From: Our Daily Bread
September 29, 2009
Struggling To Kneel
READ: Colossians 4:1-12
Always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. —Col. 4:12Just before John Ashcroft was being sworn in as a US senator, he met with family and friends for prayer. As they gathered around him, he saw his dad trying to get up from the couch where he sat. Since his father was in frail health, Ashcroft told him, “That’s okay, Dad. You don’t have to stand up to pray for me.” His father replied, “I’m not struggling to stand up. I’m struggling to kneel.”
His father’s effort reminds me of the exertion it sometimes takes to intercede for a fellow believer. In Colossians, Paul refers to Epaphras as a bondservant who is “always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Col. 4:12). “Laboring fervently” is the translation of a Greek word from which we get our word agony. It was used of wrestlers who in the Greek gymnastic games strained to overcome an opponent.
Epaphras interceded for other believers to become mature in their walk with the Savior. Asking God to overcome obstacles to spiritual growth in the lives of others requires our concentration and discipline. Are we willing to labor “fervently” in prayer to ask God to meet the needs of our loved ones? — Dennis Fisher
There’s a holy, high vocation
Needing workers everywhere;
’Tis the highest form of service,
’Tis the ministry of prayer. —Woodworth
Intercessory prayer is life’s real work.