by Joel Comiskey, 2016
My daughter Nicole and I were in Reynosa, Mexico in January and noticed that the movie War Room was playing in Spanish in a major theater. This movie about prayer and spiritual warfare is now making an international impact after breaking Christian box office records in the U.S. It’s amazing that God is using such a deeply spiritual Christian movie to remind people that prayer changes lives.
Prayer is essential, both personally and corporately as a church, and I often forget this fact. My wife Celyce often says to me, “Joel, remember to tell pastors that commitment to prayer is the main thing.” Celyce knows from experience that prayer power drives successful cell churches. She also knows that I can easily forget this truth and start overemphasizing the technical side of cell church ministry.
Prayer is like oxygen. To breathe normally, we must be permeated with prayer. It doesn’t matter whether a pastor is starting a cell church or is in transition to the cell church strategy, prayer has to be the first step. Prayer dependence should be seen in the cell as well as in the larger body-not just one or the other. Cell prayer and church-wide prayer provide the one-two punch to the cell driven church.
Many churches feel little need for prayer because the programs and techniques are so effective. As long as the worship team performs, the pastor preaches a relevant message, and the administration flows without a hitch, everyone feels satisfied. As you examine these churches, however, you’ll notice a fatal flaw: the lack of transformed lives. There is no power. Even God seems scheduled on the church calendar.
The first and foremost solution for personal growth and church-wide transformation is prayer–a humble, radical crying out to God for help. Commitment to prayer obliterates pride and forces us to rely solely on God Himself. It teaches us to depend on Him before looking at strategies–even cell ministry.