In the late 19th Century, Bishop J. C. Ryle said, “there is no duty in religion so neglected as private prayer.” If it was true in his day it has been amplified in ours. There are so many distractions and deterrents in our culture to spending real, quality time in the presence of God, talking to Him about the important things in life. In our mens’ breakfast meeting this morning we looked at one man, probably one you have no idea about, who shows us a few important things about prayer. Epaphras, the pastor of the church at Colosse who is only mentioned three times in the New Testament, was commended by the Apostle for his prayer life.
Colossians 4:12-13 Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has a great zeal for you, and those who are in Laodicea, and those in Hierapolis.
There are a few important points that we can draw from this text as to his personal character which tended to his ability to pray well.
- He was “one of [them]” that is, he could identify with the people that he prayed for. (vs. 12)
- He was a “bondservant of Christ” that is, he knew was in authority and control and was willing to submit to Him. (vs. 12)
- He “labored fervently in his prayers” so he was not afraid of hard work. (vs. 12)
- He had “great zeal” for the people that he was praying for. He was excited about the idea of bringing them before the Throne of Grace. (vs. 13)
- But most of all, the substance of his prayers was that they would “stand perfect and complete in the will of God.” (vs. 12)
Check out this audio of the lesson and see if the Lord doesn’t encourage you through His servant Epaphras to think a little differently about your prayer life and increase your zeal to pray.
Praying With Zeal – Colossians 4:12-13
You may want to check out Laura Story’s new single that hits this one square on the head. Blessings