Getting Men to Pray

by Richard Long

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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.)

Men's prayer groupI 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.