Urgent Need–Urgent Prayer

Epaphras provides a great example for pastoral leadership and for an understanding of how you and I can make a difference in the world.

Based on what we know, Epaphras served as the pastor of the church at Colossae in what is now Turkey. Apparently, he came to know the Lord under the leadership of the apostle Paul in Ephesus. Paul mentored him in the faith and Epaphras took what he learned to the Lycus River Valley, where three churches began at Colossae, Laodicea, and Hierapolis (Colossians 1:7).

Because of his faithfulness, the gospel took hold in that region.

Epaphras is also known because of his fervent prayer (Colossians 4:12-13).

He prayed for his congregation urgently and fervently that they might stand firm in all the will of God. What can we learn about prayer from this man?

First, we also must pray fervently and urgently. Epaphras gave his best in prayer. The New International Version said he “wrestled” in prayer. That is an apt translation of the Greek word. We get the English word “agony” from the word used to describe Epaphras’ urgent prayer. He agonized in prayer for the people of Colossae.

Should we do any less in our praying?

The apostle James gave us the example of Elijah who prayed urgently and fervently that it wouldn’t rain. For over three years it did not rain. Then, he prayed again that it would rain and it did (James 5:17-18).

We need to follow the example of these two great man of prayer.

Second, we need to pray explicitly. Colossians 4:12–13 gives us the specifics of his prayer. He prayed that the believers might stand firm in all the will of God. He all also prayed that those believers might be mature and fully assured. Another way of putting it is that he wanted the followers of Christ to be fully grown in the Lord. We need to explicitly pray for our growth in Christ and for those people around us as well.

Third, we need to pray believing. Again and again, Jesus encouraged us to pray in faith, knowing our heavenly Father hears our prayers. We know that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).

If we are praying for those things which please our Father, we can be confident that He hears and that He will give us what we ask.

I want to encourage you to pray.

What can we do that would be more meaningful than our taking the needs of our world to our Father who loves and cares for us and wants to bless us?

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3 Comments


  1. Mark Graham
    Sep 01, 2015

    A few days ago I was sitting peacefully on my deck when my dog, Axel, approached and let me know, in his doggie way, that he wanted to go for a walk. I was comfortable, and a little tired, but because of my care for my dog, I got up, went inside to get his leash, and took him for a walk. Because of my care for my dog, I allowed my will to bend to his. If I, an imperfect man, am willing to respond to the “prayers” of my dog, how much more must my heavenly Father, Who created me with the capacity to love this little animal, respond to my prayers for His will to be done in my life, and on this earth!


  2. Sharon
    Mar 06, 2016

    Dear Pastor/ Brothers and sisters in Christ,

    I would like to have an Urgent Prayer request to have my Divorce case settled as soon as possible preferably in end march so that I would be able to start my new life with my new partner. I have to register in April for a date to get married . It has been dragging for the longest time and as I was in between jobs and have other commitments. I wasn’t able to pay earlier for the legal fees. Having said that I paid my legal fees sometime on the 20 Feb 16 hoping to hear good news from my lawyer but was told that I would still have to wait. I’m feeling very vexed and sorrowful I prayer and fasted to seek god’s guidance and I just broke my fast last Friday hoping to hear good news from the lawyer but was just told to wait and there is nothing else he could do. My time is running out and im at my wits end and darkest hour. Now only God can help me. Please help me pray so that I could hear good news soon.


  3. Margaret Walker
    Apr 13, 2016

    We are in need or urgent intecessory prayer for my husband and I to have our medical health insurance corrected and extended without further delays. Thank You for praying with us for our urgent prayer and petition to have Jennifer Swartz, the benefits manager at Maersk to reinstate and extend the United Healthcare insurance coverage for me, Margaret Walker and my husband Dennis Walker. Thank You Father God, thank You Lord Jesus, thank You Holy Spirit, for burdening the hearts of ADP Cobra to see and admit to their errors made on my account, and thank You God, thank You Lord Jesus, thank You Holy Spirit for burdening the heart of for Jennifer Swartz to realize that my husband Dennis Walker and I Margaret Walker deserve their empathy, their compassion, their help, their assistance and their support in getting this resolved without further delay, In the sweet and precious name of our Savior Jesus Christ, thank You Father God, thank You Jesus Christ, thank You Holy Spirit for your intervention in this critical matter, and for burdening the heart of Jennifer Swartz and any others that are involved, to find and make the way for the United healthcare medical insurance coverage for Margaret Walker and her husband Dennis Walker to be extended, and continued without interruption, Amen. Matthew 18:19 – Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. AMEN.

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I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” — Matthew 19:14 (NIV)