absolutely do it. I would tell them that it is prayer life changing. I would
tell them that you’re going to get out what you put into it. I would
The most interesting part about it was the idea of the he, we, they. I
never approached that. I’ve done an E.M. Bounds study. I’ve done a
nearly as good as this book.
started journaling. There’s a lot of journaling in there. So I went
through all that and I go back and read those. And I go, “Wow, you
mean I wrote that?” I mean, it’s just how deep it became. It was just
wonderful. I love it. And I highly recommend it to anybody.
somebody that I was praying for on that day. I love to see that. And
you will be able to see the fruits of those prayers. And so I would
encourage people who were thinking about it to definitely do it. As a
studies on that. I’ve resided that all my life. I’ve got that down. But it’s
word. And when you talk about the deep and rich meaningful words
entire prayer, it is overwhelming when I think about it. And it will
absolutely make a difference in your prayer life. 100%.
easy requests, praises, a real short list. Okay. This week, for example,
we had five or six praises. And one of them was the study of this book,
which almost floored me. She said, “I just want to say that The
There were so many good things about it. I just thought it was terrific.
It was just wonderful. But the main thing it did to me was enhanced my
prayer life. And through enhancing my prayer life, it really grew my
relationship with God. I’ll keep it for I’m going to refer back to it from
lose, I don’t want to forget.
This is a tool that we don’t want to take for granted. God is working
amongst his people if you’ll only allow him. And he will transform your
And I’ve been a Christian for all my life. And to take me somewhere
where I’ve really never been before, I really enjoyed that. I got a lot out
We knew that prayer is the lifeblood. It is the gasoline for the engine if
you would, the breath of what God wants to do and how God
communicates with us and how we communicate with him. And
without communication, you really don’t have a relationship. So you
were writing Worshiper’s Prayer Life, and you sent it to me to read,
how some of the early chapters and things. And I told you that by far,
that was the best work, the best book you’ve ever written, because it is
theologically sound. It is theologically deep. Yet, it is written in such a
way that the average church member interacts with it very easily, that
you’ve taken hard concepts and you’ve made them easy for the
average person to understand, even someone maybe who’s not even a
believer who is picking up that book. They understand the need of at
least communicating with God.
And I think it would probably draw them evangelistically. After I read
your book, God impressed upon me… I told you, [inaudible 00:04:22]
you didn’t even have all the chapter, the first week finished yet. And I
told you, “Dwayne, this is the stuff.” And I told you when this is done,
we’re using this church-wide. It is tailor made for a church-wide
emphasis. There’s something powerful, Dwayne, about taking every
one of the energies of the church from your worship team to your
students, to your Sunday school small group classes and the sermons,
and focusing in on a common focus and theme for five or six weeks.
And there’s something powerful that happens in a church when
everybody is on the same page, running on the same rails side-by-side
with one another and especially even more powerful when the focus is
prayer. And there were people in our church that were spending time
with God every day that would have told you, “Oh, I do a daily
devotion.” But it was sort of an in passing type of thing.
And so to begin with, it was like this is going to take 15 or 20 minutes a
day to really interact with this. And then before, by the time they were
through five weeks into it, I had a lot of people say we’re getting up
early so that I can spend an hour with this before I go to work, because
it had become a part of who they were in their DNA. The fact that
everybody was on the same page, the husband and the wife and the
teenage son, and they’re all reading the book, they’re reading the
same thing. They could have a discussion about that.
And again, the material is so practical that there was something to
discuss that we understand. It wasn’t a theological treatise on prayer.
It actually drew you to communicate with God and for God to
communicate with you. And that was the genius of the writing,
Dwayne, I don’t mind telling you is the fact that while the material is
great, when you get to the end of the daily work, the daily chapter, and
even in some of the middle of the chapters, it was stop right now. And
it was a practical thing to do, a practical action to take. And those
actions become habits that are formed in your prayer life that you
carry with you going forward. And I think God really used that.
