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In our Christian life, we have many things to thank God for. We have many blessings in our lives which we ought to be grateful to God for providing them. In our prayer, how often do we thank God for those blessings? How often do we also look beyond ourselves and thank God for the blessings, salvation, faith and progress of others around us? In other words, our gratitude should not just end or be limited to our personal salvation and blessings, it should extend to others in faith who have experienced the God's salvation and goodness in their lives.

Reference: Philippians 1:3-4 New International Version (NIV) 'I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy.'

There is always a reason to thank God. In Paul's case, he was thankful to God because of his partnership with the Philippians in spreading the gospel. First, with their help, he successfully established a church in their city (see Acts 16). Then he prayed further for them saying, 'being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.'

Whenever Paul prayed for his brethren and fellow gospel workers, his prayer was filled with thanksgiving. In a prison Epistle Paul uttered: 'We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you' (see Colossians 1:1,3). In most of his letters, he would start with encouraging words of prayer. In another prison Epistle written to Philemon, he was also thankful saying: "I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers" (see Philemon 1:4).

Our referenced Scripture reads, ' I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy.' Why was Paul so thankful and joyful for the brethren? If you study his epistles properly, his main reason for being thankful and joyful each time he remembered them was because the progress of their faith was at the top of his list. Today we are encouraged to do the same. Be thankful to God for the faith and salvation of those around you, including the souls you nurture and follow up. Its a thing of joy that they've found and identified with the truth (Colossians 1:3).

Yes it's absolutely great to pray for doors of opportunities to open for others in faith, pray for their blessings and all the benefits of salvation to locate them. But from time to time, pause and consider the amazing miracle of salvation that has taken place in their lives. As you do so, an eternal tears of joy, sourced from the depth of heart, will begin to well up in your eyes on their behalves. Such will cause you to give thanks to God always for them, constantly mentioning them in your prayers with joy (1 Thessalonians 1:2 ESV). At those moments, you'd become even more grateful to God for equipping them and enabling them to be effective for the glorious gospel.

Thank God for creating in them a heart of faith, which means that they no longer live by their own will but by the will of the Father through the strength of the Holy Spirit. Thank God that they now have spiritual understanding to grasp the mysteries of the Kingdom. Thank God that they now trust in the Son of the living God who died for sin, in their place. Thank God that His love is now poured into their hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to all of us in Christ Jesus (Romans 5:5 NIV).

Finally, thank God for those who spread the gospel in most difficult places and environment and continue to pray that the Lord will strengthen and energise them more and more for the good work till Christ is formed and established in the hearts of all men. Dear readers, as we all pray with hearts of thanksgiving, I personally thank my God today for your faith and the love of Christ shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Spirit. Faithfully, I thank my God when I remember you in my prayers.

Scripture Reading - Ephesians 6:18; 1 Corinthians 1:11; Romans 15:30; Colossians 4:2; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; Acts 20:28.

Guided Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you for the Christians in my world in all of my prayers. I have high hopes that the churches and the body of Christ will continue to mature and strengthen their relationship with Christ, because you are at work in all of us, both to do and to will of your good pleasure. My heart is full of gratitude and expression of thanks for the salvation of all believers around the world today. By your Spirit, keep each one of us faithful and committed to your purpose on earth till Christ's return, in Jesus' Name, Amen!


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