WAMS 2018: Mixed Prayer Groups
One of the greatest joys in my spiritual life is when I hear a woman pray. I have had the privilege of hearing a number of women pray while in small groups and at a home Bible study my wife and I host each week.
What does the Bible say?
In Acts 1 the Lord leaves the disciples with a request to wait in Jerusalem until the coming of the Holy Spirit. So what did they do? They prayed. They also included a number of women who had been close to the Lord Jesus.
They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus. Acts 1:14
There’s no indication here that the women were not a part of this time of prayer.
Lifting their voices as one
A little later on after Peter and John had been persecuted and released they came back to the church and gave a report of what had happened. Then as was their normal practice, they prayed.
“When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God…” Acts 4:24
There’s no indication here that the women were not a part of this time of prayer as it says ALL of them lifted their voices.
A critical situation
We read in Acts 12 that Peter is arrested. The church knows there is only one thing to do and that is to pray. It’s interesting that the Spirit doesn’t tell us they prayed for his release. It’s more than likely, given the fact that James was just beheaded, that they were praying for Peter to endure through the trial.
But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him. (Acts 12:5)
Notice the whole church is praying. There’s no reason here to believe that the women were not a part of this prayer meeting. There’s no reference to just the men.
Praying in a 2018 context
Our assembly has adopted several formats where men and women pray together. For those who are not comfortable with this the women meet in a group by themselves. We don’t want to force any conviction on a person and make them feel they are violating their conviction.
We have seen much blessing from this. It has resulted in spiritual growth within those women and the church as a whole. There is a greater fervency in prayer and a renewed desire to make prayer a high priority.
Hearing a woman’s heart
One of the most encouraging aspects of a mixed prayer group is that is bring balance to the prayer of the group. Men tend to pray in specific ways that, while powerful, is not a complete representation of the human heart. Women bring an entirely different perspective that focuses our minds on a more relational approach to God.
Can you imagine what it must have been like to hear the Lord’s mother Mary pray? I firmly believe men miss out on deep prayer connections to God when they don’t pray with women.
Please understand that I greatly respect those who may have a different view on this and see scripture in a different light. These are the conclusions both from the Word and from experience that I hold to. I have been blessed more than measure from the spiritual women in my life and hearing them pray. I thank God for the body of Christ, both men and women!