This is something I posted on my church’s blog this week. I thought it was worth sharing for the church at large.
We have a dynamic vision for Ridge Church. That vision is for us to be a praying church, not just a church that prays. Over the past year, we have made a lot of positive movement in that direction. But one thing has become blatantly clear to me and it needs to be addressed. It’s time for the men of our church to step up in the area of prayer.
Once a month, a growing group of people meet in a room at the Ridge during one of the services. The purpose of these meetings is to plan and coordinate activities that will continue to strategically move our church from being a church that prays to be a praying church.
Over the past 6-9 months, we have seen the vision come alive. Our prayer partners communicate daily about the prayer needs of the church and the community, and have also begun to take a more active role in the corporate gatherings we have on Sundays and other events. It’s very exciting! But as I surveyed the room this past Sunday, I saw continued evidence of a lack of men that has weighed heavy on my heart for a while. Of the 15-20 people that have been involved on the team, 75% of them are women. This is alarming to me. Why aren’t more men filled with an urgency for prayer in our church?
Prayer is not something only women are told to do. I am extremely thankful for the commitment and passion the women on the team have for prayer. They have been the backbone of this growing ministry. I am also extremely thankful for the guys that are a part as well. I just think that it’s time for more guys to man up and realize the need for their participation in this vital part of the life of Ridge Church. I’m convinced we won’t see the full power of God at work in our church and our community until this happens. It’s time we man up men!
Prayer is a powerful weapon waiting to be used in battle.Ephesians 6 describes the armor of God piece by piece. The word of God is the sword, faith is a shield, and salvation is the helmet. But prayer, though, is mentioned not as a piece of armor, but as the activity of fighting. Verse 18 encourages us in “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” A warrior is only as good as his performance in battle. He may have the best training and top notch gear, but if he sucks on the battlefield, he’s a goner. And to take it a step further, if the warrior fights alone, he will be consumed by the enemy. I love the movie “300” because of how the Spartans fight together. They defeated thousands despite their small numbers because they were trained, equipped, and practiced in fighting together. That is us, guys. We are being trained and equipped with the word of God every Sunday as Bobby preaches. But we are lacking power because we aren’t fighting together because we aren’t praying together. It’s time we fight together. It’s time we man up men!
Prayer releases God’s power when men and women pray together corporately. There are many examples in the book of Acts where the church prayed together and incredible power and wisdom from God was displayed (See Acts 1:13; 2:1; 4:24, 31; 6:6; 8:15-17; 12:5; 13:1-2; 16:16; and 16:25). Let me ask you a question guys. Do you think these corporate prayer gatherings were just the women and maybe a few men? I don’t. Actually, I picture it being equal parts men and women because I envision the men of the early church being active, not passive; focused, not distracted; and, humble, not proud. In all of my years in church, I have never observed a lack of women being involved in the vital work of the church. It’s always the men that are absent. It’s time we man up men!
The times I’ve been inspired to step up the most in my life are when someone has challenged me to the point that I felt like they were questioning my manhood. You can call me names or question how or why I did certain things. But don’t call into question my manhood. I think all guys are wired this way. We don’t want someone to sugar coat the truth of what we are supposed to do or be. And that is why I felt compelled to write this post. I’m challenging the men of Ridge Church to man up, to see that prayer is a powerful weapon to wield, and to join our sisters in battle. It’s time we man up men!