Cover 2019-09-08

Ron Writes

“Devote Yourselves to Prayer” (Colossians 4:2)

“We have not ceased to pray for you” (Col. 1:9). One of the most important aspects of Christian service is prayer! Praying for each other is powerful. Prayer is central. Prayer must never become an afterthought.

Our brother Epaphras was reported to be “always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers” (Col. 4:12).

He prayed “always.” It’s not just that he prayed, but that it was a regular part of his life. This is what Christians do. We pray – “always.” Epaphras didn’t have to be asked. He constantly sought God’s blessing for his brethren.

“Laboring earnestly.” Praying is hard work. The NIV translates this “wrestling.” He was “agonizing” in prayer. This was his consuming work. The apostles would not be sidetracked from prayer, even for important work (Acts 6:4). In our previous series on 1 Timothy, Paul begins the section on prayer with “First of all, then” (1 Tim. 2:1). This must be the #1 business of the church.

It was personal – “for you.” He prayed for each one personally. You don’t get the impression that his prayers were, “bless the church, bless the preacher, bless the missionaries, bless the sick.” It was more personal than this. It wasn’t the impersonal, “those for who it’s our duty to pray for.” He interceded for them. He made contact with God on their behalf.

There’s a great need for us to be involved in one another’s lives through prayer. When we think of prayer we tend to think of those who are sick, having problems, financial struggles, marriage troubles - the list is endless. It’s certainly not wrong to pray for people with troubles. But Paul and Epaphras also prayed for those doing great. Prayer was an acclamation of thanksgiving: “We give thanks to God...praying always for you” (Col. 1:3). As a Christian I’m especially thankful for those who are trusting God and loving others. Great things happen when we unleash the power of prayer in one another’s lives!