Can Women Pray and Prophesy in the Church?

Can Women Pray and Prophesy in the Church?

Many will use this one verse to argue that women can pray and prophesy in the church:

“But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head” (1 Corinthians 11:5).

What does prophesy mean? God’s Word tells us exactly what it means in 1 Corinthians 14:3. “But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.” Later, in this chapter, we are told this: “For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted” (1 Corinthians 14:31). So can women speak in the churches to edify, exhort, and comfort since this is what prophesy means?

These instructions that the Apostle Paul wrote are for a church gathering. Does this “all” in 1 Corinthians 14:31 include women? No. A few verses later, he wrote the following:

“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience , as also saith the law.

“And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church” (1 Corinthians 14:33-35).

Then in 1 Timothy 2, he wrote this:

“Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Timothy 2:11, 12).

The best commentary on this issue, in my opinion, is Gill’s Exposition:

“‘But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth,….’ Not that a woman was allowed to pray publicly in the congregation, and much less to preach or explain the word, for these things were not permitted them: see 1 Corinthians 14:34 but it designs any woman that joins in public worship with the minister in prayer, and attends on the hearing of the word preached, or sings the praises of God with the congregation, as we have seen, the word prophesying signifies, with her head uncovered.”

People will then ask me what I believe about head coverings. “But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering” (1 Corinthians 11:15). If your husband wants you to wear a separate cloth, than wear one, or if he wants you to grow your hair as long as you can, then do it, but it’s not something that should cause division in the churches (1 Corinthians 11:16).

I don’t believe from Scripture that women were given the ministry of preaching/teaching the Word, no, not even to women. This is why God specifically ordained elders (the ones called to prophesy/preach) in the churches, and He made clear that the elders are to be men (1 Timothy 3:2).

Here’s something that was posted on Twitter a few days ago:

Jen is preaching to a congregation that has men and women in it. God is clear on what He wants women teaching other women in Titus 2:3-5. Women’s Bible studies need to stop using female preachers’ material to study and begin studying biblical womanhood as God commands. Yes, in teaching biblical womanhood, we teach some Bible, but it’s all centered around teaching women their roles. Most, if not all, of the women preachers begin to teach false teachings, which we are warned about in almost every book of the New Testament.

And why are women commanded not to teach in the churches? Because Adam was created first (1 Timothy 2:13), therefore, he is the one that God put in authority, and Eve was deceived (1 Timothy 2:14). Women are more easily deceived, as we can see that Jen Wilkins and all of the other female preachers are.

But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
1 Corinthians 11:16

16 thoughts on “Can Women Pray and Prophesy in the Church?

  1. Its so clear women are not to speak in church, after and before service is ok yes but not during. Feminism is a huge reason why this is an issue.

  2. Hi Mrs Lori. It would be pleasant to talk to you in person. I pray that God sends healing and restoration to your body and that he strengthens you. Quick question. Can a women prophecy to another?

    1. Prophecy means this: “In Scripture, to preach; to instruct in religious doctrines; to interpret or explain Scripture or religious subjects; to exhort. 1 Corinthians 13:9. Ezekiel 37:4.” Yes, women can explain Scripture to other women but they aren’t to preach anywhere.

  3. Does this mean women shouldn’t use the spiritual gifts in church? For example, tongues, interpretation and prophecy?

  4. Would you please help me to understand the difference between preaching and what you are doing when you write about the meaning of the scriptures? What’s the difference?

    1. Many people ask me this because they are ignorant of God’s Word. Read through the Gospels and Acts. Notice whenever the word “preach” is used. John the Baptist preached. Jesus preached. His disciples preached. That’s it. Notice what they were doing when they preached. Not one woman preached in the Bible. God commands older women to teach young women, so this is what I do. I made a video on this topic:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMJkpdjfKXY&t=135s

  5. “Our control Commissions will, in the interest of peace and wiping out our interracial tensions, forbid the whites to mate with white. The white woman must cohabit with members of the dark races, the white men with black women. Thus the white race will disappear, for mixing the dark with white means the end of the white man, and our most dangerous enemy will become only a memory. We shall embark upon an era of ten thousand years of peace and plenty, the Pax Judaica, and our race will rule undisputed over the world. Our superior intelligence will easily enable us to retain mastery over a world of dark people.”

    Rabbi Rabinovich speech, 1952

    Now, the average person will go right to Google, or Duck duck go, or some other search engine, all controlled by the Talmudic Jewish owners of the Federal Reserve (Christians do this all the time when they come across unpopular but true teachings, and they get suckered with search engine algorithms), and they will come across Wikipedia, the Anti-defamation league (ADL) (begun to defend a Jewish pedophile who murdered and raped a little girl, Leo Frank), or some other website that will tell them this is an ‘anti-semitic hoax’, the same thing they say about the Protocols of the learned elders of Zion, and a ‘Racial program for the twentieth century’, which are all three exact truths and insights into the insanity running rampant today.

    But this is what is going on. The Talmudic Jews are trying to divide America by race and gender, and screeching you’re an ‘anti-semite’ if you disagree with their lies, murder, thieving, and deceit. If any Jew is offended by this and isn’t involved, the question is, why aren’t they offended by what their fellow Jews are doing, and why are they more offended by those of us Goyim who object to this treacherous behavior?

    Since America is 63% white, and white women are heavily targeted, this is why there is such dysfunction in marriage, and women are trying to preach and prophecy in church.

  6. I see that you have mentioned 1 Corinthians 11:5
    is there a topic on this subject of Head coverings
    I enjoy reading from your blog. It sticks to the Truth mostly. We cannot pick and choose what things we are willing to obey that is a mindset geared towards satisfying the desires of the flesh. We all struggle with things and must be temperate in all things. All running this race.
    If our hearts are convicted in this area or the other we must walk in obedience according to how God the Father is dealing with us. If you think it is okay to wear pants but I have been convicted in that area then I choose to obey God but even without conviction we should obey

  7. Are women permitted to tell their testimony in front of the church? A And can they be used in bands for song/hymn time?

    1. I take the admonition that women are to be silent in the churches seriously, so I wouldn’t share my testimony in front of a church. I would rather error on the side of taking Scripture too literally than too liberally. Yes, they can be in the choir or use an instrument. This isn’t speaking.

      1. Hi Lori, I apologize for posting so late sometimes, my mom and I travel quite a bit with my husband/dad’s business. We attend a fairly small church that holds strictly to the Word. I was taught as a young girl that I am not to speak in church, period. I have always adhered to this faithfully. We usually eat lunch after church with my parents, and my husband and my dad take time to answer any questions we have about church matters, as both are Elders in the church. I rarely have questions because my husband always lets me know anything he feels I need to know about church, and I obey him in everything. He and I have regular devotionals together (led by my husband of course). The only “role” I have in my church is to help with food, etc. when folks are sick or a death in the church family. I am very uncomfortable even trying to “teach” younger women about biblical womanhood because I don’t have the experience others have with dealing with work, school, etc. If I am asked a question I usually ask “what does your husband think” before I even try to answer. I thank God every day for this blog and the information it provides! Like Lori said, I am always going to take the side of taking Scripture literally as opposed to liberally!!

  8. Great additional resources on this topic are p. 341 in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood by Grudem and Piper as well as Evangelical Feminism by Wayne Grudem. Thank you for unashamedly exhorting women to obey scripture.

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