I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
Since Paul heard of their great faith and love for all the saints, he never ceased to give thanks to God for them.
The saints of Ephesus were the real thing. They were the prototypes for all christians everywhere who have taken hold of the gospel. They were full of faith and love.
They were not perfect by any means, but they loved the Lord. For this reason Paul was continually thankful for them.
He didn’t just praise God for them once in a while. It was a regular part of his prayer life. He must have loved these people deeply, and they were always in his heart.
We know about Paul’s love for the Ephesians from the book of Acts. He wept when he left them for the last time on his way to Rome (Acts 21:36-37)
Paul was thankful for them and prayed daily for them. Being thankful for a person whom we are praying for is a very important attitude. It is so easy to approach a prayer task from a sense of duty, or worse still, a sense of superiority as if we are the ones with the direct line to heaven. If we are thankful for the people we are praying for, then we can pray from a place of real love.
Prayer experts always recommend thanksgiving before intercession. There is something about saying “Thank you” to God before interceding for them that bring both power and spiritual depth to our prayers. After all, is there any point praying for someone if we don’t really care that much for them?
We must find ways to “remember” people in our prayer. Many people have a random approach to praying for others. They pray for people who pop into their head at the time.
The great intercessors have a system in place that helps them to stay on track. A simple list of names of people in our family or church is a great place to start. Some people have a “Blessing List” of people who they want to turn to Jesus for salvation.
Some people use a prayer journal in which they write some of their more special prayers and record answers to prayer.
Whatever method we use to pray, we must not overlook the need to listen to the Holy Spirit. Sometimes there may be a urgent need for special prayer that the Holy Spirit puts on our hearts. In that case we drop everything and pray “in the Spirit.”
Key points from this verse:
Paul was full of thankfulness and diligent in prayer for the Ephesians.
We need to thank God for the people we are praying for.
A systematic approach to intercession is essential for all christians
Never neglect the leading of the Holy Spirit