Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.
Prayer is our occupation. It is not meant to be a halfhearted, wishful endeavor, but rather it should be wholehearted, intense, fervent, and devoted. What a privilege it is for us to engage in the one thing that will change everything!
Epaphras was a mighty prayer warrior who wrestled in prayer for the Colossians (Colossians 4:12 NIV). The word wrestle means “to agonize,” or “to wrestle as in a wrestling match.” In Epaphras’s day, wrestling was the most intense athletic match in the Olympics, and for Paul to describe Epaphras’s prayer as “wrestling” shows the intensity with which this brother labored in prayer.
Epaphras’s fervent prayer was that the Colossians might be “strong and perfect, fully confident of the whole will of God” (v. 12). Satan is continually opposing the will of God in our lives, and only through wrestling, agonizing prayer can the will of God be accomplished. Epaphras was willing to agonize over the Colossian church.
God told the prophet Jeremiah, “Pray no more for these people, Jeremiah. Do not weep or pray for them, for I will not listen to them when they cry out to me in distress” (Jeremiah 11:14). We may wrestle in prayer on behalf of others, but they bear the responsibility of responding to God’s overtures. What a tragedy it is when people resist God so much that He will no longer hear prayer on their behalf!
Let us wrestle, watch, and agonize in prayer daily. Our families and friends are depending upon us.