The Praying Disciple: Colossians 1:7-8
“7) just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, 8) and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit.” Colossians‬ ‭1:7-8‬
There is not a lot know about Epaphras. He is mentioned three times in the New Testament. He is mentioned twice in the book of Colossians and once in the small book of Philemon. (See Colossians 1:7; 4:12 and Philemon 1:23)
It appears that he was part of the church at Colossae and may have been imprisoned with Paul for a short time in Rome. He became Paul’s currier to carry the book of Philemon and also this letter to the church back in Colossae. It may have been after his release from prison.
It appears that he brought news to Paul about the welfare of the church in Colossae. He informed Paul of their love in the Spirit and was sent to minister to Paul on behalf of the church.
It is clear from Colossians 4:12 that Epaphras was a prayer warrior. He was “laboring earnestly” for them in his prayers. This comes from the Greek word “agonizomai”. You can see the English word “agony” in the Greek. It originally meant “to contend for victory in the public games.” It had the idea of fighting or wrestling to win. Epaphras approached prayer with the intensity and focus of an Olympic wrestler seeking to win the prize.
Two things stand out in these few verses. First, the believers in the church of Colossae had agape love rooted in the fruit of the Spirit. Second, the early disciples were prayer warriors. I believe the two go hand in hand. Love is ignited in the prayer closet as one draws close to the heart of God.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global