Elizabeth loved her job in real estate. Her husband, Tony, was the top salesman in a major pharmaceutical company. They had a beautiful daughter who got all A's except for a C in math and excelled in double dutch skipping rope. A home that could graced the pages of House and Gardens Magazine. However something was wrong. Terribly wrong.
Every time Elizabeth and Tony opened their mouths, a battle started. They had been fighting so long it had become a way of life. A put down here. A swipe there. The coolness permeated their house. Tony spent every free moment at the gym and his eyes wandered. Elizabeth kvetched with her girlfriends, until she met wise old Ms. Clara. Eventually she confided in Ms. Clara. Ms. Clara told her, "Just because you argue a lot doesn't mean you fight well." then she showed Elizabeth her "war room."
In a war, a "war room" is the place where all the key figure meet and exchange plans, strategies, conferences, ideas, and is equipped with computers, maps and the latest technologies.
Ms. Clara's "war room" was her closet, with her Bible, her wall taped with paper with prayer requests, scriptures, pictures, & inspirational articles. Elizabeth came to realize her husband was not her enemy. Her job was to pray for him, to fight for him but not with him. She was to become a prayer warrior and fight for her marriage. However she learned from wise Ms. Clara that it was God who does the actual fighting, not her. Her job is to pray. Every day.
It is God who changes our hearts when we pray. As we continue pray, our spirit comes into alignment with the will of Gpd. We come to see how God's timing works in perfect ways. So prayer teaches us to pray for all the desperate situations around us -- and do what we can, and then to leave the rest in God's hands.
You may have guessed it by now, but this illustration refers to the movie, War Room, which Forrest and I watched recently. As faith movies go, I found it a riveting movie. While I'm usually not comfortable with war images as it pertains to God, I know that people fight. I fight and bicker more than I care to admit. Blood and gore aside, life is often filled with struggle. We have to apply ourselves to study if we want good grades. We have to commit time and effort if we want excellent relationships. We have to sacrifice to achieve our goals. We need a personal war/peace room to figure out our priorities, to determine how how we are going to spend our time and the resources we need to achieve it. Health and fiances matters can consume us.
Yes. Life can feel like a battle.
When if comes to the trials and troubles of life, the Scriptures advises we take the following tactics to our prayer war/peace room:
"Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you" Psalm 55:22
"Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'Isa 41:10
"Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you." Joshua 1:9b
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27
Over and over, we are reminded that we are not alone. God is with us. Prayer, means cooperating with God and conforming to God's will. This enables us, "not to fear," "not to be anxious,""not to be terrified,""not to be discouraged," or "not to be troubled or afraid."
I am praying for my loved one. We pray for our ailing family members, our hurting friends, our alienated co-workers. As Christians, we fight for them in the name of Jesus. We then turn it over. It doesn't mean we stop praying. It means we stop worrying. We allow the peace of Christ to take charge of our hearts. The power of Christ is the nerve center of the war room, were the believer prays, seeks answers, finds hope.
In all this we learn prayer is just talking with God. Prayer is listening to God in the silence and through the noise and the distractions. Prayer is hearing God in music, in nature, in another's voice, in Scripture or sacred writings, or prophetic speech or art.
Find your "war room." Or call it your Peace room, since Jesus, the Prince of Peace, reigns there, will meet you there. Call it your prayer closet. Call it chair you tend to pray in. Where ever you pray, claim it. Make it a habit. Fight for it. Because your relationship with God is worth it.
Your relationship with your loved ones, needs your prayers is precious and infinitely worth it. Our world, and all that is in it, desperately needs your attention.
So get going. Pray. And watch it change someone in the process.
Listen to: Casting Crowns: "Thrive"