We move on in Ephesians Chapter 1 - and following the introduction - and this opening greeting of Praise - Paul moves on to one of his big themes - "in Christ".

He speaks about - Blessing - Being chosen to be holy and blameless - Creation. He speaks about the Word of Truth - The Holy Spirit - and now Prayer and Praying.

Verse 15 - Paul not only preaches and writes - but he prays for people.

Pray for people - that is something which each one of us can do - without exception.

Because of all that I have mentioned in the opening words of my letter - and ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus - and your love for all the saints - I have not stopped giving thanks for you - remembering you in my prayers.

That is strong powerful writing. What an encouraging letter this must have been to receive.

Never underestimate the ministry of encouraging. We can be so weak on this in the Church of Jesus Christ.

Paul presents this basic - Thank you - and Please - and that is a good order for our prayers. He doesn't congratulate these folks for having faith - he gives God thanks for it.

There is the sense of continuing to pray for them. He did not just do it once - there was a persevering.

We also find in these opening verses these three spiritual dimensions of Faith, Hope, and Love. It was as if Paul saw that they were lacking in HOPE - lacking in Assurance. Again, this is something very common in the Church of Jesus Christ.

There is this sense of Faith reaching back into the past - grasping the significance of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ - and that Love which reaches us and touches us in the present, including something of the Fellowship of the People of God - but it is HOPE which really reaches out into the future.

Paul did not want them to miss out on this dimension of LIFE.

Hope is not only an anchor for the present - but encourages us to go forward into the future knowing that we belong to Jesus and that we will always be HIS.

Jesus Christ will never reject us. That is our HOPE! That is our assurance and reassurance.

And HOPE influences the way we live - and the way we die.

Hope is an anchor when the world gets you down or tries to blow you off course - or batters you with its turbulent waves.

When situations appear chaotic - HOPE ties you to what is orderly in GOD.

Is this not why Paul is writing here about Predestination? Your calling in Christ - so that they would get their HOPE lifted - strengthened - increased.

Today many have their doubts increasing and growing. God would have us be strengthened where HOPE and ASSURANCE are concerned - so that we can sing meaningfully - when all around my soul gives way - On Christ the solid rock I stand!

Also - Paul is writing here about the Will of God. If you are in His Will, He will not let you down.

“Lord Jesus, wherever I am – no matter what I may be going through or experiencing – enable me to pray. Hear my prayers – for others – for this world where there is so much suffering – and strengthen me even as I pray. Amen”