Laboring in Prayer

Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, [greets] you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers. — Colossians 4:12 (KJV)

Recently I was approached by a friend who was distressed about a situation in her family, and she asked me to pray for her. I assured her I would. After uttering a quick prayer, I went about my business, never thinking of her again until I saw her a few weeks later.

Scripture tells us to pray for one another and to pray without ceasing. God hears all our prayers. But I have to admit that my prayers, unlike Epaphras’s, are less than an act of labor. I wonder how serious God believes we are when our manner in prayer is hurried and automatic.

Considering prayer as labor seemed strange to me until I gave it serious thought. It takes work to bring our thoughts, our hearts, and our souls into deep attention to God. Our minds have a tendency to drift into the next item on our agenda, and before long, we’re detached from the prayer we began.

I’d love to have an Epaphras earnestly laboring in prayer for me. And I want to be like him in the way I pray for others.

By Mary Baird


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