Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, and is always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. Colossians 4:12
Have you ever labored fervently in prayer? It means you spent time before God bringing a concern or problem to Him for answers, with great intensity. Maybe for a sick friend or loved one? Maybe for something you were facing personally? Maybe you were stirred from sleep and felt an urgent need to pray? I’m sure we have all had times that we felt pressed to pray when crisis came up, but how many of us have earnestly labored in prayer for fellow believers to stand perfect and complete in all the will of God? This is new to me. I do pray for others and especially those on the mission field that they would be protected as they carry out their ministry assignments. However, I don’t remember ever laboring or praying to the extent of hard work for anyone where ministry is concerned. I think I pretty much think that God has called them and He will provide and care for them. That’s not quite right now, is it? As many as God calls to go to missions He has also called many to pray for missions.
Today’s scripture talks about a fellow minister of Paul’s who labored in prayer fervently/passionately for the Colossian believers. His prayer was not for them to be well, prosperous or full of wisdom. His earnest prayer for them was that they would stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. Now that’s a good prayer. What would happen if we as believers began to pray this for all the saints? What if we even just prayed it for the people in our own church like Epaphras did? What if we prayed this fervently with great sincerity? Do you think things would look any different in the church body than they do today? I for one am going to start my 2021 new year with a greater intensity in prayer for the believers in my church, in my groups and in my influence, that they would stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. I believe this prayer made a difference in Paul’s day and It will make a difference in our day too. When we pray, we open up the doorway to bring heaven’s presence into our earth’s circumstances.
Today I want to encourage you to spend some time laboring fervently in prayer. If you are not sure what that looks like, ask the Holy Spirit to give you an example of how to do it. He may lead you to someone in scripture or He may have a modern-day example for you, but be watching for His answer to this prayer. While you wait for His example, set some quiet time aside and begin to lift up those closest to you with this prayer of intensity. Ask that the Holy Spirit would empower all believers to stand perfectly and complete in all of God’s will. Ask Him to empower you to do the same. You will begin to feel the burning of passion on the inside of your soul that will translate into the intense desire you have to pray for your pastor, leaders and missionaries around the world. Start today to labor fervently and let’s start sanding perfectly complete in all that God has willed for us.
Today’s scripture reading: Colossians 4:12-15