The Thanksgiving

 

Paul’s letters, much like other ancient letters, usually continued after the prescript with a thanksgiving section or a prayer.  In this section Paul thanked God for the audience of the letter or simply praised God (e.g., 2 Corinthians).  These thanksgiving sections typically anticipated some of the key themes Paul was going to discuss in the body of the letter, which typically commenced right after the thanksgiving.

 

In Romans:

  1. Paul thanks God for their renowned faith.
  2. Paul assures them of his interest in them, his longing to visit them, both past and present.
  3. Paul tells them of the mutual benefit he thinks a visit would have.
  4. He tells them of the obligation he feels to preach the gospel, and his readiness to preach to them.