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    Prayer Cells

A  GREAT NEED IN THESE ENDTIMES

 

LIVING, VITAL

PRAYER FELLOWSHIP CELLS

 

WHERE TWO OR THREE GATHER TOGETHER IN MY NAME”

I AM THERE IN THEIR MIDST.”

- Y’shua the Messiah 

(Matthew 18: 20)

 

Y’shua’s words are a promise. They are also an invitation! The Master is inviting believers to meet with Him, in small cells or groups, and He promises to be in their midst.

On the day of His resurrection, the Saviour appeared to a small group of women and stood in their midst, and brought them great joy.

The same day, two believers were walking to Emmaus, intently discussing the Messiah and recent events.  Suddenly the Messiah met them, walked with them, taught them, and greatly warmed their hearts. 

Later in the day, Y’shua appeared to the disciples (evidently ten), and stood in their midst and brought them peace.

The minds of all those in the three groups were filled with thoughts of their Master, and they all experienced the literal, physical Presence of Y’shua in their midst.

Later, the Saviour appeared in the midst of a crowd of 500 believers and gave them His commission, and the assurance that He would be with them for ever.

After Shavu’ot, Pentecost, the newly-formed body of Messiah was on fire for God. The faith of those first Jewish Y’shuan believers was vital and contagious. It was now, no longer a matter of observance of festivals and rituals at stipulated times. Their newly-found faith was very much alive. It was burning in their hearts. It was something they just had to discuss, rejoice about, pray about, and to share at any and every opportunity!

Those believers continued daily in the temple, and also gathered from home to home “to break bread” - to have fellowship in one mind, with gladness and sincerity of heart. And souls were being saved every day. (Acts 2:46-47)

Today, many believers all around the world are experiencing the joy, the peace, and the warmth of the Saviour’s Presence in their midst, as they meet together in His Name, in Prayer Fellowship Cells - small groups of three or four - in homes, offices, schools, and all sorts of places.

The motivation behind the simple Prayer Fellowship Cells that are springing up, is the desire to pray and have regular fellowship with people of the same mind, and to share the faith with others everywhere. This stems from a renewed awareness of the Saviour’s promise that He is in the midst of two or three when they gather in His Name.

Many believers are discovering “prayer” and “fellowship” in a fresh way.

On the other hand there are many Church people, maybe millions, who are almost totally missing out on real fellowship.

Many evangelical churches have been seeking to follow the Word, and to exalt the Person of Jesus Christ in their midst. Some have been greatly blessed by the Master, and have multiplied and grown into quite large “fellowships.”  Sadly, however, the larger a church becomes, the less individual fellowship the members seem to enjoy.

Yes, there are uplifting times of worship. There are often good messages from the platform, and there’s regular participation in the Lord’s Supper. And after the meeting, there’s always the chitchat about everything in general.

But true fellowship with other believers is often lacking. There is very little opportunity to talk over the things of the Lord, and to pray with someone personally.  So ... “Bye, see you next Sunday!”

Many churches maintain a weekly prayer and Bible study, but with a couple of “spiritual heavyweights” present, many believers feel too shy to discuss their personal problems, or to engage in audible prayer.

Some churches overcome this deficiency by establishing weekly Home Fellowships in various localities.  And that is good!  But there is also another scriptural concept and practice that is proving a great blessing to many … small groups of

  PRAYER FELLOWSHIP CELLS

These are sometimes called Living Cells, Prayer Cells, Home Groups, Fellowship groups, or Koinonia Cells.  I am using the term, “Prayer Fellowship Cells” (PFCs), as I feel this describes them best.

A PFC is a small group consisting of two or three (or more) believers who gather in Messiah’s Name, at any suitable place, at regular times, or as often as possible or practical. (They are not necessarily from the same church.)  Their purpose is to meet together for Prayer and Fellowship

PRAYER means Worship and Intercession.   

FELLOWSHIP means fellowship with the Messiah, and with each other.

A group may meet in a home, a school room, an office, a park, in a parked car, or even in a prison.  It may spend 5, 10, 15, 30 minutes or longer in prayer and fellowship – whatever time is possible or agreed upon.  

The regularity of the cell varies. It may be daily, morning and/or evening, five days a week, once a week, once a month, or whenever it is possible for the members to meet.

The cell may consist of a few students who meet after college, or office workers who meet in the lunch hour.  It may be a group of housewives who meet in one of their homes, or any convenient place indoors or outdoors. It may be a family cell which spends time in prayer and fellowship each day. The small cell group is oftentimes the only chance a believer has for real fellowship and growth. 

In a group of three or four, a shy believer doesn’t feel so hesitant; he’s not afraid of “saying the wrong thing,” or of showing his “ignorance” or “immaturity.” In the small cell, he is not embarrassed to mention small matters which need prayer.

PFCs help to refresh and strengthen the believers, and can provide the fellowship they need.

