"We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God's people." (Colossians 1:3-4)
Every letter written by Paul (except Galatians) begins with thanks or praise. Here Paul gave thanks to God for the Colossians' faith in Christ and their love for all the saints. God is the Source of these virtues.
Faith and love are gifts from God that we all should thank God for. Agape love flows from genuine faith in Jesus. In other words, the Colossians' love for all God's people proved their authentic belief in Christ.
How often do we pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world? I know I don't do enough. If you like to get some ideas about what to pray for, check these links out: http://www.gfa.org/pray/people-ministries/ , http://www.persecution.com/ , https://www.opendoorsusa.org/take-action/pray/ .
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for the Body of Christ, for all my brothers and sisters in Christ. Please protect the persecuted church around the world and help them to stand firm in the faith no matter what. Please provide for all their needs. Please help us all to keep growing in faith and love. Please remind us to take our job as ambassadors of Christ seriously since it is Your will for us. Please empower us to faithfully and boldly spread the Gospel and be effective in our ministry of reconciliation. I pray for unity among Your children that we may love one another and work together to further Your kingdom. In Jesus' Name, I pray. Amen.