion of the select texts. . . . they are informative and often shed new and pertinent light upon the biblical narratives.—Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer, University of Aberdeen in Review of Biblical Literature, January 2017

"This book offers a breadth of fresh material on intercessory prayer in the OT and reflection on its relation to NT material."—Brittany N. Melton in Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 41.5

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