Thanks for joining me, Matt, on this series for men. We’ve come a long way and here we are at the conclusion. To recap, we started off talking about the ways men are attacked. We are fed lies from the Devil and grow burdened with our fears and our sins. In response to this, we must depend on God and choose Him to be our Savior each and every day. We must commit living for Him. Last week, I challenged you to spend a minimum of 5 minutes each day in prayer. I also challenged you to find an accountability partner (another brother in Christ) who you can pray over and ask prayers for, and to encourage you to keep going in your personal prayer.
Praying for our wives
If you are married, tell your wife tonight that you are trying to become a man of prayer. Ask her if you could pray over her. Ask what she is struggling with and then pray over her, out loud. We are called to be the spiritual leader in our home. Start today. Sometimes it’s harder to be spiritually intimate with our wives than sexually intimate. And that’s sad. Spiritual intimacy should come first. What really matters is our souls. I’m going to be honest. If we can’t be intimate with our wives spiritually, then we shouldn’t be intimate with our wives sexually. How can we be sexually intimate, but not spiritually intimate?
Right before our 5th child was born, my wife and I took a trip as a sort of “last weekend before the baby” date trip. We got a sitter, headed out of town, but there was one problem: my wife had a nasty toothache and was in severe pain. Being pregnant she couldn’t really take anything for the pain so she had to just woman up and bear it. At some point, I heard God distinctly calling me to pray over her for healing. But I put it off. Then I heard him again. So I sat close to her and put my hand on her head and began to pray silently. At this point God started yelling at me and told me to pray out loud. (Why do we chicken out like that?) We must be courageous in prayer, especially with those that we love.
Praying for our kids
If you have been blessed with children, you must not only pray with them every day, but you need to pray over them. Fathers, as the head of the house, have a particular role over their children. Before my kids leave in the morning we gather in the living room and pray for the day, then as they leave I give them a simple blessing on their foreheads. This is a special blessing that we, fathers, should do for our children daily. “May God bless you, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”
On top of that, we should pray over our kids. This doesn’t have to be difficult. Ask them what is going on in their life or what happened that day. Find something within that conversation that you can pray over them with. Simply place your hand on them and let God know what you need at that time- whether it’s because they have a test coming up, they’ve been bullied, or when they’ve lost a friend. The older your kids get, the more they deal with. They need your prayers more than ever. It doesn’t have to be big and fancy. “God, bless them today.” Don’t over complicate this. Just ask God for what they need.
Praying for our neighbors
If you are single, I’m going to ask you to have your eyes open for an opportunity to pray with someone. God is calling you to be a courageous warrior. Maybe your roommates or friends. God gives us little appointments to be that warrior He has called us to be. All we have to do is accept the challenge.
The world needs this. The world needs men who can stand up for Him. We can do this. God gave men this role but we have to accept it and be ready to change. We need to take prayer seriously. We need to be the men that God has called us to be.
In Ephesians 4:22-24, it says “Put off the old man that belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new man, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” No matter what: As men, we must take our prayer lives seriously. We must cut out the crap that gives society a false image of God. We must lead from our knees.