Getting Men to Pray
by Richard Long
Men are not like women when it comes to praying (and many other things.) Vive la difference.
Every pastor will tell you that it is a great challenge to get men out to “the prayer meeting”. I believe that the major reason men don’t feel comfortable in a typical prayer meeting is that we have designed prayer meetings by default for the majority of people who show up – women. It makes sense. So gradually we have feminized the prayer meeting. Think about it. Is it not a more feminine approach to put everyone in a chair in a circle and have everyone take turns? (Actually I know a lot of women who don’t like the passivity of this traditional approach either.)
I experienced a great men’s prayer group when I visited New York City a few weeks ago. Several of us Canadians had been invited through a mutual connection to meet up with the dozen or so men of a new church plant in Washington Heights. These guys had been meeting outside for a couple of years every Monday night. Sometimes they prayer walked. More often than not they gathered at a lookout over the Hudson River to stand around and pray for each other and their community.
They were your average guys. One smoked a cigar, several barely spoke English, others were brand new believers. But rain, sleet or snow they were committed to the fresh air and their prayer perch, and to one another. A band of brothers – challenging each other to brave the elements and be honest with each other about their needs and their dreams. It was a small glimpse of what works when you want to challenge men to get serious about prayer.