Don’t let anyone tell you not to pray

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; with all prayer and requests, praying at all times in the Spirit, and being watchful to this end in all perseverance and requests for all the saints
—Ephesians 6:17,18

“Confess your offenses to one another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effective, earnest prayer of a righteous man is powerfully effective.”
—James 5:16

A command, not a suggestion.

God and Father Himself and our Lord Jesus Christ

“Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you; and the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we also do toward you, to the end he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.”
—1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 WEB

Observe, Whom he prays to, namely, God and Christ. Prayer is a part of religious worship, and all religious worship is due unto God only. Prayer is here made to God, even the Father and our Father; and also to Christ, even our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore Jesus Christ our Lord is God, even as God our Father is God. Prayer is to be offered to God as our Father. So Christ taught his disciples to pray; and so the Spirit of adoption prompts them to pray, to cry, Abba Father. Prayer is not only to be offered in the name of Christ, but offered up to Christ himself, as our Lord and our Saviour.
—Matthew Henry

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.

Manifested in the Presence of God

“not into holy places made with hands did the Christ enter — figures of the true — but into the heaven itself, now to be manifested in the Presence of God for us
—Hebrews 9:24

“therefore also He is able to save to the very end, those coming through Him unto God — ever living to make intercession for them
—Hebrews 7.25

“And Christ/Anointed being come, chief priest of the coming good things, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands — that is, not of this creation — neither through blood of goats and calves, but through Hist own blood, did enter in once into the Holy Places, age-during redemption having obtained”
—Hebrews 9:11,12

“now once, at the full end of the ages, for putting away of sin through His sacrifice, He has been manifested”
—Hebrews 9:26

(from Young’s literal translation)

The marvelous and wonderful intention of God for us

When the apostle Paul prayed this prayer, the Holy Spirit moved him to reveal the marvelous and wonderful intention of God for us, undeserving though we are…

Ephesians 3.14-19

Two renderings (WEB / YLT) are included in the following block of text to give a wider sense for how we might understand this prayer…

14 For this cause, I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ/Anointed,
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ/Anointed,
15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
15 of whom the whole family in the heavens and on earth is named,
16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that you may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man;
16 that He may give to you, according to the riches of His glory, with might to be strengthened through His Spirit, in regard to the inner man,
17 that Christ/Anointed may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
17 that the Christ/Anointed may dwell through the faith in your hearts, in love having been rooted and founded,
18 may be strengthened to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
18 that you may be in strength to comprehend, with all the saints, what the breadth, and length, and depth, and height,
19 and to know Christ’s/Anointed’s love which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
19 to know also the love of the Christ/Anointed that is exceeding the knowledge, that you may be filled — to all the fulness of God.

Here it is again in Green’s literal translation…

14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ/Anointed,
15 of whom every family in Heaven and on earth is named,
16 that He may give you, according to the riches of His glory, by His power to become mighty in the inward man through His Spirit,
17 that through faith Christ/Anointed may dwell in your hearts, having been rooted and founded in love,
18 that you may be given strength to grasp, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and depth and height,
19 and to know the surpassing knowledge and love of Christ/Anointed, that you may be filled to all the fullness of God.