Colossians 4:12 (NIV)
12 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.
We are in our third day of our twenty-one-day emphasis on prayer and fasting at Lakeland. Some of you, by now, have begun to experience some difficulty in being able to concentrate on prayer. You have set aside the time, you have opened your Bible, and you have read God’s Word, now you find yourself at a loss as to what to pay for or how to pray.
Many perhaps would even say this was a struggle to pray and fast. If you have experienced that struggle, rest assured you are not alone. The saints of old knew what it was to struggle in prayer. Epaphras was one saint in the early church who knew of such a struggle.
Let me encourage you in your prayer to pray out loud, if possible. I know this may sound slightly weird and somewhat crazy, but we would not have the examples of prayer that we do if they had not been heard or at least written down so we could learn from their example. There is something about praying out loud that draws your heart close.
Consider this; if you sat in the same room with your friend but never spoke to them out loud, it would feel awkward, right?
Then how is it that we somehow think that to sit quietly and pray silently that it would be any different with God. Indeed, He can hear your prayers that you pray silently, but we are talking about having sweet communion with hIm, not some silent fast where we sit awkwardly in a room staring at the walls, not knowing what to do.
So open up your Bible and open up your mouth and speak to your King, who delights to hear your voice. Let Him know you don’t know how to go about this. Ask for His assistance. As you ask for His help, open up the Bible, and read with your heart and mind wide open to God’s Word. Look for direction as you read about what to pray.
As you are reading and God brings to mind people, He directs you to pray for; you already have a specific prayer to pray for every name that is brought before your mind.
Pray as Epaphras did for his people.
Colossians 4 provides some much-needed help in this.
“Dear Father, I have a friend of mine that this not yet a believer. I pray that you would reveal yourself to them so that they would stand firm in all of your will for them. I pray that You would work in them so that they would be fully mature in Christ and find their complete assurance in your love for them.”
You can pray this for all those that the Lord Binrgs to your mind. Make notes in your journal of those you pray. Put the Scripture reference next to their name. As God brings other Scripture prayers to your mind as you read His Word, pray each one of those prayers right back to God and claim His promises as you pray.
How about it, Saints of God. Let’s open the vast treasure chest of God ‘s riches so that those we know may know and grow in Christ.
I am praying that you will stand firm in God’s will for your life in this great adventure and that you will become fully mature and assured in Him.