Last night, I had the distinct pleasure of being at a men's conference service. The sisters were invited to attend this year. And my pastor was the speaker. The topic was "Why Men Need Prayer", and the scripture read was one I had seen hundreds of times, just not the way God put it out there last night. I will post it here: 1 Timothy 2:1-8 (Amp via Biblegateway.com) "2 First of all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men, 2 For kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way. 3 For such [praying] is good and right, and [it is] pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior, 4 Who wishes all men to be saved and [increasingly] to perceive and recognize and discern and know precisely and correctly the [divine] Truth. 5 For there [is only] one God, and [only] one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 Who gave Himself as a ransom for all [people, a fact that was] attested to at the right and proper time. 7 And of this matter I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (special messenger)—I am speaking the truth in Christ, I do not falsify [when I say this]—a teacher of the Gentiles in [the realm of] faith and truth. 8 I desire therefore that in every place men should pray, without anger or quarreling or resentment or doubt [in their minds], lifting up holy hands." He explained that in order for things to be in order in churches, homes, and the community, the very first thing that needs to be done is that prayer needs to be made for the MEN, instead of casting them down verbally constantly with complaints and negativity. If you expect men to lead in church, your community, and in your homes, then the way to make that happen according to the divine order of God is that the men MUST be prayed for FIRST. He alluded back to Genesis where am and Eve committed the first sin. Eve made the decision to eat the fruit first, but God didn't come looking for Eve. He came looking for Adam, because he was in the position of responsibility and authority. If we are not praying for the men of our churches, homes, and communities, then it is no surprise that men would fall. And if you place them in the targeting area of an onslaught of negative words, complaints, and put downs, you are causing them to fall even more through constant backbiting. Proverbs says that life and death is in the power of the tongue. And it was pointed out that more times than not, women shower men with verbal negativity, either directly or indirectly. Think about it. What has all the negative verbiage accomplished in the way of changing the behavior of men who you deem to be weak? I know this is going to attract flack my way, but before you ladies start, I'd like to say something as a man. There is a powerful truth that was behind the message that cut both ways. I used to complain about women, hard. I didn't see it before last night, but I was carrying all the hurt, pain, and bitterness I had received from sisters, even despite all my efforts to not be like the men my sisters talked about so negatively. I've been an active father to my son since his birth nearly 14 years ago. I loved his mother and would have married her, but she chose to leave because she was into materialism (and those words are from her lips). The wife I am trying to divorce was constantly making me pay for the mistakes of her first husband. And while I could rightly blame them for my pain, the truth is that there is one fault on my end, despite that, one I cannot escape. I didn't bother to see if they loved me enough to pray for me. My wife claimed to be a virtuous woman, but I didn't take enough time to discern whether or not she was lying. My son's mother never made the claim or prayed for me, but was always expecting things from me. And each situation, I ultimately ended up feeling alone and burnt out near the end of each relationship. It has always been nothing for me to drop to my knees for them and bombard Heaven for them, but not once did they do it for me. Ladies, THAT HURTS!!! It especially hurts knowing that the woman I wanted to marry and the woman I married never took the time to pray for me. When their standards weren't met, they called me everything but a child of God - but none of them prayed for me while both claiming to love me. THAT HURTS TO THE CORE!!! I know it's hard for some of you to believe from my responses and posts, but I love HARD. I know no other way. And the last thing I want in any relationship is to be the only one pouring my spiritual energy into it. Because of that sermon, NEVER AGAIN will I complain about a sister talking bad about a man. I I hear it, I will ask you, straight up: "Are you praying for him? If not, do not waste my time with a meritless complaint!! If you are not willing to pray for your man, then you don't want him to be one!!" Sisters, we are flesh and bone like you, and just like you fall sometimes, we do too. In order to love a man, you need to love us with prayer before anything else. That's before we address a man's pride, need for respect, need for partnership, and the rest of it. Also, my pastor brought up Psalm 37:23-25 to put it all into perspective: "23 The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step]. 24 Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him. 25 I have been young and now am old, yet have I not seen the [uncompromisingly] righteous forsaken or their seed begging bread." I encourage you to pray that your man's steps are ordered by God, that God will cause him to rise back up when he falls and get in line with God's will and way, that he busies himself with God's will for his life, that the Lord will uphold him. When your man is supported by prayer, the whole church, community, and household benefits. But if all you do is tear a brother down, you will cause everything around him and you to crumble. Remember, when it comes down to accountability, blessing, breakthrough for the house, church, and community, God will first look for ADAM. And Adam cannot bring life if everyone else is bringing him death with their tongues.