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
In this verse, Paul is saying that Epaphras (a fellow servant) intercedes on behalf of the Colossians. Paul is telling them this to both encourage them and strengthen them. It is almost as if he is telling them that they can step into the power and authority that God has called them to because someone interceding in prayer on their behalf.
And not just interceding, but wrestling in prayer for them.
The word wrestle is defined as, ” to take part of a fight, or to struggle with a difficulty or problem.” This paints quite a picture if you look at this in terms of spiritual warfare.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
How often do we really wrestle in prayer for someone? I know that God has laid someone on my heart to intercede for them, but I wouldn’t say I’ve been wrestling in prayer for them.
If we did wrestle in prayer for others, what does that mean for the people we are praying for?
“that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.”
Now is Paul saying that they can be mature and fully-assured because Epaphras goes to bat in prayer for them, or that it is his prayer for them to be mature, fully-assured and know the will of God?
I think it’s both. We are called to pray for others and intercede on their behalf, and as we do this it fulfills the will of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18
The above verse comes right after the armor of God. Notice how after he talks about putting on the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation and sword of the Spirit he says to pray in the Spirit.
He doesn’t say to go seek justice. He doesn’t say go pick fights with people. He doesn’t say go make things happen on your own.
We are all suited up with no place to go, except to our knees in prayer.
The best thing you can “do” for someone is pray for them.
We pray because we stand firm and we stand firm because we pray.
This is reminder to myself to stay fervent in my prayers even when it seems like a lost cause. I know that I typically offer a challenge out to you, but I want to challenge myself to stand in the gap and wrestle for others in prayer.
My prayer for you also sweet friends, is that you stand firm in the will of God- mature and fully assured. Who will you pray this prayer over today?