“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.”
~ Colossians 4:12
Several years ago I was working on an application to go on a mission trip to Haiti, and the question I struggled with the most was, “Describe your prayer life.” Part of the difficulty of this question was that I was currently having my prayer life rocked by Sprugeon’s “The Power of Prayer in a Believer’s Life” as the Lord was continually using Spurgeon to crumble up my small thoughts and ideas on prayer and punt them away. Another difficulty was just how do you put into words your prayer life. If we are honest and you are like me there are times when our prayer life is like a mighty rushing river and at times when it is barely a stream making its way down the mountain.
How would you describe your prayer life?
For the past few years whenever I think of prayer, and reevaluate my current prayer life, I often think of this verse towards the end of Paul’s letter to the Colossians. I love the way Paul describes Epaphras’ prayer life as one that is always struggling on the Church of Colossae’s behalf. Here we see that Paul has taken notice of Epaphras’ prayer life and has noticed that it is one of battle, and not simply for himself but for the Church of Colossae. Perhaps a better question for the mission trip application would be,
“How would others describe your prayer life?”
Are we known to be prayer warriors? Do others know that when you say, “I’ll be praying for you,” that we mean it and will be joining in the fight in prayer on their behalf, or are they simply empty words we offer? As Piper says in Let the Nations Be Glad, “We cannot know what prayer is for until we know that life is war!” In this life as believers we are in a war and the enemy is not flesh and blood, but is spiritual (Ephesians 6:12) and as we battle we are to pray at all times (Ephesians 6:18).
As we put on the full Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20) let us not forget to enter the battle in prayer at all times. For the sake of our local church, for the sake of churches in our cities and the greater Church worldwide, let us always be struggling on their behalf in our prayers.
“True prayer is neither a mere mental exercise nor a vocal performance. It is far deeper than that – it is a spiritual transaction with the Creator of heaven and earth” ~ Spurgeon