This article was originally published in Edition (15) of Prayer Magazine, Jul 2008.

Prayer Triplets has helped to bring transformation to thousands of lives all around the world.  It’s a term that has become familiar in the language of the church. 

What are they?

Basically a prayer triplet consists of three people (mini-triplet) or three couples (maxi-triplet) who commit to praying regularly for three of their friends each so that between them they are committed to praying for nine individuals or nine couples.  They pray for all their known needs and especially that they might become Christian.  Prayer Triplets have occurred in all walks of life and in all parts of the world. 

In the beginning they started as preparation for a major national mission in England - so we coined the phrase Mission Triplets.  Later, Community Triplets were born – Christians praying together in their street or tower block or village for individuals around them as a means of bringing their friends to Christ and of starting a process of change in the community.  Many student bodies encouraged Christians going up to university as freshers to start prayer triplets in the Halls of Residence, both as a means of sustaining their Christian life with other Christians and also of reaching out to fellow-students.  There have been prayer triplets in Parliament, in prisons, in the business world, amongst children, in schools and Universities, even in a Palace – in fact they have the potential of springing up anywhere!

The Church planting movement DAWN has applied Prayer Triplets in relation to church planting initiatives in many cultures and countries.  Materials have been translated into dozens of languages around the world.   The global cell church movement has also adapted prayer triplets as the main means of praying for non-Christians and developing cell churches.

Wherever Prayer Triplets have been applied similar results have occurred.  Those prayed for become more open to Christ and to the Christian message and many thousands become Christians.

Initially Prayer Triplets were launched in England a quarter of a century ago.  But that’s not the start.  They are even in the Bible! 

Aaron and Hur lifted up Moses’s arms so that all three of them were engaged in prayer as Joshua fought the battle against the Amalekites (Exodus 17:8-15).  Daniel asked his three friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to pray for the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (see Daniel chapter 2).     As a result God spoke to Daniel in a vision during the night, and their lives were spared.

Peter, James and John were the triplet of pray-ers that Jesus took with him on two assignments, (1) to pray on the mount of transfiguration and (2) to pray with him in the garden of Gethsemane.  Interestingly on both occasions, they fell asleep, but Jesus still persisted with them - and they got the message.  Their prayers eventually helped change the world.  Jesus himself said “where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:19-20).  And, of course, there is a triplet in heaven, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  When we join in prayer with heaven, then we join that divine triplet.  Our earthly prayers then become heaven-originated prayers, as God begins to change what we pray for and the way we pray.

STORIES TO ENCOURAGE

A student wrote, “As a fresher I heard about prayer triplets.   Three of us met to discuss this – when we should pray, how long we would pray for, where we would meet, who we would pray for.   It took two hours!   Then for five minutes at the end we prayed for a friend each.   Imagine my surprise when the friend I prayed for came to me two days later and asked how she could become a Christian.   If God can answer prayer that quickly, with so little faith on my part, how much more could He do, if we prayed & trusted Him more and talked less?”

An Irish businessman heard about prayer triplets and started meeting together with three colleagues where he worked.   A year later he was rejoicing that the three he was praying for had been converted, and the business environment had changed.

As a result of applying prayer triplets, some churches have doubled in size, because of the answers to prayer. A church that had seen better days was left with six members, all over 60 years of age.   When they heard about prayer triplets, they formed two groups (100% response), praying for a total of eighteen people.   Within a matter of weeks a third of these had been converted and the church had doubled.

One international cell church encouraged people in their cells to form prayer triplets to pray for their friends.   As a result hundreds became Christians, and that cell church grew to become the largest in its nation, with young people being the predominant group.

Three pupils at a Comprehensive school heard about God answering prayer, so decided to form a triplet group and to put at the top of the list the ‘hardest nuts’ from among their circle of friends.   Within weeks these had been converted.  

A married couple formed a maxi-triplet.   One of the couples they prayed for were their tennis partners.   First the wife became a Christian.   But her husband was so incensed, he threatened his praying friends with a gun!   Eventually God broke through into his life also.   The following summer the four of them walked away with all the tennis tournament prizes.   In presenting them, the club chairman claimed they had unfair advantage.   ‘Next summer you pray for all of us – not just two of us’.

HOW TO GET STARTED

Ask God to guide you to two friends with whom you can pray.   Decide together on the three friends each you will pray for (or three couples). Ideally these friends should be in the place where you spend most time and whom you see fairly often (college, school, work or in your locality).  Share some brief information about these, and write their names on a prayer card.   Each time you meet (we suggest weekly), pray for each of them, and pray at other times during the week also – in your prayer time, as you travel, or when you are out walking.   Agree how long to meet for and ensure that at least half the time is spent in prayer – use the rest of the time to update one another about your friends.   Pray also for each other’s needs.

As a church, house group, youth group or boiler room you might wish to encourage everyone to be in a prayer triplet.   These could meet as part of what you do when you are together, or informally at other times.   Arrange times when all the prayer groups meet together (maybe over a meal) to tell the stories of how God is at work, or discuss some of the difficulties they may have found along the way.   Also use the time to share some basic teaching about praying with faith and perseverance.

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