I suppose it is OK to pray specifically for men given that women are included on another date. Men and women are different (at the very least, biologically so!) but I hesitate to explore questions of skill, abilities and temperament. This is because while there are, I believe, differences that go beyond physical appearances, we tend to over-simplify. While something may be true 9 times out of 10, we behave as if it were true all the time and talk as if the majority way must by definition be the only right and normal way. It just ain’t so.

For example, it is true to say that there are more men mathematicians than women mathematicians and it may be true to say that over the whole population men score more highly than women in that subject. That is not the same as saying that all men are better than all women at mathematics, nor is it true to say that women are not good at mathematics. It would be quite wrong to assume that the person is good or bad at maths simply on the basis of whether they are a man or a woman.

So, I would say it is OK to pray specifically for men and any particular issues you choose to highlight may naturally be appropriate for many of them. Please, do not assume that they apply to all men; and please realise that it is normal for some people to be different to the majority.

A collect for “all conditions of men” from the Book of Common Prayer (1662)

O GOD, the Creator and Preserver of all mankind, we humbly beseech thee for all sorts and conditions of men: that thou wouldest be pleased to make thy ways known unto them, thy saving health unto all nations. More especially, we pray for the good estate of the Catholick Church; that it may be so guided and governed by thy good Spirit, that all who profess and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life. Finally, we commend to thy fatherly goodness all those, who are any ways afflicted, or distressed, in mind, body, or estate; [*especially those for whom our prayers are desired;] that it may please thee to comfort and relieve them, according to their several necessities, giving them patience under their sufferings, and a happy issue out of all their afflictions. And this we beg for Jesus Christ his sake. Amen

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