If you have been anywhere near Kids Ministry, then you know the story of Samson. Truth is, most guys would LOVE to have him in their Men’s Ministry. First there’s the whole wild and crazy hair thing. Dedicated as a Nazirite at birth, he was never to have his hair cut. Think of him as the Iron Age’s answer to ZZ Top. And that’s just the eye popping cover on this amazing “Man’s man”.
From there, consider his mischievous mind and brute strength.
He rips city gates off their hinges and carries them miles away. He kills hundreds of Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. He even catches foxes, ties their tails, lights them on fire, and lets them run free through the fields of his enemies.
I know what you are thinking…I want THAT guy in my Men’s Ministry! He would take the “cool” factor to a whole new stratosphere!
There were several problems with this Samson guy though. Several of which we can excuse as “moral oversights”. At least, God could. But what was the deal with his hair?
You know how it went. He fell for Delilah, this daughter of the enemy. She asked him the secret to his supernatural strength. Not once…but FOUR times! The first three times, he made up different answers, plausible but not true. “If you bind me with new bowstrings”, or “bind me with new ropes”. Then “if you weave my hair into 7 braids and fasten it tight with a pin, my strength will disappear”.
He lets her closer and closer. As readers/listeners of the story, we are so relieved each time that he doesn’t divulge and give it up that as a Nazirite, his hair is the secret that makes him strong. Surely he will see that she is just playing him and he will walk away to fight another day. We all know how that goes…
And we have to wonder—how could such a strong and cunning man be so silly…to give up the secret of his power. And for what? This power wasn’t just for his personal edification! It was given him to be a deliverer for his people from a fierce and ungodly enemy.
Sure we would never make that same mistake, would we?
Permission to speak to you as MEN? In many ways, the American church is currently losing the culture, and in the process, losing the nation. And it’s not for lack of trying. In fact, if you are reading this post, it’s super likely that you have sacrificed a whole lot for the Kingdom of God.
Samson traded away his hair. But sadly many of us have also traded away our secret strength: stoking the flames of our relationship with God in the Prayer Closet. How do I know? Because the average American spends an average of 20 minutes per week in prayer, and that includes time praying before meals. And an estimated 3% of American Christian men pray for their wives on a consistent basis. And things are not much better with the nation’s ministers. Almost 50% of all pastors of solid Evangelical churches admit that they don’t share facetime with God every day.
It doesn’t take 1,100 pieces of silver as blood money to figure this one out. If our enemy can keep us out of the Prayer Closet, then the destruction of our nation is as simple as cutting off Samson’s hair. The battles may continue for a little while in the Courtrooms and classrooms, the television screens and the movie theaters, the newspapers and Wall Street—but our enemy knows this: the war is won on our knees. The rest is just mop up.
Samson was very clear that the source of his strength was his hair. How could he be so silly to give it up? God has been equally clear through the Word—and through history—that the source of any strength we have is not found in our best human skills and talents, but is only found in the supernatural connection with Him. And that comes in the quiet solitude of the Prayer Closet.
“No man is greater than his prayer life…Failing here, we fail everywhere.” ― Leonard Ravenhill
Tim Truesdale is a 4th Generation Prayer Warrior. He is an ordained minister and pastors the Raytown Vineyard Church. Despite a lifelong calling to pursue a Lifestyle of Prayer, he only recently was taken through Prayer Boot Camp. His passion is to de-mystify prayer and invite you to consider a calling to become a Prayer Warrior.