Epaphras #7

[caption id="attachment_1949" align="alignnone" width="300"]Not fun to drive in Not fun to drive in[/caption]

We drove to Escatawpa, Ms. to have lunch with Rodney & Rhonda. We all had a good cry but the memories of Lindsey are so wonderful even in the tears.

From there we drove to Baton Rouge to see my sister, Virginia, who will have eye surgery next week.

It has been a great but strange trip. For instance, I was in a Life Way Book Store in Birmingham and purchased $140 worth of books. I had to wait for Dottie who was shopping elsewhere so I sat in a chair and began reading when the manager came & said "You cannot sit and read. He asked me to leave."

Later I was in another bookstore and heard a commotion filled with threats and cursing. I walked to the office to see what was happening & the owner and an employer were going at it. When they saw me they said in the kindest voice imaginable "Can we help you find something?"

Then we stopped to purchase gas between Birmingham & Montgomery when two men robbed a man pumping gas while we were inside.

Colossians 4:12 "Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God."

Paul saw something in Epaphras that is never said of another minister or family that Paul was associated with. He says that Epaphras always labored  fervently in prayer for his congregations in Colosse, Laodicea and Heircopolis.  First, let us look at the word "always".

Jesus tells us in Luke 18:1 that we should always pray and not faint. That is a problem with most of us. We faint! We faint because we physically get distracted or sleepy. If I pray early in the morning I cannot get on my knees or lie prone on the floor. God would only hear snoring. I must walk or dance while I pray.  I also faint in praying when I allow my mind to wonder.

Pray should energize us and not weary us. Possibly what wearies us most is when we do not seen our prayers being answered quick enough. Epaphras knew that prayer can change people and circumstances. "Always" means persistent. He just refused to give up!

My second greatest hero is George Mueller. My first was my father-in-law. He led me to Jesus and forever changed my life. He did not 'preach' at me. He lived a life of such compassion that I could not have resisted the call of Christ on my life if I had wanted to.

When George Mueller got saved at age 19 he was actually at the house meeting to make fun of the preacher. Two of his friends were with George. When the preacher spoke of "God meets our every need" Mueller accepted Christ and he said that if the Bible was true then he would never ask another man for anything. He would always depend on God alone.

I am not sure how many orphans he had but I do know that at one point he had 2000 in his 4 dormitories in Bristol England. He was a man who trusted God completely but what amazed me was that he began praying the next evening following his conversion for the salvation of his 2 friends who did not accept Christ that night. He prayed daily for months until his first friend became a believer.

He prayed daily and when he died 70 plus years later his second friend was saved at George's funeral. THAT IS PERSISTENCE!!! And that is who Epaphras was!