Daily Devotions

1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 
Day 137

"Every man praying..."

Text: 1 Corinthians 11:4


One of the most important rules of interpretation of the Scriptures has to do with understanding the context. Without a proper grasp of the context, we may end up with misunderstanding and misapplication of the Scriptures!

“Every man praying or prophesying,
having his head covered, dishonours his head.”
1 Corinthians 11:4

1. The words “praying” or “prophesying”

a) These words must be understood within the context of the first century.
b) Prophesying was a definite gift of the Lord to some individuals in the church.
i) This was needed when the church was in its fledgling or infancy stage.
ii) Prophets like Agabus served a special purpose.
iii) Through Agabus came fore-warning of a famine.
iv) This allowed the church in Antioch to organise relief to help the churches affected in Judea (Acts 11:27-28).
c) The use of the word “prophesying” does not mean:
i) That this gift continues to exist today.
ii) It certainly was a gift in the days of the Apostles.

2. What does the context suggest?

a) That this is a reference to public worship.
b) Prayer was certainly a part of public worship.
c) Some prophets may be used by the Lord to deliver a message from Him.

3. “Having his head covered”

a) This needs explanation.
i) Man and women often wore shawls as part of their attire (head covering).
ii) Should the shawl be used to cover the head when prayers are offered or when prophets give a word of prophecy?
b) Paul’s word was very strong and clear.
i) We need to remember that the “head of the man” is Christ the Lord.
ii) To cover the head while praying or prophesying would be wrong.
iii) The headship of Christ is not honoured!
iv) Paul was consistent with applying his teaching to his practice.
v) A man who prays/ prophesies with his head covered dishonours Christ Himself who is the Head.