Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. – Colossians 4:2


Prayer is our occupation. It is not meant to be a halfhearted, wishful endeavor, but rather it should be wholehearted, intense, fervent, and devoted. What a privilege it is for us to engage in the one thing that will change everything!

Epaphras was a mighty prayer warrior who wrestled in prayer for the Colossians (Colossians 4:12 NIV). The word wrestle means “to agonize,” or “to wrestle as in a wrestling match.” In Epaphras’s day, wrestling was the most intense athletic match in the Olympics, and for Paul to describe Epaphras’s prayer as “wrestling” shows the intensity with which this brother labored in prayer.

Epaphras’s fervent prayer was that the Colossians might be “strong and perfect, fully confident of the whole will of God” (v. 12). Satan is continually opposing the will of God in our lives, and only through wrestling, agonizing prayer can the will of God be accomplished. Epaphras was willing to agonize over the Colossian church.

God told the prophet Jeremiah, “Pray no more for these people, Jeremiah. Do not weep or pray for them, for I will not listen to them when they cry out to me in distress” (Jeremiah 11:14). We may wrestle in prayer on behalf of others, but they bear the responsibility of responding to God’s overtures. What a tragedy it is when people resist God so much that He will no longer hear prayer on their behalf!

Let us wrestle, watch, and agonize in prayer daily. Our families and friends are depending upon us.


Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. – Colossians 4:2




This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise man gloat in his wisdom, or the mighty man in his might, or the rich man in his riches.” – Jeremiah 9:23

Wisdom, strength, and riches are the three goals that the world passionately pursues. Anyone who achieves status in one of these three areas is celebrated as someone great by those in the world. Such pursuit, however, leads to three main areas of sin: intellectual pride, lustful passion, and greed.

Jeremiah warned that a wise man shouldn’t boast of his wisdom any more than a strong man should boast of his strength or a rich man of his wealth. Why? Because those wise, strong, and rich men produced none of those characteristics in their lives. It was God alone who gave them whatever wisdom, strength, or riches they possess.

Paul reminded the Colossians, “For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). We must put to death the proud mind of man that flatters and exalts himself in his own eyes. We must crucify the sinful desires of the flesh, such as “sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires” (v. 5). Furthermore, we cannot “be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry”

(v. 5).

If we boast of anything in this world, it should only be the awesome fact that we understand and know the Lord personally. In everything else, let us put on humility, purity, and generosity. The world may not appreciate us when we do, but in God’s eyes we will be pursuing true wisdom, strength, and riches!

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