Men Praying – Active Duty
When Rick left for his second tour of duty in the Middle East, he shared some specific concerns with his wife Melissa. “I’m uneasy about some of the men in my new platoon. I don’t know them as well as the last team. Pray for us.” Like most men, Rick faces a culture that projects the misguided belief that fear equals weakness. Most men loathe admitting that they have fears—fear for their families, fear for their finances, fear for the future. Two months after Rick deployed, he woke up in Walter Reed Army Medical Center. His entire right leg was in a massive cast . . . and his left leg was missing below the knee. His captain recounted, “Following the roadside IED, Rick pulled himself from one wounded soldier to another, praying with them.” “I command you—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). During his grueling rehabilitation Rick explained, “The difference between a coward and a hero is not whether or not you’re scared. It’s about what you do while you’re scared.”
Men like Rick understand that prayer enables us to conquer our weaknesses. The apostle Paul prayed repeatedly to God for strength to face Satan’s torments. Only when he surrendered his pride did Paul understand how his weaknesses related to Christ’s power (2 Corinthians 12:6-10). Men of prayer surrender their fears, pride, and weaknesses to the One who is in control.
Men Praying – Under Attack
At one time or another, every man faces the crushing weight of powerlessness to do anything about a health issue. Attacks upon his body and mind present themselves relentlessly. Dr. Don Colbert, physician, author, and noted speaker, observes, “. . . When [men] come into the doctor they won’t tell you their problem -- until the last minute . . . It’s sort of like how men rarely ask for help.”1
Jim’s competitive nature revealed itself as a vice president as well as in his biking and kayaking. When a non-cancer-related abnormality appeared during a routine examination, Jim tried to remain unshaken. Further tests indicated Stage D prostate cancer (sometimes called Stage IV), which is considered not medically curable. Jim resented this intrusion in his life. “I didn’t get angry, but I felt very helpless and wondered, ‘Why Lord, why?’” Even though his faith in God had remained strong for the past fifteen-some years, Jim remembered the tense moments prior to a radical prostatectomy. Just before entering the operating room, he told the orderly to stop. “I looked and pointed up and said, ‘Lord, You know me and I know You—do with me what you will.’ Once I got those words out I was so at peace and I told the guy that was pushing me, ‘Let’s go!’” Men of prayer don’t run ahead of God by trying to deal with all the endless negative possibilities facing you down the road. They are just that . . . possibilities (Mark 10:27).
Men Praying – Authentic Manhood
The average male has only two confidants, including his spouse and a family member. Since most men are overworked, over-committed, and over-distracted, they don’t always feel victorious in regards to overcoming obstacles. Therefore, it is imperative that men pray with and for one another -- strengthening each other (Proverbs 27:17). Rick, Jim, and the apostle Paul all realized authentic manhood accepts the need for God’s intervention and help.
Through prayer, every man obtains a vision of biblical masculinity that relates to their own lives and issues. Through faith, God provides the practical “how-to’s” for real-life. Men of prayer: