Not very long ago, my prayer life was at an all time low. I was a single mom, fighting through graduate school, struggling with finances, trying to cope with family and relationship problems, and steadily gaining pounds due to stress eating.
Overweight, busted, and disgusted, I found myself unintentionally becoming more and more distant from God and only relying on prayer during moments of crisis.
Well, you know what they say...eventually you get sick and tired of being sick and tired. All of my worrying and stress was getting me nowhere while simultaneously wrecking havoc on my health and well-being.
Then it happened...
One morning, much like a breaking news alert, God decided to interrupt my brain's scheduled programming. With the weight of a ton of bricks, He dropped something simple yet powerful into my spirit.
It wasn't an audible voice or anything like that but more of a definite knowing. It went something like, Stop! Don't turn on that TV and don't check that cell phone. Right now, take time for ME, pray, and be still.
I didn't know what God wanted to say to me but I knew He meant business. I put that phone down, found a space on the floor and got onto my knees. I began to pray. Soon my heart opened up and what felt like months of pent up emotions, exited my body like a rushing river.
I needed more of this communication with God and I needed to meet with Him on the regular.
I remembered watching the movie War Room which was released in 2015. In the movie, a distressed wife, Elizabeth, played by author Priscilla Shirer, is at the end of her rope due to trials within her troubled marriage. She meets a sweet faith-filled woman named Mrs. Clara who shows Elizabeth how to create a personal place to pray or "war room" and how to fight her battles through prayer.
I was inspired by Elizabeth and her family's transformation. I needed to become more serious about my prayer life. I realized that the enemy was responsible for my defeated attitude, anxiety, the feelings of not being enough, and the troubles in my home. I needed to turn this thing around and I got ready to create my war room.
Matthew 6:6 from the New Living Translation (NLT) says, "But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you."
Living in an apartment with my two sons, space is not freely available. I didn't have an entire room to devote to my war room so I used my bedroom closet instead. I simply slid all of my clothes, shoes, and miscellaneous stuff over to the left side of the closet and used the right corner as my space for prayer.
I took the time to put a simple side table from Walmart, a picture, lamp, flowers, pens, notepads, my journaling bible, and other accompanying devotionals into the created space. It was perfect.
If you are interested in the tools I use in my war room and for my creative bible journaling check out this post.
Philippians 4:6 from the New Living Translation (NLT) reads, Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
The first time I entered my war room, it felt odd. I didn't know how to "use" my new space. Sure, I knew how to pray, but I'd never had a war room before. I distinctly remember just sitting there on the floor and looking around. Finally, I decided to just talk to God. I thanked Him for His grace and His many blessings on my life. After that, the words just began to flow. It felt like an overwhelming peace. I cried, I laughed, I prayed, then left the war room feeling amazing.
My "talks" with God have since become a pretty consistent part of my life. I have to be honest. There are still days where I miss my meeting with God but trust me, I feel very convicted when I do. The great thing is that I finally feel like I have a relationship with Him. When something is bothering me, I now feel a need to go into my special place and tell my Father all about it. My prayers are becoming my outlet for stress and emotional pain, my place to pray for those I care about, and a place which gives me a sense of peace in the midst of God's presence.
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. ─ Mark 11:25
My war room has provided me with a place to confess my sins to God and to not only ask forgiveness for myself, but also ask forgiveness for those who I feel have wronged me. I cannot explain the great weight this simple practice has lifted from my heart. From personal experience, I know that bitterness has a strong root that can grow into something disastorous if not dealt with swiftly and prayerfully.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. ─ James 5:16
You will notice that I have two boards on the walls of my prayer room. On one of the boards, I have the names of people that I am praying for, important scriptures, and specific prayers. I haven't decided what will go on the empty board, but maybe I'll just pin pictures of my sons and or images of what I am praying for. It truly is up to you with what and how you decorate your personal war room.
My war room has become the place I go to after a draining day at work, when my kids and I aren't getting along, when there is trouble in my relationships, when I feel guilt and/or shame, when I'm feeling vulnerable, and when I just want to be still and hear what God has to say. Sometimes it's just that...silence. A silence and a knowing that He knows what I need before I even say it. Maybe you've been there. You know, that place where you don't even have words. However, in my secret place, I know He hears me.
Have you created a war room or prayer closet? Do you want to? I'd love to hear about it. Leave me a message in the comments.
Until next time, Remember none of us are perfect and we all fall short, but we are also loved by the one who is pefect in every way.
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