Editor's note: Join disciples around the world in January as we devote ourselves to prayer and action. Each day, Disciples Today will publish a devotional from 31 Days of Prayer by Daniel Berk. Follow along on Facebook with your comments and prayer requests. We look forward to an amazing year as we seek God together!
Scripture“Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.” – Colossians 4:12 (NIV)
Little is known of Epaphras. What I find so interesting about this disciple is what Paul says he does for the church in Colossae. Paul writes that "he is always wrestling in prayer for you." The word translated as wrestling is ἀγωνίζομαι, which means to endeavor with strenuous zeal. To put this in perspective for me, I imagine athletes in their sport. They push their bodies to the limit in training and strive with everything they have to achieve victory. This is the kind of prayer that Epaphras is praying to God. He is praying with this kind of zeal for the church "always" so that they can stand firm.
Most of my prayers are centered on myself. I pray for my days to come, that God may use me. I pray for my walk with God to grow deeper. I pray for situations I'm going through that are challenging and tough. These are important things to pray for, but I have limited my prayer life when I only pray for myself. Epaphras prayed with zeal for his brothers and sisters in the faith. When was the last time your prayers for others could be described as to endeavor with strenuous zeal? This is a wake up call and a challenge for all of us. James 5 instructs us to pray for each other so we can be healed. As Christians, we must pray for one another.
Take time in your prayers to God to pray for the disciples around you. Pray with the zeal that Epaphras prayed with. Follow his example and pour your heart out to God for your brothers and sisters in Christ.