“For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,” Ephesians 1:15-16 (ESV)
In his prayers for the various churches Paul often writes about how he is thankful for them based upon their behaviour.
In this instance it is their “faith” and their “love”. Not unlike yesterday’s letter to the Thessalonians.
Given the recurring theme in his epistles it is clearly very, very important.
Paul’s single-minded focus serves as a terrific model for our own prayers.
The book “A Call to Spiritual Reformation” by Don Carson does exactly this. Emphasising the benefit of using Pauline prayers as a template for our own prayer-life.
Building up a repertoire of prayers that are clearly Biblical and God-centred.
Some modification to the prayers will, of course, be necessary. Personalising them to our own circumstances and those of the church we attend and the 21st-Century world we live in.
Yet the trials we face and the struggles we may have to endure are not dissimilar to those of the church in the first century.
prayer : that I would be consistently praying for my fellow believers
action : model my prayers on those of Paul