15 “For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.” (Ephesians 1:15–16 (ESV)
In my library is a book by Arthur W. Pink entitled Gleanings from Paul. In his book, Arthur W. Pink presents a detailed study of Paul and his God honoring prayers. Throughout his letters, Paul offers prayer to God that are among the richest sources in all of Scripture the how, why and power of prayer. Ephesians 1:15-16 begins Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian believers.
Today’s text begins with the phrase for this reason. The phrase for this reason (dia touto; δια τουτο) may be translated “Wherefore” or “on this account.” What Paul means is that what he going to pray is because of all that is true of the saints which in general is stated in Ephesians 1:3–14. It is also because of what is said of these believers in verse 13, that the apostle thanks God for the Ephesian Christians and prays for them.
Paul has actively received news of the Ephesian believer’s trust, commitment, dependence and worship of the Lord Jesus Christ. Their faith in the Lord Jesus is evidenced by their good works, especially their self-sacrificial love toward all their fellow Christians (I Corinthians 13:1-8).
Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “Paul had ministered in Ephesus for more than two years (Acts 18-20), but the time of writing (this epistle) may be as much as five years. The church had grown considerably since then. It may also be that Paul mentions people who live in the cities where the epistle circulated whose faith and love he knows only by report.”
It is for this particular reason that Paul feels provoked to pray. His prayer is one of ongoing thanks for the Ephesian church. We will begin examining the particulars of Paul’s prayer when next we meet. I would encourage you to begin reading Ephesians 1:17-23.
Who do you personally know for which you can thank God, not only for their faith in the Lord Jesus but also for their love for all the saints? Have a blessed day.
Soli deo Gloria!