Monday, September 12, 2011

Feminized Prayer

Sometimes I get worried that people think prayer is for girls! With our summer teams that join us here there are we have many more men than women. my accountant wife tells me 80% of our teams are women! I know this is always true of mission teams in general but it did get me thinking about the feminization of prayer.

There's an organisation called Lydia Fellowship  it's about women praying based on quite a weak link to a bible reference in Acts Chapter 16, their prayer meetings are exclusively for women, I know that prayer is good, that all types of people praying all types of prayers are necessary but I can't help wondering if the Lydia thing is a reflection of something that is wrong in Europe!

Over the last century prayer has been feminized, maybe because as the growth of christianity has happened men have worked and women have stayed at home and had more time to go to prayer groups during the day!! Maybe church leadership has not put enough emphasis on prayer, therefore making it a daytime activity available only to those without jobs. It could just be that with increased wealth and leisure women have chosen prayer and men haven't.

Perhaps it's down to the rise of one or two strong women prayer preachers and intercessor movements led by women. 

I know that times have changed but I even look at the  24-7 prayer international prayer team and I see that 6 are women and there is only one man, and this is quite a modern movement!!!!!!! In the end movements do reflect their leadership it concerns me that if the prayer side of 24-7prayer is all ladies bar one, then maybe we will only encourage ladies to pray.

Believe me praying women are better than no one praying at all. this isn't a chauvinistic post more a frustrated post. I don't want women to stop praying I just wish more men would get involved.

How does that happen?


Steve Blundell said...

Great post!

Agree, great to have women praying but where are the men raising holy hands in prayer!

Any thoughts about how we inspire other men to pray?

Thanks again,


Carla said...

Hey Brian, good question, important conversation! I've posted my thoughts and response on my blog...
Love to you and Tracy,
Carla x

God Loves Women said...

Hi Brian,

It's God Loves Women here. I would say that you are correct, in most places more women are committed to prayer than men and I think in part it is to do with what you say, the practicalities of women being more likely to stay at home etc. However I think there are various connotations regarding the "feminising" of the Church which make it an unhelpful word to use. Maybe the issue is more about the "man box" society and the Church often squash men into which leads to activities such as praying or sharing feelings or being compassionate as somehow incompatible with being a "real man". I think your blog very clearly states you're not part of the Mark Driscoll camp of Christianity (praise the Lord!) but I would say that asking whether prayer has become an almost woman-only activity may be a more helpful way of putting it :) A fascinating book about masculinity is available free online that you may find interesting: Blessings to you! And sorry if I came over a bit negative!! :)

Stephen Phillip Porter said...

Hi Brian,

I think it would be good to specify what you mean in the context of "prayer" here. The 24-7 prayer movement is largely a corporate prayer movement. Praying in one accord as a group, but that is only one facet of prayer.

There's also individual prayer.

Perhaps men are generally more comfortable in a one-on-one setting with God than a corporate setting.

I don't know how it is in Europe, but here in the states, for example, when women go to the restroom, it's a social event. When men go, it's a private affair with little talking until we've left the facilities

I hesitate to compare prayer to restroom etiquette, but they're both moments of vulnerability, and men tend to keep those moments, for better or worse, between them and God.

Stephen Manifest Blog

Brian said...

Hi Stephen

I like what you are saying although I would say that 24-7 prayer is not largely a corporate prayer movement. We encourage the set up and establishment of prayer rooms for one week in any location around the world. Most people engage with these prayer rooms in an individualistic or small group setting.

I think if we did have more men who were willing to be more vulnerable and expressive in their prayers publicly it would encourage others.

Thanks for you contribution

Anonymous said...

Good points, however being part of a prayer cell for several years I now understand why Lydia has encouraged single sex groups for that style of prayer. That's not to say men shouldn't be praying together as well.