Constant gratitude and prayer

Paul constantly gives thanks and prayers for the Ephesians

Eph. 1:15-16

15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.

What initially struck me about this passage was the second verse, where Paul constantly gives thanks for the Ephesians, and remembers them in his prayers.

I think I’ve read numerous other passages in the New Testament where Paul talks about constantly praying and giving thanks. It’s something I need to remind myself of.

Sometimes throughout the day I feel prompted to pray. But then a voice appears, ‘Oh nah, you’ve already prayed today, you don’t need to’.

Passages like this are a little reminder that prayer isn’t a tick box exercise for the day. For Paul, it’s a lifestyle, it’s a posture. To always be open to praying and to be praying throughout the day.

And to be constantly practising gratitude. I don’t know whether this is why God commands it, but it’s been said often that gratitude can reshape your perspective. A constant posture of gratitude keeps you positive, protects against fear and anxiety, and helps you retain an accurate perspective, with the gospel central.

And, to further illustrate Paul’s devoted life of prayer and thankfulness, I don’t think he’s actually seen these people he is praying for in quite some time. Verse 15 indicates that he’s recently heard more about their faith and love, rather than witnessing it first-hand. It makes his constant prayer and thankfulness for them more notable.

This leads me to one last reflection on something else that appears throughout Paul’s letters – the centrality of faith, hope and love. Hope isn’t mentioned here, but it’s the Ephesians’ faith in Jesus and their love for the church that is a prompter for Paul’s constant thankfulness and prayer. May our faith and love be what we’re known for.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for all that you’ve blessed us with. Thank you for your love for us. May you grow in us a constant posture of thankfulness and prayer. May you grow in us a deeper faith in you, and a deeper love for the church. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

A song to listen to: The Love of the Father City Alight

David Lather

Living Church – Creek Road