Wednesday, August 27, 2014

May a Woman lead a prayer in a public assembly of the church?

Women often have a very dedicated and active prayer life. Throughout Scripture you have numerous examples of women praying. God expects women to pray all the time (1 Thessalonians 5:17). The church would be in a dire situation if women stopped praying. 

What about in a mixed assembly of the church? Although, men and women often have roles that overlap, in the assembly, God wants men to step up and take the lead. Notice what the Apostle Paul writes the young preacher Timothy in (1 Timothy 2:8-12),
Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension. Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. (NASB).
Also, in the letter to the Corinthians, the Scriptures state
The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. (1 Corinthians 14:34)
This is not to say that a woman may not talk in the church. Women are to sing, say “amen” and actively participate, but they are not to be the ones who we would commonly refer to as “the speaker” in the assembly of the church.

Answer
In the church God has outlined distinctive gender roles for men and women. One role is not superior to another. When it comes to leading in the assembly and addressing the audience through teaching and prayer, God’s plan is for men to take the lead.

By Cliff Sabroe
Scripture Quotes from NASB95