Athletic activity and strenuous work make us sweat. From a 5K run to a session on an elliptical machine to pushing a lawn mower, we perspire because we’re working extremely hard. We’ve got a goal we’re pursuing and we’re going to do whatever it takes to get there.
This was certainly the case for another associate of Paul, Epaphras. But Epaphrus didn’t sweat because he was running or engaged in difficult manual labor. He sweat because he was “wrestling in prayer” (Colossians 4.12).
The word “wrestle” is the same word from which we get the word “agony.” Epaphrus was “in agony” as he prayed for the Colossians to “stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.” This was an intensity of prayer that few of us have probably experienced. An intensity that matches the effort of two trained wrestlers engaged in a furious effort to pin the other. Completely focused, muscles strained, soaked in sweat.
Today, begin to “wrestle in prayer” using the bookmarks that were distributed again this weekend. Every day for the next week, take time in the Chair to pray this prayer three times: for yourself, one other person, and the church. Begin to learn what it means to “wrestle in prayer.”