by Joel Comiskey
One of the greatest obstacles in cell church ministry is to overload people with programs and extra meetings. Many pastors fail to make cells the base of the church because they fail to grasp the importance of focusing on cell and celebration as the priority. But what about prayer? Does prayer fall into the “program” category? Do pastors also have to be careful about people praying too much?
I don’t think so. I don’t think we should view prayer as one of those “programs.” Rather, prayer is the life of the cell church. Prayer the life, the fumes, the atmosphere from which the church breathes new life and functions properly. If someone wants to pray, form a prayer chain, gather people together to seek the Lord, please encourage this. God promises, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). As the church prays, God will provide protection, liberty, direction, and power. Revivals start when God’s people seek His face earnestly. God wants to do the same for your church as you seek Him.
I’ve observed and participated in various types of prayer in the cell church:
- Morning prayer meeting: a combination of individual prayer, group prayer, worship, and Scripture reading.
- Half night prayer meeting (8 p.m. to midnight): worship, prayer over particular themes, Scripture reading, and so forth.
- All-day prayer meeting: each pastor (or key leader) takes a segment of time during the day. In contrast, the people can come and go throughout the day as they have time.
- Prayer chains: someone decides to organize a prayer chain throughout the church. Prayer requests are texted, emailed, or sent via telephone.
- Spontaneous prayer meetings: people gather together as the need arises to seek God and pray about particular matters.
- Cell prayer: praying for personal, church, and mission needs in the cell group.
God is sovereign and we can’t force him to fulfill our desires. At the same time, I’ve noticed that God loves to show up and bless those churches that prioritize prayer. Remember the words of Jesus, “My house shall be called a house of prayer.” How do you implement prayer in your church?