In the fall of 2019, Dave Clayton reached out to HIM Publications to talk about resourcing Awaken Nashville 2020. We had published Revival Starts Here with Dave for Awaken Nashville 2019, but this year was going to be different. Instead of praying for the 1.8 million Nashvillians in our city, at the time, we would pray for eight to ten people we knew—for thirty days straight. We were going to need a different resource. Revival Starts Here prepared our hearts for praying for the lost in general, and we had a prayer guide that year, too.
Now, we needed a prayer guide designed to help us pray for those who live, work, and play around us. As a result, Dave started writing, and I gave initial feedback. Eventually we landed on what has now become Jesus Next Door: A 30-Day Prayer Guide to Help You Practically Love the People Around You, used by tens of thousands of Christians.
Why the Jesus Next Door Book Was Written
Awaken Nashville 2020 utilized our prayer and fasting resources Revival Starts Here, Jesus Next Door, and the Love Your Neighbor Journal to equip over 700 churches. That was just in Nashville. These resources have been utilized around the country in various states, and in other countries as well. The books were donated and packaged together as a kit. You can still do this, by the way; you can get all three resources in one place here.
Hear Dave Clayton speak about how God has used these resources here:
The issue that Jesus Next Door solved for Awaken Nashville is the same issue it has solved for other churches: the need to unify a group of people together in prayer over a period of time. It can be difficult to find a trustworthy prayer guide for your entire church, group, or organization to use. That’s why Dave wrote this. It was literally written for just that purpose.
If you want to bring people together to pray in unity, Jesus Next Door can help you do just that.
Dave was inspired to write this prayer guide for Awaken Nashville 2020, but he intentionally wrote it to be used far beyond Nashville.
How The Branch Church Used Jesus Next Door
The Branch Church in Farmers Branch, Texas—just outside of Dallas—caught wind of what Awaken Nashville was doing, and decided to begin a Jesus Next Door campaign for their church. Leading up to March 2020, they ordered books for most people among their two campuses, and they launched a church-wide initiative—just before COVID-19 took our country by storm.
In fact, lead minister of The Branch Church, Chris Seidman, called it “a perfect storm” during a phone conversation with HIM Publications. Two weeks after they launched the campaign, the church went from meeting every week to not meeting at all on Sunday mornings, just like that. Jesus Next Door was the perfect resource to unite them in prayer as they all hunkered down at home with only their neighbors next to them.
God’s love poured out through the people in their church as they prayed for and learned to love their neighbors in all sorts of practical ways.
One person offered to pick up prescription medicine for elderly people in their neighborhood who were at high risk and couldn’t comfortably leave their home. Kids wrote Scripture verses on the sidewalk. People provided meals for families in need.
They even changed their church’s Facebook group to focus on all that God was doing because the stories overflowed with joy and fruit. God used this simple resource to equip an entire church during one of the most dramatic societal changes in recent history.
The Benefits of Using This 30-Day Prayer Guide
Perhaps the most important value this short prayer guide adds to groups is that it adds a specific plan to an inspirational vision. “Vision inspires, but plans produce confidence,” says Dave Clayton in a recent interview about the Awaken Nashville story. Dave found that leaders struggled to take a vision to their church without a plan, but when they came to their church with a specific plan, this instilled confidence in the people and the leader. Visionary leaders can fail at following through when their vision isn’t met with specific plans.
The Jesus Next Door book provides a necessary part of the planning that goes into a prayer and fasting movement. Even Nehemiah, Dave goes on to say in the HIM Publications interview, had a plan for rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem: “It was clear that the dude didn’t just have a vision from God about the restoration of the walls of Jerusalem. But he had a plan, you know, and he invited people into that plan.”
Consider the unique benefits of this resource.
Jesus Next Door:
- Helps unify people from various backgrounds. It’s trans-denominational, too, so as to avoid controversial words or topics. It had to be in order to get over 700 churches to use it!
- Gives people a simple resource for prayer. Each day is only a few pages of reading.
- Can serve as a stand-alone resource.
- Pairs well with other resources for a prayer campaign.
- Equips groups to pray for up to thirty days.
- Can be used for shorter prayer campaigns. Perhaps you utilize only the first twenty-one days, for example, as a church, then release your group to finish as they wish.
