"...Let Her Be Veiled."
Praying and Prophesying
"Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his Head. But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying, disgraces her head; for she is one and the same with her whose head is shaved." (1 Cor. 11:4-5, NASB)
Others have written on the meaning of the word "covered" in this study, as well as the last phrase of verse 5. It is necessary to also focus on the meaning of the phrase "praying or prophesying", as set forth in these verses.
Praying: the Greek word here is "proseuchomai", which literally means to pray to God (ie. supplicate, worship), to will, to wish.
So we ask ourselves—when do I as a man need to be unveiled? Or, when do I as a woman need to be veiled? (I use the word "veiled" here instead of covered as this is the proper translation and gives the thought of a sign-type covering and not just any covering.) When am I making supplication to God? Many times through the week as I go about my work, the Holy Spirit will suddenly remind me of a need in my own life or in someone else's, so as I continue to work, I lift up a supplication to God for that need.
I may come home from work and my wife might say, "While I was doing dishes this morning, Mr. Jones suddenly came to mind, so I prayed for him while I finished the dishes."
Why would someone who you had not thought about for a long time suddenly come to mind? The Holy Spirit is trying to tell you, "Hey, this person needs to be prayed for. Do you say to yourself, "Yeah, I'll try to remember to mention him for prayer on Sunday or at prayer meeting," or "I'll pray for him when I have my special time with God today." No! He was brought to mind now, and needs to be prayed for now. The destiny of a soul could depend on whether you make supplication to God now for this person. We talk about being in tune with God, which includes being ready to pray to Him no matter what the circumstances are.
Another aspect of prayer is worship, and I want to ask just one question regarding worship through song: How often do you praise God throughout the day with a song or chorus in your heart? And yet another question comes to mind in terms of the meaning of prayer—how often during the day do you will or wish God to do something, in your life or others?
Prophesying:The Greek word here is "propheteuo", which literally means "to speak under divine inspiration". So be it a word given during worship service, or while visiting another believer, or sharing the Lord to an unbeliever; it all can come under the category of prophesying.
What it boils down to is this—are you, dear sister, committed to being a vessel that God can use anytime, any place, for any word to share from Him? Perhaps you are convinced that you should be veiled when praying or prophesying. So in light of what we have already discussed, if you are a committed Christian woman, then you are praying and/or prophesying most of your waking hours. In that case, you would certainly want to be veiled all the time if you truly believe in a total obedience to God and His Word. A consecrated Christian woman wears the veiling not out of respect to a person or a group, but because God has asked her to in His Word. And if you are convicted to wear it but refuse, you will be grieving the Holy Spirit and possibly bringing your spiritual life to a standstill.
I would like to clarify one more word here, and that is the word "church". I have seen sisters wear the veil to what they call "church" but no other time (apparently they think that is the only place to pray and prophesy). The Greek word for "church" is ekklesla, which literally means "the assembly of those called out or forth"; in other words, believers. So let's remember, "church" is not a building nor does it need to refer only to the whole congregation, but is any time two or more believers are gathered together. That is church.