This is a RANT. It is a way for me to get this off my chest. It is RAW and UNFILTERED.
This message is jumbled because I just need to express myself while it is active in my mind and heart. Later I MIGHT come back to this and put it into a more orderly Bible teaching and/or sermon
The bottom line is that it disturbs me deeply that Christian men do not come together to pray OFTEN.
It seems logical that they would want to meet for prayer IF they fully embraced the FACT that they are accountable to God as the head of their marriage and family.
They would assemble for MUTUAL support and encouragement due to the challenges from the world, the flesh, and the devil.
IF they embraced the Word of God as doers and not just hearers THEN they would realize the greater responsibility beyond their family to intercede often for those in their local church, community, and the mission field.
IF they fully EMBRACED the biblical fact that as a husband they are head of the wife. As a father, they are the spiritual head of the family. And IF they feared God more than people they would PRAY fervently due to these HUGE responsibilities.
As men, their role in the local community and greater society is to spiritually protect women and children. This message by John Piper reminded me of that https://www.desiringgod.org/…/the-frank-and-manly-mr-ryle-t…
BUT it appears that they do not have the time or energy to consider these matters much less make them a priority.
This points to weak preaching and lack of convicting Bible teaching that led to unchecked worldliness, carnality, workaholism, consumerism, greed, lust, pride, materialism, entertainment, sports, and more. Some of those items in the list are the idols of our first world culture. And idols by nature displace the chief priority of making Jesus Christ the Lord of ALL our time, money, energy, choices, commitments, relationships, purchases, conversations, reading, screen time, music, etc.
I dislike making messages like this. But they are needed in at this time.
I have MANY other messages in my heart that want to come out. But this one today is ready to be brithed. MOST of my other messages are not confrontational. As I write this and make the associated video I feel like an Old Testament prophet. There will be some negative reactions. And I have feared for decades such push back. But I must fear God and not fear people.
Studies show that many of those youth who were active in the local church fall away when they get to college.
And those young adults that did not grow up in the church seek for spirituality. They have access to a huge range of options due to the Internet. Biblical Christianity is not a popular alternative compared to secularism, New Age and Eastern religion choices.
I suggest that we are at risk of losing relevance for the next generations.
Notice the big cathedrals in Europe that were full when they were built and now are nearly empty on Sundays but are kept going due to the visits of tourists.
One of the themes of popular movies these days that resonate with millions has the tensions due to the strain on the relationship with the father figure. There is a chronic lack of fatherly love and connection in our society. If we as Christians are going to fulfill our biblical mandate to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world then we need to show and tell that we have a workable solution to such chronic issues of life.
That gets back to the men in the congregation rising up to be the believer priests and ambassadors for Christ that the Bible says that they are. The pastor is not the professional holy man to do all the spiritual work for all the church members.
Those men that are born again and call themselves Christians need to SHAKE THEMSELVES. Take a COLD shower. RETURN to the Bible PERSONALLY and with great HUMILITY. Then they will find that Jesus is LORD. And in the context LORD means MASTER. They do not have the right to deny or ignore what the Bible clearly teaches.
They are called to an important role in the greater scheme of things. When they put chasing the hollow rewards of this temporal life as their main focus then they are AWOL. And AWOL stands for Absent With Out Leave. They do not have the permission of God to bow down to the false gods of career, status symbols, excessive entertainment, credit card abuse, sloppy eating habits, lack of community service, neglect of moderate exercise and more.
Consider that during a year you might get various prayer requests. Especially notice those that are for children that are very sick or injured. There is a great need related to the health and maybe survival of that child. The parents and friends have prayed. The doctors have done all that they could. The child is in a state of limbo and waiting for the next development. Those that cared sent out many prayer requests and they reached you. They knew that God can answer prayers and make a huge difference in this situation. Notice that often but not always there was a favorable outcome. That is most likely due to the fact that God answered prayers. We thank God for his grace and mercy to have come into this situation.
It has been my observation from 40 years that the vast majority of those to intercede are women. It is most often women that share such prayer request and women who pray. At church prayer meetings it is mostly women. When I have called prayer hotlines it have been 95 percent women. Yet I suggest that men are called of God to stand in these gaps as much and even more than women.
