No, this has nothing to do with Peyton or Eli or any football player for that matter. 🙂
It has everything to do with being a man. The man that God has called all Christian men to be.
In verses 1-4, Paul charged all the Ephesians (through Timothy) to pray. And we talked about how if we are to wage spiritual warfare and win this world for Christ, prayer is where everything starts.
And then Paul says in verse 8,
I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.
Here, Paul is not talking about Christian men and women in general. He’s specifically talking to the men.
And he’s saying to them, “Man up. Take up the responsibility that God has given you.”
What responsibility? I think more than anything it’s the responsibility to lead in the church.
Certainly the women were to pray as well. But God has called the men in the church to lead, and so Paul specifically tells the men, “When it comes to prayer, you are to lead the way. Don’t leave it to the women to do all the praying. You need to lead. You need to be the example for everyone else in the church.”
The problem seems to be that the Ephesian men weren’t. Instead, they were busy arguing about all the things we talked about earlier: genealogies and myths that led to false pride and false doctrine. They went on and on in vain discussions that generated a great deal of heat, but very little light. And in doing so, they neglected to pray. And all the while, I have to believe Satan was laughing.
How often do we men in the church do the same. Oh, we may not argue about genealogies and myths. But we argue about politics. We argue about how to run the church. Or we get off on all kinds of non-essential doctrines. When is Jesus coming back? Is he coming pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib?
Just as bad, we have personal arguments and personal issues with each other that divide us. We spend so much time arguing with each other, that we forget our mission: to take the gospel to the people around us. The result? We forget our mission and we forget to pray. And Satan sees this and laughs at us.
This failure to man up can extend to the home as well. We yield spiritual leadership to our wives. Instead of leading our families in prayer and in the reading of the Word, we let our wives take that role. Instead of praying for and with our wives, we argue with them over both the trivial and non-trivial. Instead of showing humility, love, and forgiveness, we cling to pride, bitterness, and anger. Satan delights when he sees us act that way.
How about you? You are to be a man of God. Are you acting like one? It’s time to man up. And that starts in one place. On your knees before God. Is that where you are every day?