Friday, 22 February 2013
Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire
I’ve really enjoyed reading the book by Jim Cymbala of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, New York, and in particular the way in which he brings us back to basics and reminds us of the simplicity of ministry and church.
When we pray, things happen. It’s as simple as that. God wants us to cry to him and to bring every need and every situation before Him. I was struck by his reference to James “You have not because you ask not”. His challenge was....... do we really want that as our epitaph? Imagine that written on our gravestone..... You didn’t have it because you didn’t ask for it? We could have so much more in our families and our church if we asked. Yet often we over-complicate it all and miss out on the most basic thing of all – prayer.
He made a flying visit to Belfast earlier this week and I went along to hear him speak in the Octagon at the Kings Hall. He referred to Jesus cleansing the temple and his affirmation that “My house shall be called a house of prayer” – a house not of preaching or of worship but of prayer. Not that the other things are unimportant – of course they are. But prayer is surely THE most important thing - yet often the most neglected and overlooked.
He reminded the audience of men that 3 key things are necessary for a successful church (that is spiritually successful, not necessarily numerically, for the two are not the same always) and they are – a working knowledge of the Bible, the anointing of the Holy Spirit and love for anybody who comes through the doors of your church. Simple, isnt it? From 1 Thessalonians, he shared Paul’s message, methodology and motivation. Later in the afternoon he taught about what hinders blessing in churches- division. The HOLY Spirit cannot abide where there is division. A house divided itself cannot stand. That is a universal principle.
I have found all of this personally challenging and led me to look again at my own prayer life and how we should ‘do church’. Lets all do likewise.