Breakthrough Prayer: The Secret of Receiving What You Need from God
Jim Cymbala / Author Zondervan $19.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-310-23
Prayer is an essential part of the devoted Christian's life, Cymbala (Fresh Faith) reminds readers, and the Bible sets forth numerous examples of faithful men and women who prayed constantly. In this inspirational guidebook for committed Christians, the author, the pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, writes that he has seen the power and comfort of prayer not only in the Bible but in his own life, as well as in the lives of his church members, many of whom were personally affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Cymbala assures that God wants to hear and answer people's prayers, and thus people should pray with""certainty"" and with""confidence."" He gives guidelines for making effective prayers, and suggests that only supplicants who abide by""God's spiritual laws"" can expect to have their prayers answered.""An unforgiving spirit, bitterness, secret, sexual sins,"" he writes,""can stymie our praying."" (This is the reason, he says, that he once refused to pray for a man in his Tabernacle--because he lived""in fornication"" with his girlfriend.) Cymbala focuses largely on how to use prayer to become filled with joy and to cast away worries or fears, and he spends much of the book explaining how a life of faithful prayer can result in deep, lasting inner peace. Spiced with lively anecdotes--the heroin addict who found God; the disaffected young man who became a soapbox preacher--and punctuated with pullout quotations, Cymbala's impassioned message should bring encouragement to the Christian faithful.
Reviewed on: 10/01/2003