I cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.
— Ephesians 1:16
When was the last time you gave thanks from your heart for the loved ones God has placed in your life? The phrase “give thanks” in Ephesians 1:16 comes from the Greek word eucharisteo, a compound of the words eu and charis. The word eu means good or well. It denotes a general good disposition or an overwhelmingly good feeling about something. The word charis is the Greek word for grace or freely granted favor.
When these two words are compounded into one, they form the word eucharisteo. This compound word describes an outpouring of grace and of wonderful feelings that freely flow from the heart in response to someone or something. This is the word Paul used when he “gave thanks” for the Ephesian church. In fact, in nearly all his epistles, Paul used eucharisteo when he “gave thanks” for people he loved.
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For instance, Paul used this word in Ephesians 1:16 when he said, “[I] cease not to give thanks for you….” This means that when Paul thought of the Ephesian church, wonderful feelings of thankfulness would well up in his heart for them.
The Greek carries this idea in Ephesians 1:16:
“Thanking God for you is so easy — it just flows out of my heart every time I think of you. In fact, I never take a break from letting God know how I feel about you.”
In Colossians 1:3, Paul uses the same Greek word when he says, “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.” In First Thessalonians 1:2, he again uses the same Greek word when he prays similarly for the Thessalonian believers: “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers.” In Second Thessalonians 1:3, he uses this word again when he writes, “We are bound to thank God always for you….”
The fact that Paul used the word eucharisteo when he prayed for his dearest friends reminds us that we must be thankful for the relationships God has put in our lives. Whenever we think of our closest circle of friends, a deep sense of gratefulness, thankfulness, and appreciation should well up within us!
So when you’re praying for others, stop for a moment and reflect on all God has done in your life through those who are closest to you. When you realize how valuable those relationships have been to you, you’ll be able to freely, joyfully, and unreservedly thank God for such precious friends!
My Prayer for Today
Lord, You have blessed me with the most wonderful friends — and today I want to thank You for putting such great people in my life. Long-term, real friends are such a treasure, so I want to start this day by thanking You for these gifts of precious relationships. Help me never lose sight of how much I need these people. Help me also to never fail to show them how much I love and appreciate them!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
My Confession for Today
I am thankful for the relationships God has placed in my life. They are a blessing to me, and I am a blessing to them. God brought us together, and Satan will not tear us apart. I will learn to love them more dearly, forgive them more quickly, and show them the same patience I want them to show me. I am richly blessed with some of the best friends I could ever ask for!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
Questions to Answer
1. How long has it been since you stopped to thank God for the people He has placed in your life?
2. When you pray, do you focus only on the “problem people” who bother you and steal your peace, or do you always make certain to take the time to thank God for the faithful ones?
3. Write down a list of all the people God has specially used to help you in life. Then stop to tell the Lord how grateful you are that He sent each one of them into your life.