Men that Matter: Epaphras

Men that matter take prayer seriously.

There are certain men in the Bible that we don’t know much about. Epaphras is one of those men, but don’t let the lack of pages in Scripture that his name fills deceive you. Epaphras is mentioned three times in the Bible, but what he is known for is of great significance. He is mentioned twice in the book of Colossians and once in the book of Philemon. In Colossians 4, Paul tells the Christians in Colosse that Epaphras is “wrestling for you” in his prayers. 

Colossians 4:12-13 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. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. 

The Greek word for this idea of wrestling communicates hard work and earnest labor. Paul went on to say that Epaphras was working hard for them and contending for them. Wrestling with God on their behalf. Paul says that Epaphras was praying that they would “stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.” He was not just throwing up hand grenade prayers for the Christians in his hometown and hoping they would make an impact in someone’s life. 

That leads us to a trait of men that matter. Men that matter are men that pray for others. They believe that prayer makes a difference in their lives and the people who are a part of their lives. Author Paul Miller writes, “When we depend upon organizations, we get what organizations can do; when we rely upon education, we get what education can do; when we rely upon eloquence, we get what eloquence can do. And so on. But when we rely upon prayer, we get what God can do.” Epaphras believed this, and so do men that matter. They don’t just throw up an honorable mention prayer here and there for people. Men that matter take prayer seriously enough to wrestle with God in prayer for those that matter to them. They make it a priority to take the people they care about to the ONE who can make an eternal difference in their lives. So who are you praying for? Who are you contending for in prayer? Maybe a better question is, who should you be praying for with this kind of intensity? Your spouse? Your children? Your family? Your co-workers? Your pastor? Your boss? Your neighbor? Who? And after you identify “who,” I would encourage you to decide “when.” When are you going to pray for them? Why not now? If not now, when? You may be the only one praying for them. And finally, after you have prayed for them, let them know. A simple note or text that says, “I prayed for you today,” will be an encouragement to those you are praying for.

Men that matter pray for others because prayer matters. Make it a priority of your life to pray for the people in your life.

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