Ephesians 1:15-16 – Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving

June 4, 2020 at 8:54 PM 1 comment

Paul concludes this chapter with a prayer for the Ephesian believers. I am going to break the prayer down into three parts: v.15-16: thanksgiving prayer, v.17-19: intercessory prayer and v.20-23: praise for God’s power.

v.15-16,“Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly.” Paul starts his lengthy prayer for the Ephesian believers by writing “Ever since I first heard…” which could mean Paul had heard a good report of the Ephesians believers’ growth in their faith. Because the letter could have been read among the other churches in the area Paul wanted all believers in the area around Ephesus (not just the church he planted) to know how thankful he was for all of them. He wanted them all to know he was remembering them in his prayers. “Faith” is not saving faith (Paul already knew they were all believers he was writing to) but better translated “faithfulness” or “trustworthiness.” They were faithfully serving God where God had planted them and Paul heard about it. This faithfulness was done in the name of “the Lord Jesus” and done for their “love for God’s people everywhere.” True believers are faithful to Christ and love their neighbours. They know that the best way to show love for Christ is to show love for their neighbours. Jesus even says these are the two greatest commandments in Matt 22:37-39 “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.” Paul wanted the believers to know he had “not stopped thanking God for [them]” and that he was praying for them “constantly.” Paul prayed for the believers, not once in a blue moon, but constantly. He prayed for them by name, he interceded on their behalf, he thanked God for them. He truly was a prayer partner for them! He was on his knees for each of them each and every day even while in prison.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? Prayer was the lifeblood of Paul. Even though he couldn’t be in-person with the believers he was constantly praying for each of them. He was so thankful for them that he wanted them to know how proud he was for their faithfulness to Jesus and their love for all the believers everywhere. He also wanted to spur them on by letting them know he is constantly on his knees before God almighty praying for them.

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?  If prayer is important to Paul it definitely needs to be important to me! A while ago I purposed in my heart that when I told someone I would pray for them I put them on my prayer list and started praying for them and continued to…in Paul’s words “constantly.” Because of COVID-19 I can’t be with the congregation of my church, so more than ever I am on my knees before God praying for them.

Entry filed under: Journey Thru the Bible. Tags: , , .

Ephesians 1:11-14 – The believers’ inheritance Ephesians 1:17-19 – Paul’s intercessory prayer

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Celestina Go  |  June 9, 2020 at 10:25 AM

    Thank you P. Andrew for sharing your heart to me. I’ll keep reading your post.
    Praying always for you and the family.



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