ARTICLE – When We Cry Out To God, He Answers

The Brooklyn Tabernacle Evangelical church has emerged as one of the largest Christian communities in New York City, but its journey to this point was far from straightforward. When Jim Cymbala assumed the role of pastor in the early 1970s, the church counted only about 30 members and teetered on the brink of closure. Adding to the challenges, Cymbala fell seriously ill, and in the absence of both health and financial support, he found himself in a state of desperation. He turned to God in prayer, saying, “I don’t know what to do. Some say we need a vision, others say we need small groups, and others say we need a Sunday school. But Lord, if you don’t act soon, we won’t have a church at all… what should I do?”

Then, he received a deep conviction, a divine assurance that if he and his congregation fervently implored God, He would assist in his preaching, provide for the church’s financial needs, and send an overflow of people beyond the church’s capacity. Cymbala shared this revelation with his parishioners, and they unanimously committed to hosting numerous prayer meetings. God began to fulfill His promises, and although these gatherings started modestly, they eventually became the spiritual driving force of the church. Today, the Brooklyn Tabernacle Evangelical Church boasts a membership of over 10,000 members.

Cymbala firmly believes that when we plead with God, He will not stand by and say, “No, I won’t help you.” The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on believers triggers renewal and Cymbala describes their prayer meetings as the heart of their ministry: “When I look at what God has done over the years, I see that the heart of our ministry has been the prayer meeting. When we cry out to God, He answers…”

Pierre-Alain Giffard, Director of Pastoral Work

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