Do You Pray, Dad?
"I will (desire) therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting." I Timothy 2:8
Growing up in church, I learned the specific times in Sunday service that we would pray. I often was quite tired on Sunday mornings, and I looked forward to when it was time to pray so I could catch some ZZZ's. Sometimes, we also had prayer time on Saturday mornings at 7am. The early hour was brutal for me, and as soon as the prayers started, Mr. Sandman was in full effect and I would get an elbow when it was my turn to pray. I did not see prayer as I should unless tragedy struck in my life or if there was something I had my eye on, such as my now-wife Rebekah. I prayed a lot of selfish prayers for her, but I did not pour the same effort into my praying that I would walk in the Spirit.
Our pastor recently preached a great message on I Timothy 2. I did not hear it in person as I was assigned outside security duty, and the most exciting thing I encountered was a car alarm that brought much distraction to those inside the building. Both my wife and my friend, Ben, told me it was a good message. Ben runs the livestream at our church, so he sent me a link to the message so that I could watch it later that week. I liked what I was hearing until he got to this verse. Pastor made good use of the dramatic pause throughout his message to give the audience time to ponder what he was saying. It worked quite well as I hung on his every word, and even thought for a minute that maybe the video was buffering. As he expounded on this verse, he applied it to the men and how we are to be leaders in the home.
I was all about being a leader in the home until he said something I did not expect. He mentioned this verse and said men ought to lead their homes in prayer. This verse is directed specifically to men, and the word of God commands us to pray everywhere. This was not groundbreaking news, but he applied it in a way I had never thought of before. He quoted the verse again and put in “husband”, “father”, and “leader of the home” in the place where it says “men” in the verse. He applied this verse to male leadership and how we ought to pray and lead in prayer. He then began to dig into our personal prayer life. A good prayer life is a reflection of one who walks with God, and if we have a serious prayer life, we have a serious walk with God. A serious prayer life is one in which God is always at work, and prayer is a game changer in our homes. God began to convict me of my lack of leadership in the area of prayer.
I prayed for my food around the table, and we prayed when serious things arose, but I was guilty of not leading my home in prayer. I could not remember the last time I led my wife in prayer together, and I could not remember the last time we all knelt down as a family to pray. I was convicted that I had failed my wife and family by not showing them the source of power in the Christian's life. It is my role to lead my family in prayer, and I have not done a good job of being a Christian leader in my home. God used this verse for me to take an assessment of my spiritual walk with Him, and how I need to walk with Him in the area of prayer in order to be the leader He would have me to be. Soon after listening to the message, I went on a walk with my wife and asked her to forgive me for my failure to lead as I should in the area of prayer. This is not an area of strength in my Christian life, but I know I need to do better if I am to be the leader God has called me to be.
Where are you today dad, husband, leader? Do you pray with those you lead or are you too busy to take the time to get on your knees? Do others around you know you as a praying man or are they clueless that you even pray? When was the last time you had a talk with your Heavenly Father? When was the last time you led others in prayer? When was the last time you went to God first instead of complaining to someone else about your situation? God can move mountains if we will have the faith to pray to Him and ask. What mountain in your family do you need moved? Who in your family is unsaved that you desire God to save? Who in your life walked away from God and needs prayer to repent and come back to the One who desires reunion with them? A world cannot be changed if we do not get on our knees, and our homes cannot be what God designed them to be if we don't lead our families on our knees. May we not sleep when we should pray, and may our sleep be sweet because we pray. May we pray everywhere, and may we have a real walk with Him.
Stay in the fight!