Christians have the privilege and duty to pray. This includes all Christians – no matter class, ethnicity, or gender.
However, until recently it never occurred to me that men have a specific call to pray unlike women. In a study of 1 Timothy, I was struck by this verse: “Therefore I want the men in every place to pray lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension” (2:8).
The word “men” in this verse is not the generic word for humankind. It is the specific word for males. Men (unlike women) have been given a verse in the Bible that calls them to pray. Why might this be the case? Many reasons could be offered. I want to offer one.
Men are given specific instructions to pray (as opposed to women), I believe, because of the natural sin tendencies of men. Men are prone to “anger and dissension” (2:8). When my wife is upset, she tends to cry. When I am upset, I tend to feel angry. Prayer, however, by its very nature, gives men an opportunity to purge anger and dissension. Prayer is good for men because of their natural tendencies to anger and dissension. Men need prayer. It is good for them.
Pastors, deacons, and men’s ministry leaders, your call is to pray. You have no power or effectiveness to preach, serve, and lead without prayer. Are you bathing your ministry(s) in prayer?
Husbands, your call is to pray. If you have been married long enough, you know you need the living Spirit to enable you to “love with your wife, just as Christ also loved the church” (Eph 5:25). Are you bathing your marriage in prayer?
Fathers, your call is to pray. To raise your children without provoking them to anger (Eph 6:4)—which your anger can cause—you need the Spirit through prayer. As my friend says, “Fathers with children living at home write books on parenting; fathers with children gone from home write books on prayer.” Are you bathing your parenting in prayer?
Employees and employers, your call is to pray. You need the Spirit’s enabling to “be obedient to those who are your masters” (Eph 6:5), and to honor, love, and respect those under your charge. Are you bathing your vocation in prayer?
Men, let us, by God’s grace, be men of prayer.