Is It Wrong For A Woman (Wife) To Lead A Prayer With Her Husband?


We must understand that the roles of men and men apply to both men and women (whether both spouses are Christian or non-Christian). [NOTE: Please consult our question: “Do God's Instructions On The Roles of Men and Women Apply To Christians Only?” for more information].

In 1 Timothy 2:8-15, we find it is the case the following facts:

  1. There are two words that can be translated "men." One is a generic term that involves both males and females (anthropos). The other is specific (aner) and refers to the male as opposed to female. In 1 Timothy 2 the differences are stark (although not easily seen in English). In verse 1 it is generically stated that prayers are to be made for all mankind (anthropos). In verse 4, it is generically stated that God wants all mankind (anthropos) to be saved. In verse 5, it is generically stated that Christ is the Mediator of all mankind (anthropos), no doubt, only having access to the benefits and blessings of Jesus by functioning as a faithful child of God. In verse 8, the word “men” is used in its exclusive sense, referring only to males. Therefore, the male is to be the prayer leader (whenever there is a situation in which males and females are gathered together). Leading a prayer is by its nature a leadership role as one exercises authority over others in guiding the prayer (1 Timothy 2:11-12).

  2. The word "everywhere" means "in every place" (1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 2:14; 1 Thessalonians 1:8). There can be no justification given in considering it a limited phrase and thus we must hold that it is a universal statement. No matter where it might be, when males and females are together, the male is to be the one leading the prayer. Therefore, in the home setting, the husband (male) is to always lead the wife (female) in prayer. This does not mean, however, that a woman can never pray at home alone; or pray in the midst of other women. It is just that she is not authorized to be the prayer leader in the home or the church, where males and females are gathered together.

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