True Friends: Standing in the Gap

“Hold a true friend with both hands,” a wise, Nigerian Proverb says. So true… A true friend. How would you define a true friend?

One of the biggest blessings in my life, even life in general, is the cherished gift of friends. The Lord has blessed me with friends I can call on in a moment’s notice. And friends who, even when we don’t see each other for months at a time, we just pick up right where we leave off. Friends who stretch me, grow me, grow my faith. Friends who quietly stand in the gap for me in prayer.

I just read about a  friend to Paul in the Bible, a friend who I would love to more like. He’s only mentioned twice in the whole Bible and only in the book of Colossians. His name is Epaphras. Have you heard of him? Good, me either. He’s new to me.  What a cool, well-respected guy.

“Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and those at Laodicea and Hierapolis.” –Colossians 4:12-13 NIV

Isn’t that awesome? I love how he is “always wrestling in prayer for you”…I pray to be more like Epaphras for my friends and family.

In this shiny, new 2015, may we always be wrestling in prayer for others.  May we always strive to be like Epaphras.

Reflect:

–Describe an Epaphras in your life. Please comment.

–For whom are you a true Epaphras friend?

Renew:

–“You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.” –Colossians 1:7 NIV

–“The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.” –Exodus 33:11 NIV

–“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” –Proverbs 18:24 NIV

–“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” –Proverbs 27:7 NIV

–“Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father…” –Proverbs 27:10a NIV

Recharge:

–Please pick up the phone or go see a true Epaphras friend of yours this week.

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