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Colossians, Chapter Four, Lesson Three


Praying with Effectiveness


V.12 ** Our opening two verses for today will provide all four characteristics of a godly prayerlife for us. But before we get to that, what do we remember about this man Epaphras?

Epaphras was truly faithful servant of Christ!

He was most likely the founder of the church at Colossae and was probably their current pastor. Having heard Paul preach in Ephesus, Epaphras returned to his Lycus valley town of Colossae and spread the good news. cf. Acts 19:8-10

** What is the first phrase that Paul uses while making reference to Epaphras?

He is "one of your number". The bond of peace that is shared by Christians is something for which we should all give thanks. Epaphras was one of their elders, and as such needed to weave his life into theirs to better shepherd the flock of God. cf. 1Peter 5:2

** Do you recall anyone from last week that was described with this same phrase?

Onesimus - the "truly repentant sinner"! We are all one, and all sinners, saved by God's grace.

** Let's look now at the first characteristic of a godly prayerlife - The Prerequisite for Prayer.
What do you suppose it is?

1) The Prerequisite for Prayer - "...a bondslave of Jesus Christ..." Before we can pray effectively, we must first belong to Christ through faith and be living a godly life in response to the authority of His word. cf. James 5:16, Psalm 66:18

** This godly man sends his greetings to those he dearly loves in Colossae. After informing us of that fact, Paul now gives us the second characteristic of a godly prayerlife - The Pattern for Prayer. What does it look like?

2) The Pattern for Prayer - "...always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers..."
Sadly, we know very little about this kind of prayer. The phrase laboring earnestly is translated from agonizomai, from which our English word agonize is derived.
cf. 1Corinthians 9:25, Rom.15:30, and Luke 22:44

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