Epaphras, a member of your own fellowship and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings. He always prays earnestly for you, asking God to make you strong and perfect, fully confident that you are following the whole will of God. I can assure you that he prays hard for you and also for the believers in Laodicea and Hierapolis (Colossians 4:12, 13, NLT).
Paul is not alone in teaching, exhorting, and encouraging the Colossians. Epaphras, their own minister who shared the Good News with them (Colossians 1:7), now prays earnestly (Greek agónizomai “to contend for a prize”) for their maturity. Epaphras wants great things for the Colossians—strength, perfection, and confidence in following the whole will of God. Not only does he pray for the Colossians but for other believers in nearby cities.
Paul concludes Colossians with this directive. “Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart” (Colossians 4:2, NLT). His own evangelistic work depended on the believers’ praying for him (v.3), especially their remembering his chains in prayers (v.3, 18). I need to follow Epaphras’s example and devote myself to praying for other believers’ spiritual well-being. I need to be “alert” to their needs and thankful for the privilege of contending for them in prayer.
Father, thank you for the believers who surround me in a community of faith. Make me alert to their needs. Remind me of their chains. Give them strength to endure their circumstances and to resist temptation. Perfect their faith. Lead them by your Spirit to follow your will, confident in their faith in your Son. In whose name I pray, Amen.