chapter  29
Eleonore Stump Petitionary Prayer
Pages 14

O rdinary Christian believers of every periodhave in general taken prayer to be fundamentally a request made of God for something specific believed to be good by the one praying. The technical name for such prayer is “impetration;” I am going to refer to it by the more familiar designation “petitionary prayer.” There are, of course, many important kinds of prayer which are not requests; for example, most of what is sometimes called “the higher sort of prayer” – praise, adoration, thanksgiving – does not consist in requests and is not included under petitionary prayer. But basic, common petitionary prayer poses problems that do not arise in connection with the more contemplative varieties of prayer, and it is petitionary prayer with its special problems that I want to examine in this paper.