- It’s beautifully designed…
Looking Inside Jesus Next Door
Take a look for yourself inside this resource and download the free visual primer we designed to give you quick tour of the book (including a few sample chapters). This inside look at Jesus Next Door shows you what you might need to know about it in order to make a purchase for yourself.
In case it helps, we’ve also included the Table of Contents here:
|Day 1: Jesus Next Door||Day 16: See Jesus More Clearly|
|Day 2: Be a Good Neighbor||Day 17: Reflect Jesus to Others|
|Day 3: Live Here with Purpose||Day 18: Never Be Too Busy|
|Day 4: Experience Your Love||Day 19: Love the Brokenhearted|
|Day 5: Be Motivated by Love||Day 20: Focus on Eternity|
|Day 6: Pray with Belief||Day 21: See Where You Are Working|
|Day 7: Love with Action||Day 22: Faithfully Follow Jesus|
|Day 8: Serve Others in Humility||Day 23: Joyfully Obey|
|Day 9: Learn Their Names||Day 24: Be a Friend to Sinners|
|Day 10: Be a Peaceful Presence||Day 25: Search for The Missing|
|Day 11: Lift Jesus Higher||Day 26: Show and Tell|
|Day 12: Go the Extra Mile||Day 27: Leverage My Passion|
|Day 13: Embrace Grace||Day 28: Have the Courage to Go|
|Day 14: Share My Story||Day 29: Lean on Your Presence|
|Day 15: Welcome Heaven to Earth||Day 30: Become More Like Jesus|
Each day contains:
- A key passage of Scripture
- A short thought for reflection
- Prayer points
Here’s the end of one of the days:
People have found it to be:
- Helpfully focused on the theme of loving your neighbor
- Rooted in Scripture
- Practical for application
- Filled with relatable stories
- Beautiful to hold and read
How Jesus Next Door Pairs with Other Prayer Resources
While Jesus Next Door can easily stand alone as a prayer guide, it pairs well with other prayer resources. It was written specifically to add prayer substance to Revival Starts Here, which is a short book on fasting designed to help you understand the why, the what, and the how of prayer and fasting.
Revival Starts Here inspires people to fast and pray for their city, but it doesn’t guide people in prayer during that season. Importantly, it helps churches take practical steps to begin a month-long journey of prayer, but it stops there.
Jesus Next Door provides the prayer guide throughout the month of prayer and fasting (but can also be used for shorter campaigns). It will help you start your day with purpose as you pray in unity with others from across the city.
To get a look inside, download the Revival Starts Here Primer.
Jesus Next Door also pairs well with the Love Your Neighbor Journal, which was released by the church Dave Clayton founded and pastors, Ethos Church. They have partnered with us to sell this resource because we published the other two books they used to resource Awaken Nashville 2020.
The Love Your Neighbor Journal is an interactive journal designed to help you see and serve the people God has already placed, or will place, around you each day. This journal can be used before, during, and after your month-long journey of prayer and fasting.
To get a look inside, download the Love Your Neighbor Journal Primer.
How to Resource Your Prayer Campaign
We’ve given you the reason for using Jesus Next Door, an example of a church that successfully used it outside of Nashville, the specific benefits of this resource, a good look inside its contents, and how it pairs with other prayer resources.
So, what do we recommend you do next?
- Get a physical copy for yourself. It always helps to hold a resource like this in your hands.
- Decide on the type of prayer campaign you want to do (for example, a 21-day, 30-day, or 40-day campaign, to name a few).
- Confirm which resources you’ll need. Remember “Vision inspires, but plans produce confidence.”
- Consider a HIM Publications membership. Our organizational membership provides members 20–50% off every book purchase for a year.
- Launch your campaign! For those who use Jesus Next Door, we provide high-quality media for your campaign—for free.
In fact, you can download our social media and teaching slide template bundles for free right now, even without a purchase: Download for free our Jesus Next Door Campaign Graphics package, which includes social media posts (posts for every day of the thirty-day initiative) and teaching slide templates.
Now that you know what to do, how it works, and why it’s important, let me ask: What’s your next step?
Learn more about Jesus Next Door here.
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