As I read Joel’s blog from yesterday, my thoughts turned to Pastor Larry Stockstill and Bethany World Prayer Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In his book “The Cell Church” he tells of how he transitioned his program based church to cell based by starting with Gideon’s Army, the intercessory prayer team of 500 people.
From the book, “I called together the group of 500 intercessors we had trained throughout the years and dubbed the Gideon’s Army. For years the Gideon’s Army had been meeting every Saturday morning from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. to pray for the pastors, church services, ministries, missionaries and the breaking of spiritual strongholds in Baton Rouge. I knew this group was to be the core-anyone who would come on a Saturday morning to pray had to be open to the new direction the Holy Spirit was showing us!”
At my first reading of Larry’s book I missed this point: he could start with this group because it was primed for hearing and responding to the direction of the Holy Spirit. They were also pre-disposed to obeying the direction received; that is, they wanted God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done!
Prayer produces intimacy; between the person and God and between persons who pray together. A “one heart-one mind” ability to respond to God’s leading existed in Gideon’s Army. They were ready to build upon a foundational cornerstone of cell ministry.
Let’s ask ourselves today, “Am I trying to build UP before I have laid the foundational cornerstone of prayer?” “Am I relying on my training to DO something, MAKE something, BE something, without the prayer part in place?” Honesty is not the best policy here, it is the ONLY policy!