by Joel Comiskey
People often ask me how prayer relates to the cell. They’ve heard me talk about prayer in the corporate/celebration wing of the cell church, but they wonder how prayer fits into the actual cell meeting. I tell them that prayer should permeate the cell.
Cells begin with an opening prayer before enaging people through the ice-breaker. Then there’s the worship time, which is a form of prayer. Notice how prayer and worship are linked in Revelation 5:8-9, “Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”
Before starting the lesson time, it’s best to open in prayer. During the lesson time, God speaks to us through the Word. Invariably there are prayer needs, so it’s important to allow a time for prayer requests. In the cell group I lead on Tuesday night, we spend quality time sharing requests and needs (see Steve Cordle’s blog on prayer in the cell). Last week, Celyce and I shared our need for wisdom in raising two adolescent daughters! We also prayed for a cell member who needed a specific family miracle. Two days later, we rejoiced that this request had been fully answered!
During the last part (Witness time), we pray for unsaved “oikos” to know Jesus Christ and come to the cell group.
The sensitive leader utilizes the style of prayer that best fits the context of the cell group. When non-Christians are present, for example, an “all-out fiery” prayer meeting is probably not the best. Silent prayer might be in order, or praying in pairs. Cell leaders must remain sensitive to the situation and utilize the type of prayer that best fits with the circumstances.
The key is to remember that prayer guides effective groups.