We close out our series "Arrows" this week, but before we do I want to draw your attention to a couple of verses at the end of the letter. In chapter 4:12-13 we see:
12 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. 13 I can assure you that he prays hard for you and also for the believers in Laodicea and Hierapolis.
Epaphras is the guy visiting Paul (the author of the letter to the Colossians), and he is the one who tells Paul what was going on in his home church. We know from the context of the letter that the followers of Jesus in Colosse were under severe cultural pressures as well as facing the difficulty of false teaching about the nature and character of Jesus.
It would have been easy for Epaphras to criticize and complain about the problems at his church. But instead, notice what Paul says: he is praying earnestly and praying hard for others to be made strong and perfect, or more literally, to be absolutely sure about the truth of Jesus. The ability to recognize the real need of others is a demonstration of the spiritual maturity of Epaphras, and it serves as an example and challenge to us.
Is there someone in your life that could use a few prayers like that today? Who are you praying "hard" for today?
Hope to see you Sunday - Bradley