In our last visit we began a series of visits focusing on Thanksgiving. Paul would often begin his prayers with thanksgiving. In Ephesians 1:15 he thanked God repeatedly that the believers in Ephesus were safe and secure in their relationship with Jesus Christ. He was also thankful for their “love for all the saints.”
In Colossians 1:3-8 he again thanks God for the Colossian believer’s faith and love, and adds their hope and the progress of growth in their relationship with Jesus Christ. He also thanks God for their willingness to share one of their own, Epaphras, in furthering the cause of building the church. When he wrote the church in Thessalonica he thanked God for their work, labor and endurance.
As I reflected on Paul’s prayers, a thought came to me. Did he generally begin his prayers with thanksgiving in order to build up or encourage his faith in the light of what God had already done in the lives of those for whom he would pray? If God already had produced these positive qualities and accomplishments then surely He could be trusted to do the things Paul was asking for in his prayers. In other words, if you find your faith is not strong enough to believe God to answer the requests you are wanting to bring to Him in prayer, then maybe it would be good to reflect on some of the past answers to your prayers.
Then, with a list of His accomplishments before you, take time to thank Him for what He has done before. I believe you will find your faith strengthened through that exercise and you will be emboldened to go to God in prayer with greater confidence.