A Prayer Warrior
Read Colossians 4:12-13 (ESV)
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis.
What do you think it means that he struggled on their behalf in his prayers?
Many Christians would admit that their prayer life is a struggle. But they don’t mean that they are struggling in their prayers. They mean that they are struggling with their prayers. As in, they are struggling to even pray at all or to pray in meaningful ways.
In today’s verses, Paul commends Epaphras for “always struggling on your behalf in his prayers''. He wasn’t struggling with his prayers. He was struggling in his prayers. But what did that mean exactly? The NASB translates this verse as “always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers.” The NIV version reads: “always wrestling in prayer for you.”
The point here being that Epaphras isn’t just throwing up random prayers to God and then moving on with his day. Epaphras was a prayer warrior. He was literally fighting spiritual battles for them by praying fervently and specifically for them.
Epaphras was introduced to us earlier in Colossians 1:7. He was the founder of the Colossian church and was probably also the founder of the churches in Laodicea and Hierapolis. Remember that Epaphras came to visit Paul in prison in Rome to tell him of the heresies threatening his churches. He knew the truth of the Gospel and felt such a great burden for the believers in his churches because their faith was under fire. He didn’t want them to succumb to the lies that were infiltrating the body of Christ!
But he didn’t just sit around and worry. Instead, he prayed earnestly for them. He prayed like it was his job—as their pastor, it was! He prayed for them to “stand mature.” He fervently asked God to give them full assurance of their faith so that they could stand confidently against heresy.
That is still what we need to be praying for the church today. The church is still being threatened by heresies. We have many believers who are falling for lies. Here at Back to the Bible, it is our prayer for all of you that you would “stand mature and be fully assured of your faith.” We are committed to helping you grow and mature and it is our privilege to be able to pray for you. Friends, I encourage you to join us in praying like Epaphras for your fellow believers. It is a spiritual battle. It involves a fight and struggle. We need prayer warriors!
Lord, thank You for giving us the spiritual weapon of prayer. Remind me to fight for the church on my knees in prayer to You. Help me to pray earnestly and fervently with specific purpose and intention. Help me grow in my faith, stand mature, and be fully assured of what I believe about You so that I will not be swayed by false teaching. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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