Summary: Are you really a Christian?
"Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers."
This is the first of two prayers in the book of Ephesians. Paul begins his prayer for the Ephesian Christians with PRAISE and end with PETITIONS. He starts with THANKSGIVING and finishes with REQUESTS.
THREE THOUGHTS ON PRAYER
1. PRAYER SHOULD INCLUDE MORE THAN JUST REQUESTS. IT SHOULD ALSO INCLUDE THANKSGIVING.
Sometimes we turn prayer into a grocery list? "Lord, I want this, I want that." "Lord, will You do this, will you do that?" We should thank Him more in our prayers.
2. PRAYER SHOULD INCLUDE MORE THAN JUST LISTING PROBLEMS TO GOD. IT SHOULD ALSO INCLUDE GIVING PRAISE TO HIM.
Paul began his prayer by praising God for the Ephesian believers’ faith and love.
3. PRAYER SHOULD INCLUDE MORE THAN JUST MAKING REQUESTS FOR OURSELVES. PRAYER SHOULD ALSO INCLUDE INTERCESSION FOR OTHERS.
Lehman Strauss, "Most of our prayers are taken up with ourselves or with those nearest and dearest to us. Needs of others occupy a small place in our prayer life" (Galatians and Ephesians, 130).
Illustration: I have heard that some people remember me in prayer everyday.
FAITH & LOVE
Paul was certain that his readers had a part in the amazing blessings listed in the first part of this chapter (v. 1). How is Paul so sure that the Ephesians are Christians?
The mere fact that a person may say that he is a Christian does not prove that he is a Christian.
There must be some test to determine the validity of a person’s claim to be a Christian. Paul provides us with a two-part test. The first part involves our BELIEF; the second part involves our BEHAVIOR.
"Wherefore I also, after I heard of your FAITH in the Lord Jesus, and LOVE unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers."
FAITH AND LOVE ARE INSEPARABLE. WHERE THERE IS FAITH THERE WILL BE LOVE:
THE TWO-PART TEST OF CHRISTIAN PROFESSION:
1. THE FIRST HALF OF THE TEST: "FAITH IN THE LORD JESUS"
Notice that Paul says "faith in the LORD Jesus."