PRAY AS A WARRIOR
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. I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis.
~ Colossians 4:12-13 (NIV)
Today’s devotional comes from a Bible study prepared by a church leader in North Korea encouraging his fellow believers to “pray as a warrior.” It is fascinating to see how our persecuted brothers and sisters in North Korea regard prayer. He begins in Colossians 4:12-13:
What can we learn from this? That Epaphras wrestled in prayer. He prayed as a warrior. The word “wrestling” in the text means “battling, fighting.” We, too, must pray as warriors. I must do so. In the past, I often went to the mountains and prayed all night…God uses this prayer to open doors. It is not for nothing that Paul tells us at the beginning of chapter four that we must be watchful and thankful and must keep praying. Then…God opens doors to proclaim the mystery of Christ.
What does “praying as a warrior” entail?
1. Discovering God's will - Just like Paul, we must take our strategies from the Lord God. Paul wrestled in prayer in order to discover the will of God. This meant that God was able to lead him…When we make plans, we must pray according to His will. The Spirit knows what Satan is intending. God will reveal it to us and warn us if there is any danger.
2. Concentrated prayer - We must pray in a concentrated way, and for a long time…while I was praying in a concentrated way, a sentence came to my mind: “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” I did not know this text. When I spoke to a friend about it, he told me that it is in the Bible, in Philippians 4:13. There was much sin in my life. I had to pray long and often in order to break down the barriers between God and me. This, too, is praying as a warrior.
3. Prayer of sacrifice - The prayer of a warrior is also the prayer of sacrifice. Praying is the most important thing you do in a day. Whatever you do each day, begin everything with prayer. Prayer is the shortest way, not the longest! By sacrificing yourself and applying yourself to praying as a warrior, God will open the hearts of people and break through their thinking…this type of prayer helps us to conquer evil with good. This is why we pray that Kim Jong-Il will become a Christian. And even more, that he will combat the evil in our society.
Epaphras remained faithful to Jesus Christ until the end. He was a prayer warrior. In this, he followed our Lord Himself…How can we manage without this prayer?
RESPONSE: Today I will pray as a warrior…especially remembering Christians in North Korea.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for the example of Epaphras in the hard work of wrestling in prayer.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.