Many years ago there was a book written called What Happens When Women Pray by Evelyn Carol Christenson. In her book, she talked about the power of prayer being released in the lives of women as they learned to pray together on one accord. Well, one Sunday morning service, my Senior Pastor was discussing the book with the church and in particular, she was addressing the women in the congregation. As my Pastor shared with the women about the different chapters in the book on prayer, I noticed how some of the men in the church were bothered by the title of the book.
To my knowledge, none of the men in the church had read the book for themselves and understood the message that the author was trying to convey in her book. However, the men that were there still felt the author had some way excluded the role of men praying and how God had moved mightily in His people lives through prayer.
Well after that Sunday service most of the men agreed that we should come together for designated times of prayer at the church. The purpose of us coming together was not that we wanted to prove to the women in the church that book was wrong and prayer between men and women was a competition. However, our reason for coming together to pray was so that the Lord would stir up in each of our hearts the desire to be used by the Lord in prayer. We also came together in prayer because we wanted to see the power of God moving in our church and our families. We began to pray on Saturday nights having an expectation that the Lord would birth in us a hunger for His presence to be manifested during our Sunday morning services.
We spend time praising Him and crying out to the Lord sometimes passed midnight just as Paul and Silas did wanting the Lord to shake our lives from the things that had us in bondage. By the next morning during our worship service, we saw people in the congregation falling out under the power of God. When men come together in prayer I believe there are three important things which can happen in a church, one a deeper passion for God’s presence will be birthed in the hearts of our men. The second thing that will happen when men pray is that the prisons that have men bound will be shaken. Finally, a third thing that will happen when men pray that the power of God will be manifested not only in our churches but it can bring revival to this nation.
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed (Acts 16:25-26).
A Deeper Passion for God’s Presence
As the men in our church came together to pray on Saturday nights, inside of each of us was birthed a yearning to experience the presence of the Lord. As each man prayed he did not pray to try to be competitive with his brother because we all understood that prayer is not about being in competition with one another. However, as we prayed from our hearts, we wanted to communicate with the Father by coming boldly to the Lord’s throne of grace. As men, we were desperate for the Lord we knew we needed the Lord’s grace, mercy and help in our lives (Hebrews 4:16).
When Paul and Silas were in prison the word of God tells us that at midnight that both prayed and sang praises to the Lord. These two men of God prayed and praised the Lord so much in spite of their circumstance that their passion to experience God’s presence was so strong that the prisoners heard them. (Acts 16:25-26). In this hour the cry of men’s hearts needs to be Lord break my heart with the things that break your heart. Our cry to the Lord needs to be that we desire not to hear the sermons of men but our desire is that we clearly hear the whispers of His voice. We should have a yearning that we want the Lord to fill our mouths with the conversation of Heaven so that we can proclaim His message that Jesus saves to this dying world.
The prisons which have men bound will be shaken
The word of God tells us that as Paul and Silas prayed, the prisoners heard them, and there was a great earthquake which caused the foundations of the prison to be shaken (Acts 16:25-26). Through the power of prayer, these two men exalted and magnified the Lord more in their lives than allowing their present dark situation to leave them broken. When men come together in pray having a passion for God’s presence the Lord does not move into men’s lives to break them out of something but to bring them more into the fullness of His glory. We also see this same thing happen in Acts 4:31 when the Apostles were praying together with other believers asking the Lord for boldness to speak His word. As they were concluding their petition to the Lord, the word of God tells us that they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, receiving boldness and the place was shaken.
What the Apostles, Paul, and Silas experienced in prayer serves as a pattern for us when we spend time together in prayer with one another. Our times of worship must be God-centered were we are focused on Him and not self-centered wanting to get our praise on. When we are engaged in God-centered prayer other people around us who are in bondage will experience the anointing of the Lord which can help to set them free. If you look around you will see that all races of men are incarcerated behind bars for committing non-violent and violent crimes. There are men who are walking around free but are in the prison of depression, mental disorders and wrestling with suicidal thoughts. Oh if we would but pray, the foundations of the prison would be shaken, the chains would fall off and the shackles around their ankles would be loosed.
Revival will break out in the house
Finally, a third reason why men must come together and pray is the church needs the winds of revival to blow again in the church and this nation. The next day during our service there was such an excitement in the church as praise and worship went forth and the congregation was engaged in praise. The intensity of worship was so strong there would be people lost in the moment and lying prostrate on the floor. There would also be those in the congregation who experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit for the first time while others received a fresh infilling of the Spirit. As the service progressed and the time for the word of God approached, the church was still in a place of high praise, the spoken word was not brought forth by the Pastor. Each man that was at the late night prayer meeting looked and glanced at one another but nodding their heads in agreement what we all had cried out to the Lord for had now come to pass.
Now historically in our churches in the past majority of our prayer meeting have predominantly have been filled women. Yes, there would be a few older men who were deacons but everyone else was women and children. During those times men would be found on a few Sunday services but you would hardly find a large body of men in the prayer meeting. However, I believe a new dawn has begun and burden for prayer in sweeping in the hearts of men to come together with a passion for God’s presence. The keeper of the prison on your job, in the fitness gym and your college fraternity, we must cry out to them to do yourself no harm. My brother just as you one time answered the call to service for this country, the call from the throne of Heaven for men to prayer is being made in the Earth.