5 graces when a woman prays

Genesis_1-27As a child, I have only a few memories of my mother praying aloud. One grandmother who would, the other never.

But as an adult, I’ve been blessed to hear many women pray. And when I started doing it myself, it opened up new areas in my relationship with God.

Granted, I’m blessed to hear men pray, too. The vast majority of prayers I hear are from men.

But I appreciate hearing the female perspective because women pray differently...more like, well, women.

Just as female conversations can differ from male conversations, our prayers can, too. Not better or worse, just different.

I’ve been thinking especially this week of the graces I hear when women pray.

Here are five I’ve heard recently.

1. Simplicity
Perhaps because we haven’t had as many years to build up the lofty vocabulary associated with oral prayers, a woman often prays with simpler words, plainer words.

When a 13-year-old girl prayed in our Sunday night small group for a woman going on a mission trip, her words were pure and straightforward. I felt the grace in her uncomplicated way of talking to God about a friend.

2. Passion    
Excuse the overly-used stereotype of women as more emotional than men (excluding King David of course), but, hey, usually we are. God made us this way. For His good reasons. 

Listening to a woman pray about her brother’s depression, I heard a pleading with God for help that reminded me God cares as deeply about our loved ones as we do. It’s okay to let it all spill out. He understands. And appreciates our passion.

3. Empathy
There are certain situations where a woman’s words are just more relevant (just as there are certain ones where a man’s words are).

Hearing a sister pray for another sister who is going through a hardship in her marriage, one perhaps she too has known, has an unmatched authenticity. This happens often in our small group when we divvy up prayers requests, each person taking a request closest to his or her own heart.

4. Vulnerability
Not sure if this is fair to call a female trait (I’ve heard many a man pray vulnerable prayers), but a woman is typically more comfortable talking about her struggles than a man is. She does it often with her female friends, and so can more easily transfer that skill to her conversations with God.

When I hear a woman lay bare her heart before the Lord, it draws me closer not only to her, but to Him as well.

5. Relationship 
Perhaps this is another stereotype, but I often notice the same prayer request elicits one type of prayer from a man and a different one from a female. Because we are often the more relational, face-to-face sex (as opposed to the male, side-by-side one), our prayers often tilt toward healing of relationships between each other and with God, and the intricacies associated with those.

Hearing a woman pray about a single mom moving into a new home will often have a different twist than if a man prays about it because we think along a different track.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27

Because we’re both created in God’s image, it’s a beautiful thing to hear each other relate to the Father. Each gender brings it own gifts to the conversation.

If you’re a woman given opportunity to pray aloud, I encourage you to—not only are you talking to God, but you may be blessing a brother or sister with an invaluable peek into a sister’s soul and a new way of relating to the Father.

If you’re a man with a heart and ear to listen, don’t shy away from asking women to pray along with you. You might be surprised to find your own relationship with God enhanced through the experience.

* * *
I wish we could all pull up a chair and pray in person together. But prayer is good anytime, anywhere, any way.

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