Take a moment today to acknowledge and be grateful for the little things — the small gestures of kindness and favor that God has expressed though familiar and even unknown people who've touched your life. It's amazing how meaningful and rich life becomes when we practice an attitude of gratitude for every good gift God has given. Happy Thanksgiving!
I cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.
(Eph. 1:15)
When is 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 1:15 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 charisteo is from charis, which 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.
For instance, Paul used this word in Ephesians 1:15 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 1:15:
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 eucharistia 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, I encourage you to 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!

Rick Renner Ministries
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