Grace is the fuel that moves us, transforms us, and shapes all that we are and all that we do as believers. Paul described it as “surpassing” grace–beyond anything we can ever comprehend or imagine.
Grace even shapes the way we pray. We see this truth in the prayers of Paul. Paul’s prayers were soaked with thankfulness. Interestingly, the word “thanks” is the Greek word eucharisteo. At the heart of this word is grace, charis in the Greek.
Paul’s thankful attitude was formed and shaped by the grace of God. Look at his prayer in Philippians 1:3-7:
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 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. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.
Paul was in prison when he wrote to the Philippians. He had seen that God used his imprisonment to advance the Gospel and to give confidence to his fellow brothers in Christ to boldly speak the Word of God. In the worst of circumstances, he witnessed the wonders of God’s grace.
When he prayed, his focus wasn’t his circumstance, but the sufficiency of God’s grace. Whether he was in plenty or in chains, he knew that grace was sufficient. In fact it “surpassed” any circumstance in life. Even in prison, his heart overflowed with thankfulness, because even there he was right in the center of God’s grace.
And the same is true of you. Whatever trials or tribulations life may be throwing your way right now, they don’t change the truth that you are in the center of God’s grace. You are totally forgiven and fully alive in Christ. You’re a child of God and Jesus is living in you. That’s grace, a reality that makes your heart say, “Thank you!”
Is it any wonder that Paul encourages us to: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).