There are some incredible gems in the first chapter of Colossians. One of the most amazing things about this letter is that the church at Colossae was not known personally to the apostle Paul. Evidently Epaphras had founded the church there and Paul had only “heard” of their faith (verse 4) and had “learned of Epaphras” (verse 7) about their situation. So, in light of this detachment, it is surprising that Paul did “not cease to pray” for them (verse 9). He is connected in his heart and spirit to this congregation that he never personally knew.
This is a great admonition for us to remember Christians and ministries in far away places with which we have no direct personal knowledge. This is not to imply a recklessness in our support of ministries, even our prayer support. We only have so much time that is devoted to prayer, and certainly when it comes to financial support, we need to know a ministry is worthy of our support. Epaphras had validated for Paul the Colossian church, and the report had gripped his heart. How beautiful the bond between Christians! The Holy Spirit binds our hearts together. How we must depend on God to direct even our praying.
And notice that Paul’s praying is spiritually focused. While we do well to pray for each others’ physical, tangible needs, we also do well to remember that effective praying focuses on the eternal. Too much of the church’s prayer life is centered on recovery from physical ailments and too little time is spent on the things that can debilitate and cripple the spiritual man. Not so with Paul. He prayed for this church, a congregation he had never met, that they would be spiritually victorious. What a great prayer to imitate.