by Jeff Tunnell
On the topic of prayer I would offer a dominant perspective in my life at this time. Hosea seems to be a â€˜contemporaryâ€™ rather than a prophet of history (750 b.c.). In chapter 6 the conversation revolves around repentance and the healing of a nation. Hereâ€™s a paragraph from one introduction to the book written by Sam Middlebrook:
â€œThough all the gauges of outward success seemed positive for Israel, underneath disaster was lurking. The people of this period enjoyed peace, plenty, and prosperity; but anarchy was brewing, and it would bring the political collapse of the nation in a few short years. Hosea describes the characteristic social conditions of his day: corrupt leaders, unstable family life, widespread immorality, class hatred, and poverty. Though people continued a form of worship, idolatry was more and more accepted and the priests were failing to guide the people into ways of righteousness. In spite of the darkness of these days, Hosea holds out hope to inspire his people to turn back to God.â€
Intercession is a key component of prayer where we â€˜stand in the gapâ€™ for the benefit of those who are deficient in their relationship with God (Ezekiel 22:30). The church must lead in repentance and returning to God in these times that parallel Hoseaâ€™s day.
A key value of successful cell churches around the world is PRAYER, both individual and corporate. I recommend the DVD by Joel Comiskey on this website as a resource that reinforces this teaching while providing some excellent background study on successful cell churches and their approach to corporate prayer.
This Friday night our cells will gather for a night of prayer, we call it PRAYER FIRST because we do this on the FIRST FRIDAY of each month and remind ourselves that prayer is the FIRST WORK (sorry for the redundancies). If ever in our generation there was a time to pray for a revived church with fervency and sincerity, IT IS NOW!
What is your cell churchâ€™s practice in the arena of consistent prayer? Do you have a regular time for corporate prayer? Or is this accomplished at the cell level? Both?