Day 1 ~ EXercise Faith
“Epaphras is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, and be mature.” (Colossians 4:12)
Wrestling is an ancient sport. In the first century, wrestlers struggled for their lives, not for TV ratings. In the language of the day, the wrestling ring was called the agone,and the wrestlers were called antagonists.
Such is this word-image that Paul uses to describe the work of prayer from a spiritual leader of the Colossian church, Epaphras. Paul tells the church that Epaphras wrestles in prayer for them. We would catch Paul’s wordplay if we say that Epaphras agonizes in prayer for them. What a powerful image – and a biblical image too – like Jacob wrestling with the angel all night for a blessing (Genesis 32:24-31) – and like Jesus praying so fervently in the Garden of Gethsemane that his sweat became like drops of blood (Luke 22:41-44).
What is so important that Epaphras would pray so fervently? That the Colossian church would grow in their knowledge of God’s will and in their maturity of faith.
This capital campaign is a call to prayer for you and for your congregation. You and your congregation will be encouraged to reflect on a simple question — What would You do through me Lord to make Your will happen in this church? Genuinely reflecting on that question will mean prayerfully wrestling with God’s will in your life and with God’s will in your church. This challenge is a time to exercise your faith. The struggle to respond faithfully will not be – nor should it be – easy. As Paul would later say of Epaphras, “I vouch for him that he is working hard for you.” The process of making a decision will not be – nor should it be – short-lived. Like Jacob, you may spend more than one restless night wrestling for an answer and a blessing.
Your church needs an Epaphras or two just now. Your church needs people who will pray earnestly to seek God’s will. Would you be willing to pray, to wrestle hard, for the future of this church?
Prayer: Lord, lead me in prayer to wrestle hard with Your will. I will hold fast to You until I find Your blessing.
Action Item: Decide now to make a prayerful decision about your participation in this campaign. Set aside specific time (at least 15 minutes) every day for the next three weeks to spend in prayer and reflection using this devotional guide. Make an appointment with yourself (and with God) right now. Write down when and where you will spend your prayer time each day for the next three weeks.