A Giant in Prayer – The Man Epaphras
This Colossian is described in many ways. He was Paul’s “fellow-servant” and “servant,” he was a“faithful minister and his “fellow-prisoner,” and a He was also Paul’s ambassador at Colossae where he had founded the church (Col. 1:7), and sought under Paul’s advice to combat prevalent heresies there. The apostle had tenderness for Epaphras, who attended unto his need and the needs of others.
It is in his prayer-ministry, however, that Epaphras is noticeable. This giant in prayer knew how to lay all before the Lord, and toiling in secret, made the saints to be perfect and complete in their standing through his kneeling. He “strove earnestly in his prayers” for the Colossians. He grappled in prayer that they might be fully assured in all the will of God and complete in the perfection of Christ. Epaphras knew how to toil in the place of the saints of God. He was pragmatic as well as prayerful.
His prayers for the stability and maturity of others were numerous, unceasing and strenuous. Epaphras brought to Paul at Rome a report of the Colossian Church where he had ministered in Paul’s stead, an account that heartened him and resulted in the writing of the Colossian Epistle which Epaphras took back with him to his flock. Can we say that we are true followers of the devoted servant of God? Like him, do we know how to grapple in agony of prayer? (Rom. 15:30). Epaphras also showed great zeal or properly “great labour of anxiety” for those under his care. Too few of us are bothered about the spiritual welfare of others.