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Ephesians 1:16

ESV I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,
NIV I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
NASB do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;
CSB I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.
NLT I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly,
KJV Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

What does Ephesians 1:16 mean?

Paul's prayers for the believers in Ephesus were unending, included thanksgiving, and involved remembrance. Paul's prayer for the Ephesians is similar to his prayers described in other letters. One notable difference here is that this prayer follows an extended note about God's spiritual blessings toward believers (Ephesians 1:3–14). This may imply that Paul considered the Ephesian church to be more mature than other congregations. In letters such as 1 Corinthians, Paul was obligated to follow his prayers by addressing controversies. Here, instead, he can focus on theology related to God's glory, proceed to prayer, then address other areas of teaching.

Paul's prayer in this passage emphasizes thanksgiving and the glory of God. He makes no mention of any severe problems in the congregation. This may indicate the church lacked some of the dysfunction he addresses in letters to other churches. However, it may simply be that this was intended as a letter to more than one church. In that case, Paul would be expected to focus on themes relevant to all churches.

While not mentioned here, at some point the Ephesian church lost some of their enthusiasm (Revelation 2:1–4). Paul would later write to Timothy, in Ephesus, to focus on love (1 Timothy 1:5). So, while the church has been successful in terms of doctrine, Paul's letter is likely meant to encourage them to maintain their passion, as well.
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