Powerless Ministries are Easy to Explain

Monday is for Prayer

PrayerPowerless ministries are easy to explain. Somewhere along the line, the pastor and leaders of the church gave up concentrated effort in prayer. Other things became more important than daily attention to Christ. Conversation with the Master became rote, ritualistic, stale and cold. Now the ministry continues but the fire has gone out. Power is gone.

A friend was commenting on one of the posts from this blog on the networked blog link to facebook. She quoted a line from a message I preached years ago, that I had stolen from Jim Cymbala, the pastor of the great Brooklyn Tabernacle Church.

No prayer, no power
Little prayer, little power.
Much prayer, much power.”

There is always so much to do in a new church (or an old church for that matter). Diagnosing a community’s needs. Serving people. Training people to serve people. Loving EGR (Extra Grace Required) people. Helping wives survive the infidelity of their husbands or husbands the infidelity of their wives. Caring for families whose son or daughter tried to or succeeded (sic) in committing suicide. Negotiating contracts for spaces. Buying equipment. Working with sometimes temperamental musicians. Caring for your own wife and family. Maintaining your walk with God. Preparing messages. Starting small groups. Training small group leaders. Planning worship services.

Dealing with death, fatigue, funerals, defeat, disappointment. Helping the homeless. Encouraging the fainthearted. Giving direction. Listening to a grief-overwhelmed mother who just lost a son. Variety.

“Ministry,” as one of my friends wryly said, “is fun, isn’t it?.” But there was no smile on his face.

Remember Jim Cymbala’s wisdom.

Ministry has some overwhelming joys. But its joys are often surrounded by heart-breaking sorrow. If you want power in your ministry to overcome the sorrows and to keep even the joys in perspective, remember the wisdom of those three lines:

“No prayer, no power.
Little prayer, little power.
Much prayer, much power.”

Cling to Jesus. Pray. Build prayer into all that you do. Don’t neglect it. Conversations with Jesus are the life’s blood of your success. Follow the Apostles model and devote yourself to prayer and the teaching of the word of God (Acts 6:2). Your people need you to be a warrior in prayer more than they need your presence.

3 thoughts on “Powerless Ministries are Easy to Explain

  1. I really appreciate your blog posts. I’m being helped and encouraged. Today’s especially. It’s seems like on websites all you hear about are all the “good” things going in churches. We have a lot of problems (CORINTHIAN type problems), but He is helping us and we’re growing in Him. Anyway, thank you and keep ’em coming!


  2. I must say that I am alarmed at the thought of the Brooklyn Tabernacle not continuing its powerful prayer ministry.
    I have been greatly encouraged from reading Pastor Cymbala’s books and how God has worked in the congregation and among the people in the community.
    I would like to plead with you to please return to the prayer and evangelism ministries that reached so many needy people in the community. I will certainly be praying for the Pastor and people.

    Until the Shout!
    Your Sis. in Christ,
    Charlotte Jennings


    1. Charlotte,

      I think you may have misread my post. I gave no indication nor do I have any indication that the prayer ministry of Brooklyn Tab is ending. I was simply quoting pastor Cymbala, who I greatly admire, on the importance of prayer and cautioning others to not neglect prayer.


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