Text: Colossians; Psalm 77
As the letter to the Colossians comes to a close, there are some comments about real people. One is a man named Epaphras (4:12-13):
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…
Last week was a special time for extra prayer and fasting. We do this once a quarter in our church – usually when the month has five Sundays. Last week we held a dozen special meetings. Two observations: I was exhausted by the end of the week, and not many people came out for the meetings.
These verses tell us that prayer requires “struggling,” and that Epaphras “worked hard.” The former word has at its core the idea of “agonizing,” while the latter of “pain” and “toil”. The enemy knows that we are extremely dangerous when we bear the fruit of prayer. He uses his very best craft to keep us from prayer. Combine that with the idea it is brutal, hard labor, and it makes sense that those who prayed needed a nap and that many would choose not to come out for prayer. Notice that the objective of Epaphras’ heavy lifting is that the Colossians would stand mature and fully assured of the will of God. Imagine the Church of Jesus Christ brought to full strength, maturity and precisely aligned with God’s unassailable might and purpose. We would be as a great battering ram at the very gates of the enemy’s strongholds. Oh that God’s people would undertake this wondrous effort!
in Him, Mike