What Paul Prayed: Thanks Again

“For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.” (Ephesians 1:15-16)

How should you pray for your friends, your parents, your siblings, anyone you really care about? This week, Paul will show us some essential things to pray for other Christians – and for ourselves – by telling us exactly what he prayed for his friends in a town called Ephesus.

stones_350Notice first that he is praying for believers – people who have trusted Jesus and who love other Christians. These prayers are not intended – and would not make sense, mostly – for unbelievers. For them, the most earnest prayer should always be that they would come into the family of God through faith in Jesus.

But the first thing Paul says to God about these brothers and sisters in Jesus is “thank you.” Then he says it again. Then he says it again. In fact, he says he never stops saying it. To give thanks for others, to remember them to God, is a way of admitting that when God created and saved them, he did a good thing. Their lives matter because they matter to him. Also, of course, we thank God because they matter to us.

Think: How often do you thank God for the Christians in your life? Your parents? Your friends? Why don’t we think to do that more often?

Pray: Ask God to help you to be grateful for other believers and to express that thankfulness to him.

Do: Make a list of five Christians in your life you can pray for this week using Paul’s words in Ephesians. Include at least one person you don’t always get along with. Add yourself to the list at #6. Start today by thanking God for everyone on the list.