Jim Cymbala Quotes: 20 Powerful Sayings

by Pamela Rose Williams · Print Print · Email Email

Pastor Jim Cymbala has been leading the flock at Brooklyn Tabernacle since the early 1970s. There was no money available in the church with a congregation less than 50 so he and his wife worked outside of the ministry to meet expenses; both personal and for the church. This ministry that the Cymbala’s believed God called them to was the epitome of the “inner-city” church and it came along with its share of problems like broken families, drug and alcohol abuse and more.

Throughout the years, under the direction of Pastor Cymbala, the Lord has raised up many leaders and allowed planting of other churches in New York as well as around the world. Pastor Cymbala shares a great and detailed history of his ministry at the Brooklyn Tabernacle in his book entitled Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire. God has used Pastor Jim Cymbala to do great things for Him. Take a look at these powerful quotes and sayings from Jim Cymbala that have been recorded over the years:

” I learned as never before that persistent calling upon the Lord breaks through every stronghold of the devil, for nothing is impossible with God. For Christians in these troubled times, there is simply no other way.”

Christian Witness, Faith & God’s Power to Overcome

People pay attention when they see that God actually changes persons and sets them free. When a new Christian stands up and tells how God has revolutionized his or her life, no one dozes off. When someone is healed or released from a life-controlling bondage, everyone takes notice.

If the times are indeed as bad as we say they are… if the darkness in our world is growing heavier by the moment… if we are facing spiritual battles right in our own homes and churches… then we are foolish not to turn to the One who supplies unlimited grace and power. He is our only source. We are crazy to ignore him.

God is more powerful than anybody’s past, no matter how wretched. He can make us forget – not by erasing the memory but by taking the sting and paralyzing effect out of it

Faith never denies reality but leaves room for God to grant a new reality.

Jim Cymbala, Pastor Brooklyn Tabernacle [photo credit: brooklyntabernacle.org]

Jim Cymbala, Pastor, Brooklyn Tabernacle [photo credit: brooklyntabernacle.org]

Church Growth & the Numbers

God nowhere asks anyone to have a large church. He only calls us to do his work, proclaiming his Word to people he loves under anointing power of the Holy Spirit to produce results that only he can bring about.

No church, including the one I pastor, should be measured by its attendance.

The Bible does not say we should aim at numbers but rather urges us faithfully to proclaim God’s message in the boldness of the Holy Spirit. This will build God’s church God’s way.

Instead of trying to bring men and women to Christ in the biblical way, we are consumed with the unbiblical concept of “church growth.

What the disciples wanted was not numbers but an essential quality that would keep them BEING the church God intended. Boldness can only be imparted by the Holy Spirit.


The ravages of sin are not pleasant–but they are what Jesus came to forgive and heal. “The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10). Yet Christians often hesitate to reach out to those who are different. They want God to clean the fish before they catch them.

Jesus called fishermen, not graduates of rabbinical schools. The main requirement was to be natural and sincere


Prayer begets Revival, which begets more prayer.

The Bible does say, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” Preaching, music, the reading of the Word–these things are fine–but they must never override prayer as the defining mark of God’s dwelling.

In too many churches today, people don’t see manifestations of God’s power in answer to fervent praying. Instead, they hear arguments about theological issues that few people care about.

God says to us, “Pray, because I have all kinds of things for you; and when you ask, you will receive. I have all this grace, and you live with scarcity. Come unto me, all you who labor. Why are you so rushed? Where are you running now? Everything you need, I have.”

Let’s forget the novelties. If we prevail in prayer, God will do only what he can do. How he does things, when he does them, and in what manner are up to him. The name of Jesus, the power of his blood, and the prayer of faith have never lost their power over the centuries.

Prayer cannot truly be taught by principles and seminars and symposiums. It has to be born out of a whole environment of felt need. If I say, “I ought to pray,” I will soon run out of motivation and quit; the flesh is too strong. I have to be driven to pray.

The devil is not terribly frightened of our human efforts and credentials. But he knows his kingdom will be damaged when we begin to lift up our hearts to God.

No matter what I preach or what we claim to believe in our heads, the future will depend upon our times of prayer.

Final Thoughts

I love it when you see God’s plan for a church come to life. Pastor Cymbala started in a church with less than 50 people but that did not matter. He never focused on the number, instead he prayed without ceasing. We can learn much from this man of God. I love to read and share quotes from such godly witnesses for Jesus.

More reading: How to Plant a Church

Resource: Biographical information for Pastor Cymbala found at brooklyntabernacle.org

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