What It Means to Wrestle in Prayer 

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. (Colossians 4:12 NIV)

Anyone who prays knows consciously or unconsciously that prayer is a battle. It is wrestling or intense fighting. But what or who do we wrestle with in prayer?

Let me begin by saying what this does not mean. Wresting in prayer does not mean power clashes with demons or physical combat with evil spirits in our prayer closets or meetings. One of the most classic Biblical illustrations of wrestling in prayer is Daniel’s prayer wrestling with the demonic prince over Persia. Did you ever read that Daniel saw a demon in his prayer room? He did not know what happened until the angel told him after the event!

The word “wrestling” in Colossians 4:12 means to strive to do something or exert much effort to accomplish something, conceived as engaging in a fight.  Prayer in this world is a battle with many natural and spiritual obstacles and enemies. Think of sleep, tiredness, discouragement, distractions, demonic oppositions, etc. Prayer is hard work; it is  a fight. That is partly why many Christians do not pray.

I heard a story of a man who began praying daily, and in response, all hell broke loose against him. He had so many problems at home and work that he had never had before. Regrettably, he did what many of us often do: he stopped praying. Then the problems slowly died, but he lost the spiritual trophy—and probably did not know it. Satan succeeded in quenching his prayer fire.

So know that prayer is a battle against natural and spiritual forces. Be a good soldier and wrestle in prayer.


What happened the last time you decided to start praying consistently? Why did you stop (if you did)?

Apply the Word

What enemy always beats you in the wrestling match of prayer? Sleep? Tiredness? Discouragement? Distraction? Entertainment? Etc. Pray without ceasing!


Ask the Spirit for a fresh baptism of the spirit of prayer in your life.

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