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Summer Reading Challenge. Chapter 2 Commentary.

My main take-away from this chapter was that I really need to get praying! These words, on the first page of the chapter, stopped me cold:

If we call on the Lord He has promised to answer.

If we don’t call on Him He has promised nothing—nothing at all. It’s as simple as that.

Cymbala’s image of the church as a spiritual hospital and of prayer meeting as the emergency room urges us to pray together. His lessons on essence trumping form when it comes to prayer meeting—and his admission that he had been using the form to protect himself due to his fear—urge us to authentic prayer.

I was amazed that simply praying together rekindled New Yorkers first love for God. When praying, people sensed the presence of the Lord, and people began to feel loved. Cymbala discovered that people aren’t hungry for fancy or polish – love is what they are looking for.

Cymbala and his church family knew that a lot of churches give lip service to the idea that God can do anything; their church needed to have active faith that anyone who walked in from the streets of NY, regardless of his or her problems, could become a trophy of God’s grace. God formed a core of people in the church who wanted to pray, who believed that nothing was too big for him to handle…and who believed that he would build his church in their tough neighborhood. They knew that as long as they kept calling out for his blessing and help, he had fully committed himself to respond.

Chapter two’s bottom line: No matter what the pastor preaches or what we claim to believe in our heads, our future depends on our prayers.  There is no hope but in prayer – Andrew Bonar

Sue Weaver

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