by Joel Comiskey, July 2020
Pandemics, Racial injustice, Violence, Corruption, Extreme weather, and so forth.
These are the news headlines beaming across worldwide channels. People often feel helpless and frustrated by the little they can do. Many resort to anxiety, anger, and bloodshed.
Who is fueling these attacks? Paul tells us that our warfare is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness in high places. In other words, Satan and his demons are behind the corruption, violence, and bloodshed. After talking about the pieces of the armor in Ephesians 6, Paul concludes,
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should (Ephesians 6:18-20).
As I speak in cell churches around the world, my wife often reminds me, “Joel, don’t forget to tell them about the centrality of prayer.” She remembers that my research of growing cell churches around the world concluded that powerful, fervent prayer was the key factor that brought health and growth. All of these churches were 100% dedicated to prayer. I have the tendency to over-emphasize cell structure, but the reality is that prayer is the key to victory.
The beautiful thing about prayer is that all of us are on the same level when approaching God. We come in the name of Jesus Christ and on the basis of his shed blood.
Scripture tells us that Elijah was a frail, weak human being. Yet, he called down fire from heaven and stopped the heavens from rain. James declares, “Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops” (James 5:17-18).
Today more than ever, we need to pray fervently and believe God to work in our nation and churches. Let’s go back to the power source. Let’s rededicate ourselves to prayer.
For the rest of the month of July, we’ll talk about prayer in the cells, celebrations, prayer chains, and whatever means necessary. We’ll post fifteen blogs on the topic of prayer. If you’d like to receive these blogs in your email inbox, click here. We’ll cover:
- July 12-18 : The centrality of prayer. God will use the cell church but he won’t be used by it. We need to mightily cry out to God to move in our midst. The entire world is facing a crisis time and Jesus is the answer.
- July 19-25: Prayer permeating the church: cells, celebration, prayer chains, prayer meetings. Prayer is the oxygen of the cell church. How are you implementing prayer in your church?
- July 26-August 01: Prayer shield. Paul was always talking about getting people to pray for him. Let’s encourage leaders to gather people to pray for them. Peter Wagner’s book Prayer Shield changed my own life
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