The early church knew the power of prayer in community, and we read the results in Acts 2:46-47. â€œEvery day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.â€
Another insight we can learn from is seen in two words found in Acts 1:14 “They all joined together constantly in prayerâ€¦”. The cell is like a little platoon of soldiers who through prayer can do serious damage to the enemy camp. Those two words, â€œtogetherâ€ and â€œconstantlyâ€ describe the place of prayer and the frequency of prayer in cell life.
Prayer is the atmosphere of any cell gathering and happens all throughout the evening planned and unplanned. You can open in prayer, have a season of prayer during worship, pray over the open chair, and pray for one another as needs are recognized. You can pray one on one during the breakout time, men with men and women with women. You can pray for each other and for those you are reaching out to all throughout the week.
Since we are talking about evangelism, there are two particular places in our cell gatherings where we focus on those needing Christ. First, during the witness time or the open chair time we will specifically pray for those needing Christ. We do this in many different ways. Sometimes we sit in the chair on someoneâ€™s behalf and ask people to pray for the salvation of that person and our opportunity to be a witness to them. Other times we write down names and pass them to the left, and have each person pray for the other personâ€™s contact. Sometimes weâ€™ll pray, asking God to lay someone on our heart, and as He does, we lift up their name asking God to bless them and touch them. And we ask God to fill the open chair and ask for His eyes for people.
Variety here from week to week is important but consistency is the key. I prayed for a guy for two years during this portion of the gathering. After two years of constant prayer he opened his heart to Christ and is now a cell leader, coach and really living for Christ. Prayer made an eternal difference.
Another point of specific prayer centered around evangelism comes as we break into twoâ€™s and threeâ€™s. One of the questions we ask during this breakout time is this: â€œWho are you praying for to receive Christ? What is the next step you need to take in this relationship?â€ Then we pray for each other and the person we are reaching out to.
Praying together constantly in a cell for people who need Christ, as well as for each other to have Godâ€™s heart and Godâ€™s eyes for people can make an eternal difference.