Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala with Dean Merrill
How to pray
Jim Cymbala has been the pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle for 35 years and brought it from a small struggling congregation to a thriving megachurch.
Cymbala tells the story of his first days struggling to keep a nearly dead church in a rough area alive and the amazing spiritual turnaround that happened as a result of intense prayer. Playing a prominent role in the turnaround is Jim’s use of altar prayer as a centerpiece of the service and the enlistment of prayer support teams to cover the ministry.
This book combines personal experience with pithy quotes and includes a clear call to action to become more open to the Holy Spirit. Cymbala captures your attention right away by telling of his early failures and keeps you interested with stories of high drama such as the day someone pulled a revolver on him at the altar of the church.
Added by Karen Barber on June 27, 2011
|Reviewed by LoveBeingaDad1974 on August 7, 2011 Review: I loved this book by Jim Cymbala and foudn it to be very invigorating to my faith. I highly recommend this book!|
|Reviewed by Karen Barber on June 27, 2011|
|Review: Here are some of my favorite quotes:
“Does the Bible ever say anywhere from Genesis to Revelation, ‘My house shall be called a house of preaching’?” (p. 70)
“I have seen God do more in people’s live in ten minutes of real prayer than in ten of my sermons.” (p. 71)
“What does is say about our churches today that God birthed the church in a prayer meeting, and prayer meetings today are almost extinct?” (p. 72)
Jim goes on to challenge all of our churches to deal with our lukewarm religion and plug into the power of the Holy Spirit. He asks, “Are you and I seeing the results Peter saw? If not, we need to get back to his power source.” (p. 97)
He also calls for a return to the preaching of the Bible, which is what we need rather than following the latest trends and fads. He warns against turning churches into modern businesses with emphasis on the number of members and calls us to instead concentrate on preaching the gospel and letting God take care of the results. He goes on to warn against treating religion as an intellectual pursuit of head knowledge. He says, “Christianity is not predominantly a teaching religion…The teaching of sound doctrine is a prelude, if you will, to the supernatural. (p. 151)
He then challenges us to let go of the things in the way of God and take spiritual risks. He says, “We are always either drawing nearer to God or falling away; There is no holding pattern.” (p. 163)
The title to this book Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire was very appropriate because I found it inspiring and refreshing. It really re-awakened and reaffirmed my realization that churches – my own included – aren’t using prayer as the powerhouse that it is.
After reading this book, I became more interested in the power of altar prayer. As a result, when I was asked to start a monthly Sunday evening prayer service at our church, I decided to center it around altar prayer. Our altar prayer time probably isn’t exactly like Cymbala’s. We adapted it to fit the customs of our church. We have lay people who are prayer helpers who will quietly pray with individuals who come forward needing prayer and we reserve one side of the altar for those who want to pray silently.
The type of person I think would most benefit from or enjoy this resource are those who feel that they would like to feel more of God’s power working through prayer in their church.