The Work of Prayer

Colossians 4:12
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

Paul was a people person, and he came across so many individuals through the course of his life and ministry who meant so much to him.  And he had a way of recognizing those special qualities in them.  And in a man named Epaphras, he saw someone who was willing to pray, to labor in prayer, to serve God by praying for other servants of God.  He truly wanted the best for others, and so he made his occupation interceding for them to grow and be who God would have them be.

It makes such a difference when we uphold each other in prayer.  Sometimes we seem to look at prayer as the least we can do, but it is an important ministry.  It is worthy labor for all servants of God to engage in fervent prayer for each other.  And it’s not just that we pray about problems and desperate needs, but we can pray for others’ spiritual growth, for their relationship and service to God, for their ministries and opportunities that may come their way, and for them to thrive in their spiritual lives.

Are we willing to commit ourselves to the work of prayer for our families and church families?  Are we willing to take the time to intercede on their behalf, seeking God’s best and His blessings on His people?  It’s more than just a simple “God bless so-and-so” and going about our day.  It’s not just praying for ourselves and our own needs and then offering a blanket prayer for everyone else.  It’s about showing our love and concern for others by asking God to work in specific ways, to meet specific needs we know of, to ask for God to work in and through each one.

Prayer is not a passive activity.  It doesn’t just happen without some effort behind it.  But the good thing is that we can pray anywhere at any time.  We can pray for anyone.  And we can trust God’s will to be done.  We can expect God to hear and respond to those prayers.  We can make a difference even from a distance in someone else’s life.  Let’s commit to setting aside some time to be purposeful about praying for one another.  Let’s not take it lightly, but see it for the important ministry that it is in our churches and our families.

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