“Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis.” (Colossians 4:12-13)
I love how Paul says that Epaphras struggled in prayer on behalf of others, and then goes on to say how Epaphras “worked hard” for those people. In other words, his prayer was the hard work!
It’s easy to get caught up in working for God (i.e. ministering to others in word and deed) and fail to actually pray for people. But what we see from this passage is that prayer is some of the hardest work of all! It’s a struggle. It’s intense. It takes time and focus and patience and persistence and groanings too deep for words.
To put it simply: Don’t let anyone ever tell you that prayer is not hard work. It is and it’s worth it. If we ask, we’ll receive. If we seek, we’ll find. If we knock, the door will be opened to us. That’s how it works. Asking, seeking, knocking. Asking, seeking, knocking. Asking, seeking, knocking.
And then just when you’re exhausted from all that asking, seeking and knocking…
You receive what you asked for. You find what you were seeking. The door gets flung wide open. And all that hard work pays off once again.