Ralph Neighbour gives this stunning description of prayer in the Ukraine
by Ralph Neighbour
Perhaps a million pages have been published through the years on the subject of prayer. Men like E. M. Bounds and Watchman Nee are a couple of my favorites, and you have others to add to the list.
The problem is not that we need another series on prayer to be penned. It is the issue of praying where we are deficient. TOUCH Outreach Ministries surveyed 500 pastors from our mailing list of those purchasing cell materials in 1986 and we learned that they averaged, by their own admission, praying seven minutes a day!
I have been powerfully impacted by Pastor Vladimir Muntyuan who has founded and led the Regeneration Church in the Ukraine. He was raised in a communist city and had no contact with religion as he grew up, spending much of his youth in prison. At 19 he had so abused his body doctors sentenced him terminal and sent him home to die. It was then he met his first Christian who witnessed to him on the street and gave him a copy of the scriptures. As he read it he was thunderstruck with the God who healed. He determined to fast and pray until he met Christ. He had a Pauline confrontation with Him and was instantly restored to total health! From the start, prayer was precious to him.
I could write pages about this man’s ministry and how he now leads one of the fastest growing cell movements on earth. But I want to focus on his prayer life. On one of my first trips to coach his church I came to lead a major weekend training event. He greeted me by saying, “I will not be with you. I am going to the Crimea to spend this week in prayer.” I soon learned from his team that he spent much of his time alone in prayer, often sending for one or more of the team to join him for a period.
But this event blew me away: he said, speaking to 12,000 delegates who were together last year for a solid month in a cell church event they call “The Mountain of Moses,” where each day begins with 3 solid hours of prayer,
“I got so busy with the team preparing for this event I missed my prayer times. When I returned to meet with the Holy Spirit after those three days, He said to me, “Vladimir, I am glad you are back! I have missed you!”
Living among his team for weeks at a time has revealed their total focus on hearing the voice of God for the entire movement. Friday nights thousands of cell members gather to pray from 8 pm to 3 am. I spoke for an hour at one of those sessions and was deeply moved when at midnight, they packed up all the chairs against the walls so they could become one huge crowd, gathering with hands raised, praying aloud for the power to move in their midst. So precious are these sessions, so filled with His glorious presence, that the home cells are empowered for their weekly ministries to their unbelieving families.
We Americans have so much to learn from our Ukrainian brothers and sisters!