Nothing is more difficult to create or more important to cultivate than culture within an organization–especially the church. But that’s the primary job description of leaders.  It’s priority #1. Leaders are environmental engineers.  We create culture, with the help of the Holy Spirit obviously, where people can grow closer to God by cultivating spiritual disciplines.  And the prayer habit is at the top of the list. Our most-repeated core value may be this one: pray like it depends on God and work like it depends on you.

You have to model it like you’re on the catwalk, cast vision like you’re on a mission to Mars, teach it like a TED talk, strategize it like an NFL offensive coordinator, and beat the drum like a Stomp troop.

Enough metaphors for one sentence?

After writing The Circle Maker, I realized that while my personal prayer life was thriving, I had failed to lead our church in corporate prayer.  I honestly couldn’t say that we were a praying church.  And I was determined to change that so we named 2012 the YOP–year of prayer.  We kicked off the year with a sermon series on The Circle Maker.  Then we had our small groups go through the DVD curriculum.  But the highlight was a 40-day prayer challenge during Lent.  So many miracles happened during that season of prayer, and I document them in Draw the Circle: The 40-Day Prayer Challenge.

If you aren’t a praying church then you are just playing church.  But when the prayer meeting becomes the most important meeting, revival is around the corner!  A 40-day prayer challenge has become part of the rhythm of our church life at NCC.  We’ll leverage Lent and take our church through Draw the Circle.  We’d love to invite other churches to be part of the adventure. It’ll go a long way in creating a culture of prayer.  And if you change the way you pray, everything changes!

Here are four ideas for implementation:

1. Do a sermon series on The Circle Maker. We’ve got tons of FREE resources plus bulk discounts at

2. Turn your small groups into prayer circles by going through The Circle Maker curriculum.  If you are interested, we’ll even give you a complimentary copy of the DVD curriculum. Email

3. Join us for a nationwide prayer meeting via simulcast on Ash Wednesday, February 13.  Get the 411 at

4. Take the 40 Day Challenge!  Lora and I gave everybody in our church a free copy of Draw the Circle.  I want our church to be on the same prayer page!  And I believe it’ll pay huge dividends if we all cultivate a daily prayer habit.  For bulk discounts, check out  If you order a case in January, you’ll get a free copy of The Circle Maker Prayer Journal.