And the fact that they were learning how to pray differently. In the
book, you really focused on he, we, and they. And that was a paradigm
shift in the mindset of most of the people who were reading the book
because they thought of, “Well, I guess I ought to tell God I think he’s
pretty awesome. And but then I want to talk to him about Aunt Susie’s
stubbed toe. And I want to talk to him about this issue going on at
work.” But they were able to figure out that we really got to focus on
God, who he is, what he is and what he does and what he wants us to
do. And then what does this mean for me and my family and my
Sunday school class? But the genius of it was all of that is valuable, but
it’s only valuable until it expresses itself and allows for other people
around you evangelistically.
And so that’s where the connection I think really started. I know this. In
the last, we just finished the emphasis. And we’ve probably had more
Sunday guests in our worship services in Sunday school and probably
the last three or four weeks than we have had in 12, 18 months. Even,
not just because of COVID, but just simply because I think our folks
have really grasped they.
Because the people they’re bringing them to our pastor’s reception
and introducing me to people they invited to come to church. This is
my next door neighbor. These are the new people that moved in next
to us. We invited them to come today. And so we can stand up all we
want to and invite them to come to the pastor reception or the
welcome center, whatever we want to do. But there’s something about
a church member that is outwardly focused and they are important to
God so they are to be important to me. And so I’m going to invite
them. And then I’m going to introduce them to our pastor, and I’m
going to make sure they hear the gospel, and I’m going to invite them
to my small group Sunday school class.
And so we have seen, I think in a lot of cases, the he, we, they carried
out. And it’s the they part, the evangelism, the outreach, looking
beyond myself. If God is doing something here and here, then he
wants us to do something out there. And I think that paradigm shift in
people’s minds really hit home with them during this emphasis. And so
I would say in the days to come, we’re going to see an even greater
response even to that, because we have had, in the last number of
weeks, a number of people who have come and joined this church who
have come for baptism, who had made public professions of faith.
And some of them came because it was the emphasis, the study in
Sunday school, and the spending time with God. And they’ll say,
“During this time, God has shown me that I need to be a part of this
church. I need to be in a small group Sunday school class. I need to
start tithing.” Now you know God’s worked if people start tithing,
Dwayne. So, but it’s because they said it’s been in this time of
spending time with God that God told me. And usually we’re busy
Telling God. Yeah. Yeah. Well, you wrote the small group material and
the messages that you’ve been preaching. How does that work and
why would you encourage a pastor to include all of that?
Well, if all you do is just have people read a book, people learn by
repetition and reinforcement. And so what the small group Sunday
school lessons do, it takes the focus of the book that they’ve read all
week, it reinforces it. And then it takes a different angle of looking at
the same passage. It may be another practical step out there, and it
puts it in a Sunday school class context, a small group context, a
church context of practical actions and things a small group needs to
pray for and how they spend time with God, focus on themselves and
one another, but also how we as a class now take what we’re doing
and minister out there.
Makes sense, yeah.
And so that reinforces. Then the Sunday sermon is one more step.
What we did was they had read, interacted with God on that topic, on
that subject. Let it dig deep in them. And then they got it reinforced in
a small group Sunday school class. They got it re-introduced in a small
group Sunday school class from this angle. Then they got a message
from this angle. And so then when it’s invitation time, the Holy Spirit of
God’s been in that area all week long in their life. And so it’s like when
you’re calling them for invitation time, you’re just calling it for the
harvest of what the Holy Spirit of God has done all week.
And now you can do it the other way. You could introduce it and redo
that. But I think we just felt like that was a good way of doing it. Now, if
a pastor did it the other way, that would be good. But here’s the thing.
What makes all this work is all three of those things working together.
Our minister of worship sat down with the topics, interacted with the
book in advance and the topics. He chose music that would reinforce
the major theme that we were trying to get across that week. When we
talked about the first week, our father who’s in heaven, your name be
honored as holy. Well, that is a prayer of praise is what we call that.
And so we really focused on singing songs of praise and who God he is.
Your kingdom come, your will be done. Okay, well, that’s a prayer of
priorities. And so we sang about being in the kingdom of God and
working in the kingdom of God. And then we thanked God for giving us
our daily bread, our [inaudible 00:13:06] prayer provision. And we
thank God for how he’s provided for us and what a good, good father
you are. And we did songs that really reinforce the topic as well. So it’s
a combination of all those things.
