Paul is describing Epaphras as "a servant of Christ Jesus," a native of Colosse, who was dedicated and passionate in his work for the Lord. It was through his ministry that the church in Colosse was founded and built along with the many fellow-countrymen that were converted under Epaphras' spiritual teachings and leadership.
Epaphras' love for Christ and for his co-workers speaks to his success that can be traced back to the facts that he was also a "man of prayer"! (see Colossians 4:12) Oh, that we would all be men, women and even children of prayer, along with those who are particularly called to a "ministry of prayer" as was evidenced in Epaphras. Note these traits in Epaphras's prayers:
1. He was a man of FERVENT and PASSIONATE prayer
and in, Colossians 4:12 we read; 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. We
learn from this verse alone that Epaphras, was a slave
of Christ Jesus, our Lord. He fought for fellow workers
in his prayers, so that they could stand mature and
fully assured in everything God wills!
2. His was AGONIZING prayer -- He struggled physically,
he grappled and quite literally, his pursuit and
appetite to embrace God in his prayers could not be
quenched. It was sort of similar to Paul's battle when
he spoke these words in (Acts 20:31) "Therefore watch,
and remember that by the space of three years "I ceased
not to warn everyone night and day with tears." Paul
knew that after he left them, savage wolves would
attempt to come in among them with deviant doctrines
in an effort to lure the disciples into following them. He
warned the men to "be on the alert," remembering that
for three years he had cried and prayed both day
and night for each of them.
3. And, he prayed with total CONFIDENCE, fully believing
and with full affirmation... again similar to Paul's
teachings and prayers. Look at (Romans 8:26) Likewise
the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not
what we should pray as we ought; but the Spirit itself
maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot
be uttered. He is assuring us that the Spirit is quite
aware of what we want to pray and joins in to help us
in our weaknesses by interceding for us.
Epaphras had a heart filled with deep concern for not only the
Christians at Colosse, but also for the lost. He had a genuine and sincere love for those who did not know the Lord, he was a true leader, teacher, pastor and missionary.
I pray that God would give us all an absolute burning in our hearts, lives and in our souls... for those who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ! Sadly, I also pray... for those who have not seen Christ in those of us "proclaiming to be Christians!" I can't even imagine what they must think and what kind of bona fide love and steadfast prayer it will take to bring them into the fold of genuine Christianity!