Prayer of Thanks. Paul, before going on, offers a prayer for the believers in Ephesus after hearing of their faith in the Lord Jesus and their love for all the saints.
15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:
Ephesians 1:15-16, NKJV
I really do not like to break up sentences when writing devotions on a Bible passage, however, this sentence is not only incredibly long, but it also is rich with truth and encouragement. So, rather than rush through this passage, we will just take it phrase by phrase, so as not to miss the depths of Paul's words in Ephesians 1.
Paul, before going on, offers a prayer of thanks for the believers in Ephesus after hearing of their faith in the Lord Jesus and their love for all the saints. It is easy for us to overlook these words and not get the significance of what Paul is saying.
After all, this is Ephesus, the city of the Temple of Artemis (Diana). People traveled great distances to worship at this pagan altar. It was not, therefore, a place where one would expect to find a body of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, even in the middle of great paganism and idolatry, God shows Himself to be faithful to His people.
While we live in a culture that does not worship great physical idols or statues, we certainly do live in a culture which worships the idol of man. Has greater paganism ever existed than in our time? God is so irrelevant in the lives of most that He is dismissed as non-existent! Yet, right in the middle of such great unbelief, God grows and nurtures His children.
Paul also reminds us in this passage that we need to be people of prayer. Yes, God is in control. Yes, God is sovereign, but does that mean we do not need to pray? God has chosen to use prayer as a means of accomplishing His will. How does that work? I do not know, but I do know that God answers prayer.
But, what is prayer? Is prayer just an occasion for believers to repeat their laundry list of wants to an Almighty God? No! Prayer offers to believers that most wondrous opportunity to fellowship with God Himself. As we pour our hearts and needs out to God, we also pour out our adoration and praise. We do not have a God who is deaf or blind to His children. We have a God who communes and fellowships with each and every one of His believers. How amazing is that? He is God of all Gods, King of all Kings, and Lord of all Lords, and we have personal access to Him 24/7!
Let us be the greatest praying people of all time. As we see the world quickly abandoning all truths and God-given principles, let us cry out to our God to keep us, grow us, and make us more and more like Him.
Yes, let us offer up a prayer of thanks for this God we serve, and for our fellow believers.
What an amazing God we serve!