Is prayer just women’s work?

I sense there is a widespread feeling among Christian men that prayer is something that women do – not men.

Everyone prays when they are in a tight spot – they are seriously ill or their child is in trouble.  But the serious business of prayer – especially praying in groups – is women’s work.

Why is that?

It may be that Canadian men feel their job is to do something practical.  They are problem- solvers.  In their minds, prayer is nebulous – something you can’t touch or feel.  And sometimes you can’t see concrete results.

It may be that men feel inadequate in group prayer.  Being vulnerable is not a “manly” quality.

Another theory put forward by a woman friend is that men in our society feel un-manned.  Reacting to women taking greater control, they shy away from prayer which they see as a female interest.

My view that men are reluctant to pray – particularly in groups – is based on conversations with a number of men in the last year or so.  They leave prayer to their wives.

But the great men of the Bible believed prayer was essential.

Moses and Joshua, very active leaders, prayed so earnestly and consistently that God acted powerfully in their midst.  David’s psalms are prayers.  Jesus prayed continually to get his Father’s direction even though he was the anointed one.  The apostle Paul’s letters are littered with requests that people pray for him.

Martin Luther, the great reformer, spoke often about prayer and how essential it was in his own ministry.  Jim Cymbala, pastor of a mega-church in Brooklyn, N.Y., has made prayer the very centre of his church’s activity.  As a result, criminals, drug addicts, and prostitutes are putting their faith in Christ in the Brooklyn slums.

So, what would inspire men to pray?

One friend suggested that men may want to pray if they see prayer is a vital part of spiritual warfare.  There are examples throughout scripture of that truth.

Ultimately, men need to see that prayer is key to God moving in our world – our personal world and the world around us.  It is not just something you do when all else fails.

Certainly, the men of the Bible believed that God could and did move in response to prayer.  And they were right.

That’s the way I think we men need to see prayer today.

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1 comment so far

  1. Caroline Lewandowsky on

    Prayer is not a fluffy, nice thing to do or say. It is very powerful and one of the ways we ought to show love —

    Romans 12:12 says, Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

    Plainly, prayer is asked of us…all. Yes, men, women and children can pray directly to God through Jesus, but it’s the dads and husbands that families look to for leadership!
    Please help.


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