"Epaphras, who is one of you, a slave of Jesus Christ, greets you. He is always contending for you in his prayers so that you can stand mature and fully assured in everything God wills. For I testify about him that he works hard for you. . ."
In today's devotion, I intentionally capitalized PRAY in the title. I want to emphasize that I am not talking about the act of praying, but about one who prays. Are you a pray-er? I often talk to coaches and athletes who feel limited by the public school system in regards to what they can do with their faith. The school system can regulate what you say and do, but they cannot touch your prayers. Do you want to have an eternal impact on your players and teammates? Pray for them, often and by name.
I recently came across a verse I have read many times: Colossians 4:12-13. Sometimes it takes a different Bible translation to bring it to life. Since FCA is now using the Holman Christian Standard Bible, I was struck by a few things in the passage:
Key points to the verse:
1. "Always contending" -- The Greek word for "contending" is where we get our word "agonize." It means to struggle or compete. It has the connotation of battle! The NIV uses the word wrestle. We can relate to these words. Are you contending for, striving for, competing for or wrestling for your athletes or teammates in prayer?
2. "Works hard for you" -- I find it interesting that Paul says Epaphras is "working hard," but all he specifically mentions is that he prays. Prayer is NOT passive! It is our most potent weapon.
Are you working hard for the Kingdom by praying for your team?
Coaches and athletes, we are in a battle! It is good versus evil! God versus Satan! What is our battle cry? What is our game plan? I suggest that our first offensive option is to pray like Epaphras. Let's commit to struggling, fighting, competing and contending for others through prayer!
1. Do you have a passion to pray?
2. What promises does God make in Scripture about the prayers that we pray?
3. Whom do you need to be praying for more intentionally?