Okay. So if a pastor’s watching and they’re thinking about doing it,
what would you encourage them about this? What would you say to a
Well, I would say to them, I would determine, I would sit down and I
would say, where on our calendar can we set aside six to seven solid
weeks where we’re going to do nothing but focus on the topic of
prayer, where we’re going to, in advance, get all of these books,
provide them to our people for the lowest cost possible or offset the
cost or give them away. I think it’s good that people have a little
money invested in it. They’ll do a lot more reading. So we ask
everybody to just put $5. Give about $5. We have people that put in
$100 dollar bill and said, “There’ll be people who can’t afford it.” And
so they did that.
I would say get the books ordered, get all that, sit down with your
leadership in advance. We sat down with our deacons and our Sunday
school leaders and events said, “This is what we’re going to do. Here’s
why we’re going to do this. This is the need. This is what we see God
can do.” And we cast a vision for what we’re going to do.
And help get them on board.
Yes. We wanted them on board with that. And I passed out their books
to them for free and some of them got books for free. Some of them
wouldn’t take them for free. They gave us $20 for the book. And so we
cast a vision for it. We provided all the small group Sunday school
material to all the leaders in advance. It’s very practical. It’s user-
friendly. It’ll say, ask this question, interact in this way. Illustrations
and everything. Very simple.
If a pastor wanted to get that, the Sunday school lessons or the small
group lessons, if he wanted to get the sermons, they can get those
from me here at First Baptist Church, Lexington. They can email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Or they can call the church here and
talk to me. And all we ask them to do if they want to just make a
donation for that, that’s just the money just going to go into the
mission fund. So for all those types of things, and that’s all we ask
them to do.
And we’ll send it to them, the material, the listening guides, the
sermon extended notes, the listening guide for the sermons, the
PowerPoint for the sermons. We will send them, even we created a
listening guide for Sunday school in small groups that is the size of the
book that they can print that’s got an introduction from me and what
we’re doing and why. And it’s got a place for them to write sermon
notes. It already has the outline already preprinted with the fill-in
blanks for the Sunday school lessons, small group lessons. So that’s
becomes a journal basically for what God is doing in the small group.
So and I would say to the pastor though when you go in this thing, go
all in. Go all in. Don’t just go into half-hearted. If you’re going to focus
on prayer, you need to get people ready for that because you need to
understand when you really start praying, when you really start
communicating with God, Satan’s going to attack you.
I was going to say, he sure will. He’ll try to distract you.
He will. Satan doesn’t attack a dead church. He doesn’t attack a
divided church and he doesn’t attack a distracted church. But when we
We get focused.
On he, we, and they, he doesn’t like that. We’re going into his territory.
And so it’ll be a personal attack on the pastor, on the staff, on leaders,
Sunday school teachers. Weird things will happen in the church. Your
sound system will go out or your lights, something crazy. It’s going to
be a spiritual battle, but the victory has already been won. The victory
is already won. So just know that going in. But I would just set aside
the time, get the materials, interact with it. I had the opportunity to
read through the whole book in advance and to be able to spend time
with it myself.
So when I went through it again, I was going through it a second time
and seeing things I didn’t even see the first time. And it was incredible.
And so I would just tell pastors that they need to do this. They owe it to
their congregation. Doesn’t matter what size church you are. You all
have worked so well to make it that affordable and things. And having
you here to really launch it, that was, for us, it was just incredible
because the excitement that we had coming out of you being here and
just doing the overview, that was really the thing that sort of the
launching pad, if you will.
Well, you just understand how to build momentum. So guys, if you’re
watching, you’ll learn a lot from this guy. And so thank you for the
time. And thank you for investing in your church like you did and
making disciples. That’s what, we’re just want to come along this Next
Level Worshiping beside a church and help you make disciples. That’s
what we’re trying to do.
You are. You’re doing a great job of that. And we’re thankful for our
partnership with Next Level Worship. This is our second church-wide
emphasis that we’ve done in the last two years with Next Level
Worship. And we also have been worship life. And I’m telling you, it just
continues to help us build that momentum, see people’s lives change.
And after we’ve come out of this every time, what we’ve seen is God
added to the kingdom. And that’s what we’re excited about.
Amen. All right. Thanks, Dr. Clay.
All right, buddy. Thank you. All right.