Do We Dare Pray This Way?

I was reading an article in the latest edition of Leadership Journal.  It quotes Jim Cymbala, Pastor of Brooklyn Tabernacle and author of several books.  He says:

"The number one sin of the church in America is that its pastors and leaders are not on their knees crying out to God,  'Bring us the drug-addicted, bring us the prostitutes, bring us the destitute, bring us the gang leaders, bring us those with AIDS, bring us the people nobody else wants, whom only you can heal, and let us love them in your name until they are whole.' "

Jesus ministered to difficult, messy, troubled, challenging people.  He died for the church that we, as the church, might do the same.  I must admit, I do not pray that kind of prayer as often as I should. Let's face it, for most churches, it is much easier to have "cleaned-up" people join us than to deal with the mess we find in people's lives because of sin when it comes knocking at our door needing something.  If we're honest, we were all messes at one point because of sin.  The longer we are Christians, the easier it is to forget how sin-stained our lives really were, easier to forget that we were in the same place then that those in need of the power of the blood of Christ to cleanse are in now. 

Lord, please help us never to forget that, and Lord, please give us an endless supply of grace, mercy, compassion, patience and love so that the love of Jesus may flow out of us and impact needy lives around us.


2 thoughts on “Do We Dare Pray This Way?

  1. Unfortunately Jim Cymbala is a bit shortsighted when it comes to HOW do you disciple the drug addict, prostitute and it just doesn’t stop there, he doesn’t even bother to put in place discipleship ministries for the Church as a whole. His emphasis primarily is events that center around making CONVERTS.Secondly, I was a part of his church for 9 yrs and was one of those former drug addicts,and when I asked why he didn’t have policies in place that were financially transparent, he told me that its not necessary. If I don’t like it that I should leave.Four months later I was fired. I was actually glad I was fired so that’s not a major beef with me, whats most upsetting is the way he manages and misappropriates funds. I was on the operations side so I saw first hand, we regularly did major and minor renovations, on company time mind you. He stayed at the best hotels, ate at the finest restaurants all on you and people like you. Not to mention the poor and elderly that from the congregation that were guilt tripped by videos of starving children in Haiti. Meanwhile, those monies were constantly being misappropriated to other endeavors. Anyway, this is a lot to digest so here’s a blog link.

  2. Unfortunately, I think the intent of this blog post was missed. It was not designed to uplift any one ministry of any church over another. It was simply meant to remind us all as Christians that we have a responsibility as individual Christians and as churches to do the best we can in the power of Christ to minister to a lost, hurting, dying world, and share the Good News that Jesus can change lives and make people whole. His words and prayer are a good reminder of what we are called to do in every church. I am hopeful that you have found a place to serve in which you are able to do this. It sounds like your wounds still run deep in your heart after what seems to be at least a couple years being removed from the situation. “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks (Mt 12:34).

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