PFCs can be used mightily of God to bring souls to know the Saviour, and to prepare ground for revival.

A PFC can be just two people, but it is good if twos can become threes, and threes become fours or fives. 

A cell should manifest the love of Christ, and never become an exclusive group. PCFs with a vital faith are normally very open, seeking to bring others into fellowship with the group, and into fellowship with the Master.

If any person has an interest and desire to join the cell, by all means encourage him. Encourage him to seek the Master, and to learn to pray in the group.

Sometimes a person may not really know the Saviour - he is not yet born again - but he has problems and worries, and he shares them with you. It is good if you can encourage and pray with him on the spot, and then invite him to attend your cell group for the purpose of prayer. Even if he does not, or cannot, accept your invitation, assure him that you and your cell will pray for his need.  It is quite likely that he will appreciate the fact that there are people who care for others.  Your concern for him may be a step in his receiving Y’shua as his personal Saviour, and of his joining your  PFC, home fellowship or church.

 

PFCs SHOULD BE A PART OF THE CHURCH’S LIFE

Prayer Fellowship Cells do not seek to separate from churches or assemblies (unless those churches or assemblies are dead, modernistic, or following unscriptural ways).  Cells are basic building blocks of the local and universal church. They complement and add to the health, vitality and life of the church.

A church where many members meet in Prayer Fellowship Cells will be a growing church, for such fellowships help to develop the gifts and spiritual life of the church as a whole. Prayer and fellowship cells will help prepare new and younger believers for more involvement in the church, and will make them more zealous in winning souls.

IF TWO OR THREE

It is possible, of course, to pray alone. And we do need to often pray alone with the Master.  But there is something powerful about prayer in groups. Y’shua said:

“If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they may ask, it will be done for them by My Father who is in the heavens.”  (Matthew 18:19)

When one prays alone in faith the Father honors that faith.

For “the earnest prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”  (James 5:16)

When two join together in prayer in one mind, the faith of both is reinforced and they help each other to higher ground.

“That you be knit together in the same mind and purpose.” (1 Corinthians 1:10)

If you want to get a fire burning, don’t just light one stick!  Put two, three or four sticks together!

PfCs ARE VITAL IN THESE LAST DAYS

Prayer Fellowship Cells are going to play a very vital part in the life of the Bride of Christ in these last days, as evil influences increase, as the animosity towards the Gospel of Christ closes in, and as the “United Religions” gain more power.

My dear reader, there’s a lot of writing on the wall these days, and we dare not harbour a defeatist attitude that says, “Oh, there’s nothing we can do to stem the evil tide!”

Our Master has given us our own special “writing on the wall”:

“Hold the fort for I am coming!”  “Hold fast until I come!”  (Revelation 2:25)

“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

“Pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace with those who call on the Master out of a pure heart.”  (2 Timothy 2:22)

“Snatch others out of the fire and save them.”  (Jude 23)

The formation of millions of cell groups worldwide is greatly needed in these last days; and I long to see every reader of MRC literature, and every visitor to our website, enjoying the fellowship of a prayer group.  And I pray that each one of you will help spread this scriptural concept to many others.

It is possible for a believer to be part of two, or several, cells. We don’t have to restrict ourselves and say, “This PFC, and this PFC alone is my cell.” We can share ourselves out further.  We can all network and be a strategic link between various groups.

HOW LARGE SHOULD A PFC BECOME?

When a cell grows to 10 or 12 members and becomes quite strong, it might be time to divide into two or three cells, so that it does not become too large.  These two or three cells could also come together as a Home Fellowship so they would all still have close fellowship; but the new and smaller cells could start again to build up and multiply.

The main reason for a large PFC dividing into smaller cells, is so that the number of cells might multiply, in order that more souls might be brought into fellowship, and brought into a deeper participation in the life of the Messiah.

The advantage that smaller cells have, as I have said, is that new members feel quickly at home in a small group; and younger or inexperienced believers do not feel so shy in praying and sharing their problems, or asking questions.  The small group is quite often a stepping stone to wider ministry in the Body of Christ.

Large groups, because of their size, often discourage many members from participating audibly in the meeting – except for the singing.

 

WHAT DOES A PFC DO?

There are no rules laid down for prayer cells. What I mention here are simply some suggestions to help in the formation and development of PFCs.

The Holy Spirit is the One who will guide each cell. The cell, then, should be open to, and aware of His leading. 

There need not be any “set form.” The main purpose is simple and threefold: Worship, Intercession and Fellowship.  Each member should learn to take part, and to express himself in these three areas.

(It can be a mistake to think cell meetings should last for a long period, for then, some members, if they cannot attend for the whole time, may feel they should not attend at all.)

It might be good to start with a 5-minute meet, so that there is no feeling of, “I’m not able to spare a long time!”

