Devotional- Prayer- Colossians 4:12-13- AJ Iovino

Posted: May 13, 2012 in Devotionals & Bible Studies
Tags: , , , , , ,

COLOSSIANS 4:12-13

March 4, 2007

The Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Church at Colossae:

 

  • Written      around 60 AD
  • The      Apostle Paul was imprisoned inRome
  • Theme-      Fullness and Freedom In Christ
  • The      church was probably founded by Epaphras, a native ofColossae(v 4:12)
  • Epaphras      worked hard for the church (4:13)
  • Paul      talks about Epaphras in (1:6-7)
  • Epaphras      stayed with Paul during his time in prison (see Philemon v. 23)
  • The      church atColossae     grew up in an atmosphere that blended a variety of religious traditions      that may have been a source of heresy within the church.
  • Examples-      Free Thinking Judaism (laxity), Greek religions flourished there, worship      of Cybele, Isis, Apollo, Dionysus, Asclepius and other God’s were      widespread.
  • The      church atColossae     grew up in an atmosphere that blended a variety of religions.
  • Paul      emphasizes Christ’s deity (1:15-23), over and against the mystical,      ritualistic religion of false teachers (2:8-23).
  • Paul      establishes the preeminence of Christ (1:15-2:23).
  • Colossaewas located about 100 miles west ofEphesusin what is today modernTurkey.
  • Colossaewas once a major trade route from Ephesusand was      considered a great city in the days of Xerxes, Persian King (5th      century B.C.).
  • Colossaewas once      famous for it’s weaving industry.       “Colossian”, came to mean a specific color of dyed wool.
  • By the      time Paul wrote this letter, however,Colossae’s prominence had diminished.
  • Colossaewas the      least important town to which Paul wrote.

In Colossians chapter one we see how to pray for other Christians:

The Holman Christian Standard Bible
Colossians 1     Read   This Chapter
1:3

We always thank God, the Father   of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,1:4

for we have heard of your faith   in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints1:5

because of the hope reserved   for you in heaven. You have already heard about this hope in the message of   truth,1:6

the gospel that has come to   you. It is bearing fruit and growing all over the world, just as it has among   you since the day you heard it and recognized God’s grace in the truth.1:7

You learned this from Epaphras,   our much loved fellow slave. He is a faithful minister of the Messiah on your   behalf,1:8

and he has told us about your   love in the Spirit.1:9

For this reason also, since the   day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you   may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual   understanding,1:10

so that you may walk worthy of   the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing   in the knowledge of God.1:11

May you be strengthened with   all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience,   with joy1:12

giving thanks to the Father,   who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light.1:13

He has rescued us from the   domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves,1:14

in whom we have redemption, the   forgiveness of sins.

  1. Being      thankful for their faith and changed lives (1:3).
  2. By      asking God to help them know what he wants them to do (1:9).
  3. By      asking God to give them deep spiritual understanding (1:9)
  4. By      asking God to help them live for Him (1:10).
  5. By      asking God to give them more knowledge of Himself (1:10).
  6. By      asking God to give them strength and endurance (1:11).
  7. By      asking God to fill them with joy, strength and thankfulness (1:11).

HOW MANY PEOPLE IN OUR LIVES COULD BE TOUCHED IF WE PRAYED THIS WAY?

Now let us look at an example of someone whose prayers had an eternal impact on others.  His name is Epaphras and he is mentioned in Paul’s letter in (1:7-8).  Epaphras probably was the one who founded the Colossian church.  Epaphras stayed with Paul during Paul’s imprisonment (Philemon v.23) and so was unable to deliver the letter to the Colossians personally.  Look at Chapter 4:12-13:

The Holman Christian Standard Bible
Colossians 4     Read   This Chapter
4:12

Epaphras, who is one of you, a   slave of Christ Jesus, greets you. He is always contending for you in his   prayers, so that you can stand mature and fully assured in everything God   wills.4:13

For I testify about him that he   works hard for you, for those inLaodicea, and   for those inHierapolis.

Some key points in this verse:

1-      “Always contending”—The Greek word for “contending” is where we get our word “agonize.”  It means to struggle or compete.  It has the connotation of battle!  The NIV uses the word wrestle.  We can relate to these words.  Are you contending for, striving for, competing for or wrestling for family members, friends, other Christians, teammates, the lost in prayer?

2-      “Works hard for you”—Isn’t it interesting that Paul says Epaphras is “working hard”, but all he specifically mentions is that he prays.  Prayer is NOT passive!  It is our most potent weapon.  Are you working hard for the Kingdom by praying for others?

We are in a battle with the forces of darkness and evil. Our Battle Cry should be to pray…pray like Epaphras.  We should commit to struggling, fighting, competing and contending for others through prayer.

Sources used for this devotional:

1-FCA- Athletes Bible- (HCS Version)

2-FCA Impact Play- Prayer Poser by Todd Dickerson- FCA Regional Director for theNorthwestern US

3Tyndale Handbook of Bible Charts and Maps

Devotional-3-4-07- Prayer –Colossians 4.12-13

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