The Work of Prayer

Introduction

We’ve spent several days talking about items to add to your prayer list. Some of those items are things you wouldn’t pray about unless you made an on purpose effor to do it. It makes prayer sound like work – and it is.

Bible Reading

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. For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis. (Col 4:12-13)

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (Jam 5:16)

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; (Col 1:9)

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
(Eph 6:18)

Labouring Fervently

Paul described Epaphras as “labouring fervently” for the Colossians in his prayers. You might be surprised by the Greek word used here:

ag-o-nid’-zom-ahee: to struggle, literally (to compete for a prize), figuratively (to contend with an adversary), or generally (to endeavor to accomplish something): – fight, labor fervently, strive. (Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries)

Sure sounds like work, doesn’t it? Obviously, Epaphras cared enough about the Colossians enough to pray for them consistently and diligently. James said that kind of prayer can accomplish a lot.

Paul prayed consistently for the Colossians,too. He did so since the day he heard about their faith in Christ. He didn’t pray mechanically, either, he had a desire, a craving, that God would help the Colossians.

This kind of prayer isn’t reserved for a select few Christians. Paul made it clear that God expected the Ephesians to pray with the same commitment and fervor. He expects believers today to do likewise.

What About You?

  • When did you last work at prayer?
  • If you worked at your job like you work at prayer, would you be fired?
  • Who could you pray for most passionately?

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