Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, with Mark the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions: if he comes to you, welcome him), and Jesus who is called Justus. These are my only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are of the circumcision; they have proved to be a comfort to me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I bear him witness that he has a great zeal for you, and those who are in Laodicea, and those in Hierapolis. Colossians 4:10-14 NKJV
Aristarchus a fellow prisoner, Mark, and Justus were Paul’s fellow workers for the kingdom of God. They were a great comfort to Paul. Aristarchus was in prison, just like Paul. I wonder if he was a believer before he met Paul. Or did Paul win him to the Lord through his testimony of Christ? We aren’t told. But we do know that he was a comfort to Paul. I’ve found in my life, that the only ones who can really comfort are those with faith in Jesus Christ. Others try to comfort, but their words are empty and hollow.
Epaphras was one of the Colossians and a bondservant of Christ. Paul describes him as “always laboring fervently for you in prayers.” What a beautiful picture of someone who cared for his people. Notice the active descriptive words Paul used. Always says he never ceased. Can you say that about your prayers for others? Laboring says he worked at it and it took effort on his part to stay prayerful. Fervently says to me that he poured himself out in prayer for others. He really put all of himself in the prayer for his people. Why did he go to all that trouble? So his people would “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”
Isn’t that what we are to aim for? To stand perfect and complete in the will of God is to be united with Christ in mind, body, and spirit. To let God’s love win over our hearts. To allow ourselves to be changed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2), as well as to put off our old man and put on the new man (Ephesians 4:21-23). As we do, the more our perspective changes to God’s perspective and the easier it becomes to “always, labor, fervently” for others in our prayers.
Do you have someone praying for you like Epaphras did? If so, you are blessed. If not, don’t worry start planting seeds of prayer yourself and in time you will reap a harvest of righteousness. Are you praying for others like he did? If so, continue and never cease. We all need prayer to keep us strong in the Lord. If not, start today and watch how God changes things.
Thank you, Jesus, for being the One who intercedes for us. Thank you for your Holy Spirit to teach us how to pray and for giving us desires to do what pleases you. In your name we pray. Amen.