A 5-minute meet could go something like this:

1    A Bible verse – a promise, or a Scripture for encouragement, could be shared    (1 minute)

2    Worship the Master who is present; maybe a chorus, and then each one offering a few sentences of praise and adoration. (1 minute)

3    Enquire about each other – any praise points? And a brief prayer of thanks.        (1 minute)

4    Particular needs at present? And then intercession concerning those needs.         (1 minute)

5    Intercession for others – the unsaved, situations in the church, and in the nations. (1 minute)

Five minutes is a very brief time; but there may be some members who can’t stay long. Depends on where and when. Those who can stay longer, can do so, to talk over needs and pray more about them.

If your 5-minute meet is a 5-days a week plan, it will mean that you’re having 25 minutes a week of group prayer and fellowship that you didn’t have before.

A 10-minute meet could go along the same lines, but this would not be quite so “rushed.” But even ten minutes will not allow time for casual talk. And of course you have not gathered for casual talk.  So as soon as all members are present, or when the set time has come, cut out all casual talk, and keep it, if you must, for ‘on the way out.’  Make the most of your allotted time for the five points above.  And use any spare time for building up, for encouraging one another, and sharing other matters for intercession.

With the five point framework above expanded, the meet could easily go for 25-30 minutes, an hour, or longer, if the time is available.  But don’t try to start with a 2-hour meeting.  Let the length of the meet increase as the members desire and are able.

In longer meets there may be more Bible reading and discussion; sharing of needs and testimonies; and more extended intercession. When there are personal needs or triumphs expressed, members should encourage the person, or rejoice with him, through Scripture verses that come to mind.

At times, such as when a visiting speaker is available, a number of PFCs may join together for an evening, or for a whole day of ministry and fellowship.

My dear reader, if you love the Master and want to extent His kingdom, why don’t you start a prayer cell in your office, home or locality?

 

HOW TO FORM A

PRAYER FELLOWSHIP CELL?

1  Pray about it.

2  Approach another believer and talk about it.  If you don’t know of anyone who is interested, pray that the Father will bring you into contact with someone who will be.

3  Decide on a suitable time and place.

4  Start off, even if there are only two of you.

5  Pray for others to join you, and look to the Master to add them.

 

Does the PFC Have a Leader?

The Leader is the Holy Spirit.  But there will usually be one member who is more suitably placed, or gifted, to co-ordinate.  But he should not lead everything.  Cells are a matter of sharing.

Are Prayer Cells Named ?

Not necessarily; but you might like to give your cell a name for the sake of identity.  Bible names such as, Emmaus, Galilee, Cana, are suitable.

 

AN ALTERNATIVE TO MODERNISTIC

AND LIFELESS CHURCHES

In some towns there may seem to be no alternative to “lifeless” or “modernistic” churches. There may be no known evangelical, Bible-believing church in the area where a believer who is seeking to follow the Lord in truth can find fellowship.  What should a believer do in such a situation? Should he attend a lifeless church regardless, or should he refrain from Christian meetings altogether?

One answer may be to start a small Prayer Fellowship Cell, or a Home Fellowship starting with two believers. The formation of a PFC, while providing fellowship, may be the beginning of revival and restoration in the church.

But if a church is modernistic and apostate, you need to pray about whether to continue attending or not. But the fellowship of a small group of believers gathered around the Person of Jesus Christ, is an alternative to apostasy.

It is becoming more difficult these days, in some places, for believers to meet in large groups, and to own their own buildings.  An evangelist in the UK mentioned some time back that an evangelical group there was refused permission to buy a block of land for the purpose of erecting a church building, because it was not a member of the World Council of Churches? That was in England!

What does a group do in such a situation? Disband? No! Let the believers meet in a number of smaller groups, in homes, or wherever. This would actually be a good thing, as it would spread the witness over a wider area.

This happens in China where there is discrimination or persecution against believers who do not follow the official line. Some time ago a house church in China where 700 believers regularly met, was closed and sealed, and the owners of the house were fined.  After the closure, more than 40 new house groups developed in the area.  Of course all the groups could not benefit very often from the pastor’s teaching, but the new situation meant that teaching gifts needed to be developed by more believers.

In some countries where freedom of worship is seriously curtailed, it is possible for believers to meet only in very small cells, as in Tibet today. But these cells are often vibrant, and they represent the invisible power of God at work in dark places.

My co-workers and I are praying that PFCs will be multiplied around the world in these last days. Thousands of them!

My reader, will you also pray for this? Once you are a part of a PFC, try to encourage other believers to start cells in their areas.  By God’s grace, let’s get fires burning! Let’s pray for a mighty move of the Holy Spirit, drawing twos and threes together in the Saviour’s Name, for Prayer and Fellowship.

“And Y’shua went up on the mountain and called near to Him those He wanted. And they came to Him. Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him, and that He might send them out to preach.”  (Mark 3:13-14)

“And  Y’shua  came  up  and  spoke  to  them,  saying,  ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.’ Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you. And remember! I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”               (Matthew 28:18-20)

 

           

 

 

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