Epaphras

Matthew Henry on Epaphras in Colossians 4.12 & 13:

“Epaphras (v. 12), the same with Epaphroditus. He is one of you, one of your church; he salutes you, or sends his service to you, and his best affections and wishes. Always labouring fervently for you in prayers. Epaphras had learned of Paul to be much in prayer for his friends. Observe, 1. In what manner he prayed for them. He laboured in prayer, laboured fervently, and always laboured fervently for them. Those who would succeed in prayer must take pains in prayer; and we must be earnest in prayer, not only for ourselves, but for others also. It is the effectual fervent prayer which is the prevailing prayer, and availeth much (Jam. 5:16), and Elias prayed earnestly that it might not rain, v. 17. 2. What is the matter of this prayer: That you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. Observe, To stand perfect and complete in the will of God is what we should earnestly desire both for ourselves and others. We must stand complete in all the will of God; in the will of his precepts by a universal obedience, and in the will of his providence by a cheerful submission to it: and we stand perfect and complete in both by constancy and perseverance unto the end. The apostle was witness for Epaphras that he had a great zeal for them: “I bear him record; I can testify for him that he has a great concern for you, and that all he does for you proceeds from a warm desire for your good.” And his zeal extended to all about them: to those who are in Laodicea and Hierapolis. He had a great concern for the Christian interest in the neighbouring places, as well as among them.”

Is it a waste of time to turn aside to pray, as our busy world would have us believe? No, we must put on faith and press into prayer, praying without ceasing, as our new Life in Christ conforms us into the likeness of Jesus and His intercessory activity.