Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. Colossians 4:12
Epaphras, an associate of Paul, was instrumental in founding the church at Colosse. His report to Paul on the condition of the Colossian church prompted Paul’s letter to the fledgling believers. At the conclusion of his epistle, Paul used Epaphras’s example to give us a grip on a few of the basics of intercessor prayer.
Epaphras was “one of [their] number” (Colossians 4:12 NASB). When we are involved in the lives of others through friendship, service, or other means of contact, intercession is much more natural. We can pray for others because we are aware of their concerns.
Epaphras was a “bondslave of Jesus Christ” (Colossians 4:12 NASB). God’s agenda needs to be ours. When we seek His will first, intercession for the needs of others will be woven into our lives. When our focus drifts from Christ, it is hard to pray for ourselves, much less another.
Epaphras was “always laboring earnestly for [the Colossians] in his prayers” (Colossians 4:12 NASB). Intercession is hard work. Intercession is spiritual warfare. It doesn’t come easily because Satan does not want you to pray for others.
The end result of fervent intercession is that others may be “fully assured in all the will of God” (Colossians 4:12 NASB). That goal fits every need.
Teach me to pray, Lord; to intercede with fervency for the needs of others.