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Following the Graph, Part II
by Darrell Frizzel



  LIVING ON A PRAYER . . . The Rest of the Story 


        Since half of the group was still in high school, and the rest still under 40 and stout, we actually 
managed to manhandle our gear up the narrow, rocky deterrent, towering before us with surprising 
speed and little issues. Once inside we began the then mammoth task of setting everything up. A venture we had perfected over the years as everyone had specific jobs and responsibilities to cover. With this opera-
tion in place, a set up that could take as long as 30 minutes was often completed in as little as 10 if we 
were forced to “put it in overdrive” as it were. With very little time before the service was to begin, 
this was certainly one of those moments. Now many of you may be asking how we got into the church.
Well this is where this story gets interestin.

        We had lugged about half of our equipment up to the church when a young woman arrived to 
unlock the doors. We greeted her and with smiles, she opened the door and allowed us to 
hustle down the isle to begin our setup. As we started unpacking crates, unrolling cords 
and putting up mic stands, the young lady walked straight down the isle, approached the 
alter, and fell to her knees in prayer. We were stunned at first. We didn’t know what to 
do.  About then some of the other guys came in the door with a fresh load of gear from 
the bus, joking and cutting up with no idea someone was in the alter praying. When they 
noticed her, they stopped dead in their tracks. No one knew what to do. Do we stop what 
we’re doing out of respect? Does she need us to pray with her? Was it personal? General? 
We were completely at a loss. She acted like we weren’t even there. The young woman 
stood up shortly afterwards and was all smiles and good cheer. Taken aback and unsure 
of what to do, we just keep doing what we knew we had to do although a little more 
aware of our surroundings. Then the oddest thing happened, as folks began to arrive, 
one after another they came through the door, walked straight to the alter, fell upon 
their knees and began to pray without any regard to who was there or what was going 
on. When they were finished, they got up and gleefully visited with others in the congrega-
tion as they found their seats and waited for the service to start.

        We got the sound system up and running with instruments tuned and ready to go in 
line with our best times of completion. It was then, after a great deal of the congregation 
and guest had arrived, that the preacher came up and asked us to join the men in one of 
the back classrooms to pray. Naturally we agreed if for no other reason than to keep up 
with the folks who had been praying the entire time we were setting up! The women stayed 
and they, in turn, prayed in the sanctuary. You could feel the energy changing in the 
church. There was an air of joy and excitement beginning to swell. When we came out of 
the classroom everyone was in a rather good mood and we were all very thankful that we 
had decided to stay. All this and the service hadn’t even begun yet! 

        Once back with the entire congregation the preacher walked to the front of the church 
and announced that he’d like the entire church to come to the alter and join him in prayer.
We all looked at each other... Didn’t we just do that like three minutes ago? But it didn’t 
matter, we had to watch ourselves not to get ran over as everyone rushed to the alter to 
pray. We had never seen anything like it. So, never missing an opportunity to speak with 
our Lord, we joined in happily. Once the congregational prayer was complete, everyone 
got up smiling, hugging, laughing, crying…we were having church and all we had done 
was pray! Everyone took their seats and the church service officially began.

        The preacher got up and thanked everyone for coming. He thanked us for being there 
and welcomed the guests and visitors who had come to hear us sing. Then he said, “Before 
we begin tonight, I’d like to open the service in prayer. Does anyone have any objects of 
prayer they’d like to bring up?”…our mouths fell open again. Then baritone singer, Cliff
Lanning looked at Tommy and stated, “This is the 'praying-est' church I’ve ever been to in 
my life!” With that, once again, we all went to the alter to pray. After this prayer the 
church was electric. We were introduced and from the first note of the first song the 
Spirit filled that church like a whale in a mop bucket. There was feet stompin’, hands 
raisin’, God worshipping going on the likes of which we hadn’t seen in years. 

        It was the kind of service you rarely get to be a part of and when you are, you never 
forget it. The kind of service that changes peoples lives just because they were there. The 
Spirit so powerful that if you didn’t know the Lord when you got there, you were in tight 
with Him when you left! It was just what we needed after five shows in three days and 
hundreds of miles on the road. It was almost like the Lord reminding us what it is we do 
and for what reasons. On the way home we rejoiced in our experience into the wee hours 
of the morning, making a long journey seem far shorter.

        We never forgot that church on the hill with no parking lot or way to get to it but 
crossing a road, climbing stone steps etched into a rock wall, up a sidewalk and a second 
set of steps. But you can rest assured we learned our lesson on jumping to conclusions 
based on the difficulty of what’s to come. Cause when you’re willing to stick it out and 
work for it, God takes care of the rest.

The Waymasters


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