I do not have a short, sweet and simple solution to this chronic issue that plagues the body of Christ. I am just a watchman on the wall making a report. This message will be heard, understood and responded to more by women than men. I accept that. But until a person says that the emperor has no clothes the patterns of denial and blindness to reality continue.
There is no nice and neat way to conclude this rant.
At the end of the day, this is a call for repentance. Men in the body of Christ have been going in a familiar direction just like their peers. I suggest that this is the broad road to destruction. I am not going to foolishly say they are in danger of losing their salvation. But there is a narrow road that few take that involves progressive personal sanctification. That includes decreasing screen time, getting off the couch, saying no to appealing distractions and MAKING time for God in terms of MUCH prayer. When getting involved in much prayer THEN religion fades as spirituality emerges.
In the realm of the spirit, the forces and factors are not of this passing world. In order to sustain the strength and courage to run with patience the race and fight the good fight then the prayerful man must have others to support him. Therefore logically prayer meetings that could be offline or online.
IF and when more Christian men prayed individually and in groups THEN there would be more answered prayers. When there will be more answered prayers then there will be more thanks and praise to God. There will be more testimonies of answered prayers. Those testimonies will encourage those who are praying to persevere in their prayers privately and in groups. That will, in turn, lead to more answers and prayers. God will be glorified more and better. The scales of religion will fall from the eyes of churchgoers as they notice the reality of the power of prayers. There is a reinforcing loop here that need to get started by those willing to make the sacrifices to lay down their lives. It does not involve being burned at the stake or thrown into prison for their faith like those who are persecuted where tyrants want to stamp out Christianity. It means subtracting activities so MAKE time for prayers both privately and in groups.
Note that in the historical accounts of revivals people spontaneously invested much time in prayer, worship and Bible study. They did not have the motivation to go back to their former ways. Where there were major revivals the salons, liquor stores and brothels closed due to a lack of customers. The former customers were not playing religious games. They wanted to know Jesus Christ in personal and intimate ways. And when that happened they wanted to please their Lord by seeking first the kingdom of God instead of indulging in fleshly pleasures.
The NFL ratings have gone down lately due to certain issues. What if men made prayer meetings a top priority so that sports took a back seat. I am not here to attack sports or Netflix, that is my favorite past time. I am here to say men need to pray in groups, period.
Note that I do not want to lead an online or offline prayer meeting. I wish someone would do this so I could join.
I invite your comments, suggestions, and questions.
I request your best prayers. In the future, I must get similar messages off my chest. PLUS there are LOTS of other kinds of messages in my heart that are far more constructive, orderly and palatable.
Now that you have read this far, you are invited to see a video I made on this topic shortly before I wrote this message. It goes wider and deeper.
You are welcomed to share your private comments with me here on this email.
You are welcomed to share your public comments with me on the videos.
You are welcomed to share this email or the video on your social media platforms where you are active. This text message is included with the video.
A message like this is obviously long and complex. It is not pleasant to give or receive such a message. But the REALITY is that everything is not just FINE. We need to take off our masks in the church and address the truths that are part of our common contexts.
You know people that I do not know. Some of them might appreciate such a message. I will need MUCH prayer and encouragement to keep moving forward with such messages.
This is the first rant that I have made public. For the sake of my mental, emotional and spiritual health I will need to share much more in the future. Some of those like this one will be reworked into more easy to consume lessons and sermons. So please pray earnestly for that process. I will need to find men and women that are ready and willing to receive such rants. Those are few and special people. Then I can reach and teach others better when I have such an inner circle.
I have created a Facebook fan page for this and future rants. I will create other fan pages for other facets of my ministry.
Here are the links to
Facebook fan page for my rants. I will publish more rants here. Some people will like these and others will not so will keep them separate
Later I will create other fan pages for other parts of my ministry to segment them too.
Here is the link to the 25 minute video that was the start of this text message.
Note that there is a 4 page text that goes with this video.
Here is the Youtube video with this message.
Youtube would not allow the 4 pages of text so it is here on this blog post.