In our last visit we studied the prayer of the apostle Paul in Colossians 1:3-12. Today let’s look at the life of Epaphras, a guy mentioned twice in Colossians and once in Philemon 23.
Colossians 1:7 says the Colossians heard the good news of Jesus Christ from Epaphras, who had lived among them. He is identified as a dear fellow servant who was faithful in his work for Jesus Christ, both in their midst and as a partner of Paul. He is mentioned again in Colossians 4:12-13, where it adds that he sends greetings. It says he is always wrestling in prayer for them that they would stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. Paul affirms his diligence in his work as a representative of the believers in Colossi, Laodicea and Hierapolis. These were three cities forming a triangle just east of Ephesus, in Turkey.
Here was a man who helped establish the church in his home town, Colossi, and then was sent by this church to be part of the missionary force planting churches elsewhere.
According to Philemon he was in prison with Paul for his activities. But he wasn’t pouting or complaining about this. He was praying. He was praying all the time. He was praying intensely, implied by the word, “wrestling.” He was praying strategically – “that they may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.”
He didn’t let his circumstances get the best of him. In fact, he did his best work in the worst of circumstances. You can’t do anything better than pray. Let me encourage you to follow his example, and pray for me, that I too might follow his example.