How One Labours in Prayer
He labours in prayer. Watch carefully. The old man rises while it is still dark. Gathering a worn robe around his thin shoulders, he glides, silent as a shadow, to the kitchen table.
by Ron Hughes
This is his time to work.
From between the back page and cover of his Bible, he withdraws several pieces of paper and a map, and spreads them strategically before him. When everything is in its place, he picks up the stub of a pencil and begins to review their contents.
His lips move silently as he makes notes beside names. Sometimes a smile tugs at his lips. At other times, a tear slips unheeded from his eye. Occasionally, a deep groan breaks the silence. Dots, checkmarks, and underscores reveal his careful attention to every person, project, and passion on the pages before him.
Once-strong fingers flutter over the map as he remembers fellow-servants of His Lord seeking to make a difference in the strongholds of enemy territory. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear him speaking aloud now — challenging the evil one to remember his ultimate defeat and beseeching the Spirit to move in power in the lives of His people and in the communities where they live.
We didn’t notice the mounting tension in the small frame, but intensity grew from the moment he sat down.
Now suddenly, we are aware of release.
His face leaves the cluttered surface of the table and rises to see beyond the confines of the room. Shoulders relax. His face beams. Upturned hands resting on the table turn palm-up to receive the invisible strength refreshing him after his labours.
They say he is too old to work now. He knows he has never worked harder.
He labours in prayer.
Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. (Colossians 4:12 NKJV)
Heavenly Father, thank You for reminding me that spiritual work is done by your Spirit. Thank you for giving me a part to play through prayer even when the people and situations in which You are working are far away. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Ron is president of FBH International , a multi-language media ministry and maintains an active itinerant speaking ministry in churches and conferences. Ron is a professional member of The Word Guild and has one published book, “Refresh: 19 ways to boost your spiritual life”, and is working on several other writing projects. Much of his writing is published on the ministry website and has been used in radio broadcasts.
Ron has been married to Debbie since 1976. They have four children, one of whom is married. They live on a 100 acre farm in the Niagara region which they share with a few horses, chickens, cats and a dog.