“Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing” says Paul in 1 Timothy 2:8. Men must pray. It is the males here that are mentioned. For a man to be achieving and experiencing the full development of his masculinity there must be prayer in his life.
Prayer tells us of dependency upon God. It shows that we are not sufficient in ourselves. Naturally, men are proud and their default tendency is to boast in what they can achieve themselves. However, this is not how it is in the kingdom of God. Where God rules man does not rule. Prayer acknowledges this reality. In praying we are saying that God rules and we do not rule. We are taking our rightful place. We are humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God. We are taking our rightful place.
Prayer must not be a polluted either. There must be neither anger nor disputing. Prayer will be polluted if these things are in our lives. So we are to be lifting up “holy hands”. Whether or not we lift our hands physically is not the main emphasis here. The word “hands” is symbolic of the character of our lives. Our lives are to be holy. Our hearts should be pure and our prayers should be pure. We come to God seeking wholly the glorifying of His Name.
These things caution us as to how we conduct ourselves in prayer meetings. We should never use prayer as a stick to beat others with. Prayer should be horizontally aware, but vertically active. We are aware of who we are praying with, but the action comes through ,moving into the presence of God. Prayer which is horizontally active is NOT prayer at all.
So men should be careful how they pray, but this odes not take away from the fact that they should pray. Brother in Christ, you should be taking the lead in prayer. In too many prayer meetings, the brothers take a back-seat and allow the sisters to dominate. Very often the men will not step up to the plate, which leaves the ladies frustrated. Should they fill the silences in the prayer meeting and end up dominating. Or should they just allow these barren silences to pass. Men, get on and step up and be praying! To be clear, I am NOT saying that ladies should never pray in the prayer meeting, but there is something wrong to have a prayer meeting dominated by the verbal leadings of the ladies. Brothers, don’t just sit there – take the lead and pray.
And if your hands are contaminated by the pursuit of worldly ways in your life, then get you life sorted. Repent and once again renew your covenant with the LORD and believe the gospel. And then pray.