|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.
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
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
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