"Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God" (Colossians 4:12).
We sometimes speak of others as "prayer warriors," though we may use the term too lightly, and few of us would claim such a title for ourselves. It is fairly easy to pray for our own needs or those of our loved ones, and we more or less naturally are able to thank the Lord for our blessings. It is much more difficult, however, to pray for the needs of those outside our own circle--that is, to be true intercessors. But those who do are the true prayer warriors.
Epaphras, who was "always" interceding for the Christians at Colosse, was an exemplary prayer warrior. This term is used advisedly, for he was "laboring fervently" for them. The Greek word translated thus is agonizomai, from which we get our English word "agonize." Thus, Epaphras was actually agonizing in prayer that the Colossians might grow and do the will of God in their lives.
What a ministry is prayer like this, and how few are those who pray in such a way! It is significant that this word occurs just six other times in the New Testament, three times translated "strive" and three times translated "fight." Jesus said: "Strive to enter in at the straight gate" (Luke 13:24).
The word is translated "fight" in John 18:36 when Jesus said: "If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight." Paul said, "I have fought a good fight" (II Timothy 4:7) and urged Timothy to "fight the good fight of faith" (I Timothy 6:12).
Thus the intercessions of real prayer warriors like Epaphras involved striving, fighting, agonizing in prayer! And remember that, greatest of all, the Lord Jesus "ever liveth to make intercession for |us|" (Hebrews 7:25). HMM