I have never thought myself as “holier than thou” nor a legalistic in any way. On the contrary, I consider myself to be in a tight competition as the “worst of all sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). I am also quite the contemporary when it comes to worship (dancing, clapping, hands raised, amens, you name it). However, one tradition I have found to be extremely special to me since being here in Guatemala is covering my head while praying.
I had never heard of this until we came down here…I mean, I had heard of it, but didn’t think anyone still did it. The church we are attending here strongly believes that the ladies of the church need to cover their head when praying. At first, I found it a bit strange, but did it out of respect. Now, almost 4 weeks later, I love it and really understand the need to show respect when praying to our Sovereign King.
We have a huge privilege and honor to freely pray to the King of kings whenever and however we want. Yet, we (well, me, being the strongest contender for chief sinner) tend to take prayer quite nonchalantly! I pray sometimes while eating, driving, putting on make up, laying down, with an attitude (even sometimes with a “now hear me, Lord” type of attitude), but as of late, I have started taking prayer extremely seriously.
For one, I am trying to use Scripture when praying to make sure that my prayers are aligning with His Word. I still present my requests, but I also want to be sure I am leaving room for His will. I want to be sure that I am not imposing my desires on Him since He sometimes grants our way just to show us how greater His ways really are…and, truthfully, that is always way more painful!
In learning to pray with Scripture, I have also grown to understand the Lord in a deeper way. When you start using His Word, you tend to hear His Word a little bit more clearly and what you hear is that He is a whole lot Bigger, more Gracious and way more Sovereign than you could have ever imagined.
Queue the covering of the head…
As my understanding of the Lord’s character grows, I find myself wanting to cover my head when praying to Him. It reminds me that I am not worthy of bringing my requests to Him. That He, in all His Greatness, allows me to come Him. It also, I believe, is a form of praise. As we clap, raise our hands, dance in worship because we are moved by His power, covering our heads also shows our awareness of His Majesty!
Now, will I continue with the head covering when I return to the States? There is a huge possibility that I won’t. Not because I will lose my respect for the Lord (Lord, let it not be so!), but it isn’t part of our culture and, as much as I hate that I do, I like to follow the culture.
As I mentioned in the beginning, the last thing I want to do is come across as a “holier than thou” type of person. I am just a woman who, as each day goes by, recognizes that I am not worthy to walk in the steps the Lord has laid out for me. Nor am I worthy to fulfill the call He has given me. So, in my inadequacy, I seek the only One who can properly equip me to succeed in bringing Glory to His Name and further His Kingdom in my own minute way.
If you would like to research head covering when praying, you can begin with 1 Corinthians 11:2-16. I don’t believe this is a commandment, but as Paul says in verse 13 “judge for yourself”.