Prayer is the catalyst for the formation of a real man
It takes prayer to become a man, It takes prayer to be the leader of your home and marriage, Prayer is the catalyst for the formation of a real man, a man who quietly lives out their faith with great distinction and incredible achievement, without notoriety.
For many, it does not come until later in life when trials and hardships have driven them to the point of an all-important discovery of the need for peace, strength, and hope in the direst of circumstances.
Abraham Lincoln is credited as having said “I have prayed in times of great crisis because 'I found that there is nowhere else to go but on my knees.”
After Hammarskjold died in a plane crash in September 1961 in what is now the African country of Zambia, his private journal was published two years later and made his strong Christian faith unmistakably clear to the world in which he served.
Hammarskjold' was a Swedish diplomat who in his private journal, writes that he prayed for years for God to give him a "life-defining task." That prayer was answered in 1953 when the U.N. General Assembly elected Hammarskjold's as the secretary-general of the intergovernmental organization.
He used his position to become a "champion for the underdog," advocating for nations seeking independence from colonial powers during the 1950s.
It is important to note that simple prayer was the antidote for seeing the defining task play out in his life. In the same way Jesus was a man who was in constant communication with His Father who became the ultimate champion of the underdog and still is. He has a heart for the poor and marginalized and the oppressed and He is their champion too."
"People can fixate culturally on the outward attributes of any individual man. They log the details of past failures as if it was protocol for governing their relationships with others. Many form their conclusions based on un-relational acquaintances and so-called friendships in social forums like Facebook and Instagram. It is unfortunate that we never acknowledge important things like a love for God and a simple but powerful prayer life that have guided an individual’s way.
I can think of countless memories and examples of men who I have encountered in life that I could have taken a posture of entitlement with or distanced myself from because at the time I didn’t think they got it culturally.
Prayer is the mark of the man and it leaves its mark on other men.
One story in particular was with a contractor who had hired me to work around his house. Our families had been connected for many years and when we came to live in a new, strange place His daughter was the only person I knew and became like a sister to me. To this day we still give each other a good ribbing. It was hot… There I was digging ditches, not far from the best swimming hole on Evans Creek so when sis walked up and had nothing else to do, it only seemed natural to go for a dip! After a half an hour to ok, an hour of swimming, I look up and there is boss hog, her dad, and he says… “Come pick up your check.” I looked at sis and said, “Is it payday?” My butt was not only wet, it was fired!
I could have let that experience become the end of any impact that this man would have on me over the next 40 years, I could have blown it off as a cultural or generational gap thing but I knew this man was not only a man but, as a man of prayer. I have always known of him as a man of prayer and I am thankful for the example he set to this day. Prayer is the mark of the man and it leaves its mark on other men.
Have you become a man yet? Is your life governed by and a response to prayer or does life govern you? Do you live your story based on what others thing of you or how God feels about you? Do you see yourself through the Lens of Jesus or the lens of others?
I have the privilege of walking through life with a couple of great guys who pray with their families and will pray with me. They are more than just acquaintances and much more than just friends. They get the importance and the simplicity of prayer and I consider them to be real men and I welcome more of these kinds of real men in my life!