“Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers,”
“A delicate dark chocolate shell infused with sea salt envelops an irresistibly smooth caramel truffle filling.”
Don’t you just love it when you get two of your favorite things for the price of one? Such as when sea salt and caramel are united in the form of a dark chocolate ping-pong ball??
That’s just a simple illustration of how exciting it can be when two of your favorite things meet and you can enjoy them together; and, while Lindt chocolate tastes very good, let’s look at what the Bible says is more “precious than the finest gold” and “sweeter than the honeycomb”. (Ps. 19) The Word of the Lord. And, man, was I excited when I received this verse and saw that two of my favorite things are going on here!!
“Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers,” [Ephesians 1:16]
Two predominant themes in here: ‘thanksgiving’ and ‘prayer’. So exciting!!
Let’s get some context from our chapter and dig into this verse (the depths and richness of His Word are infinite)!
First, who is Paul writing to?
“To the saints (God’s people) who are at Ephesus and are faithful and loyal and steadfast in Christ Jesus.” [v.1b]
He’s speaking to those who have received Christ. Then he blesses them and launches into a 12 verse doxology of their adoption story into God’s family and what’s included in their legal birthright as children of the Most High – SO BEAUTIFUL! Friend, if you have received Christ Jesus as Savior, that’s *your* adoption story and promised inheritance. That’s *my* adoption story and promise.
Now we come to verses 15 – 16:”Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;”
Who are these souls in relation to Paul? Spiritual children, brothers and sisters in Christ; they’re *family*.
How does he feel toward them? Just like a loving parent or older sibling would be excited over their child/sibling at evidences of their growth, Paul *rejoices* over them as they experience life in Christ for themselves! And He gives *thanks* for them.
But, he doesn’t stop there.
A loving parent celebrates their child’s first step and is *so excited*! But they know that, following this event, they can’t simply give their child a few head pats with a “Great job, Jr.!” and leave them on their own. No. They continue to stay involved and invested in that child’s life, offering instruction, counsel, lessons from their own life experience – while being careful to not tie the youth to their “apron strings” (which could result in a very unhealthy, even unsightly, dependence on *them*).
So we have Paul, rejoicing over the growth that his children are experiencing, but knowing this doesn’t mean he “checks out” of their lives, no longer concerning himself with them – no. He continues to give THANKS and PRAY for them (without ceasing, no less [I Thess. 5:17-18]).
Preach the Gospel and pray for the lost, but don’t neglect to also pray for the brothers and sisters in Christ – your family.
Have you wondered what God’s will is for your life?
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I Thess. 5:18
We all know it can be easy to thank God for what we define as “blessings” or “good gifts”, but giving thanks to the Lord for trials, difficulties and hard things is just as necessary. [Job 2:10, James 1:2, I Peter 4:12-13, etc.]
“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the One Who hears it, and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.” Max Lucado
God has given us the *privilege* of investing in His kingdom work. Both as laborers in His harvest, and by fighting for each other in prayer! [Luke 10:2, Eph. 6:18]