The day after I saw the movie War Room (Amazon) earlier this year, I walked into my tiny walk-in closet and made the decision that something had to change. For too long, I had pussy-footed around my prayer life and decided that Miss Clara had the right idea and I needed my own war room to fight my battles. So I took out my dresser, vacuumed the floor, brought in a rug and a few special pieces from my bedroom and voila! I was ready to pray.
I was off to a great start. I bought a copy of The Battle Plan for Prayer (Amazon), I started writing Bible verses on sheets of paper in colored markers and taping them on my wall. I had my Prayer and Bible Study Journal. I was ready to experience a new season of powerful prayer.
Less than a week later, I was back to my frenetic busyness, not willing to carve out the time to kneel in my special place. Week after week, I’d kick myself for failing to take time out and really, intentionally seeking the Lord in prayer. And week after week I’d resolve to to better come Monday morning. It wasn’t a matter of not having time, it was a matter of not making time. All it would take was waking up 20 minutes earlier, spending less time on the phone, watching fewer YouTube videos, or reading fewer pages in the book I’m working on.
I was inconsistent in feeding myself spiritually. My life was too caught up in other things. My spiritual taste buds were craving worldly things. My spiritual antennae were picking up the channels I had turned to and settled on. And so it went, day after day, getting clothes out of my closet and feeling guilty that I hadn’t stopped to sit at the feet of Jesus in the special place I’d made for us. I’d made my beautiful war room but that didn’t change my prayer life. The battle was still going strong inside me.
Let me tell you why having a war room won’t change your life.
- IT’S EASY TO IGNORE. I don’t know if you’ve found this to be true but I can say from personal experience that it’s easy to ignore my war room. Granted, it is in my closet which I’m in and out of everyday. And that’s part of the problem–it’s in my mundane, routine closet space, thus making it easy to pass through without much thought. Its existence tugs at my heart to be sure but it’s not compelling enough for me to stay and spend time with God. I breeze in and breeze out with a pair of jeans or a blouse and on to my next task, quickly forgetting that it’s been days since I’ve done much less than dig for socks and mentally put together outfits for the weekend.
- NEW HABITS ARE HARD TO STICK TO. I’ve said it more than a couple times here on the blog–I’m a chronic snoozer and, dear God help me, I’d much rather get extra sleep than drag myself out of bed and down to my knees in prayer. Once I’m praying I’m fine and I wonder why I’m such an idiot to keep skipping days but it’s that short trek to my closet that gets me more often than I’d like to admit. The problem is, everyday that I don’t get up brings me farther and farther away from the purpose behind having a war room in the first place–spending time with God and equipping myself for daily battles.
- VULNERABILITY IS UNNERVING. Prayer requires us to come before God with honesty and transparency. Have you ever tried to pray about something while simultaneously trying to keep Him from uncovering something you’d rather have kept in the dark? It doesn’t make for a fulfilling prayer time. Coming into your war room with all that going on inside is like going out to a special candle light dinner with your significant other and shooting down all his attempts at meaningful conversation. You both leave the restaurant feeling awkward and estranged.
- PRAYER REQUIRES TRADE-OFF. Sleep isn’t the only thing that can keep us from establishing a prayer life. New habits are difficult to acquire because it often requires a trade-off. Less time on the phone, fewer TV shows, less social media, fewer pages in a book, less going out. Often it means saying no to a few things in order to say yes to one very important thing. But trade-offs are hard because it means reprioritizing. We don’t like giving up the things we like. Nevertheless, a war room life demands change. But simply having one, won’t create that change.
There is only one reason that having a war room will change your life:
Allowing God to change your heart and train you to become a prayer warrior.
The reasons I listed above are simply Satan’s ploys to derail us from what we’re truly seeking–time with God so we may fight the battles that face us daily and give glory to Him. Having a nice space to meet with God is a step in the right direction but you must take the next step and allow Him to make the heart change that will bring you back to that place again and again. It’s not about having a closet to pray in, it’s about carving out that time to pray on a consistent basis. It’s pointless to create a beautiful space if you don’t develop the habit to come back every day. I told myself this one day while staring defeatedly at my own prayer closet.
This 6-part blog series is many months in the making. It’s the series about finding the time, creating the space, and enjoying the joy and peace of giving God set-apart moments, in His presence, in the calm. And I didn’t write it because I’ve figured it all out and it comes easy. I wrote this series because I’m still learning and God is still working patiently with me to make change in my heart. This is a process and a 6 simple blog posts are just the snapshots of the beginning of a life-long journey.
Are you ready to make some changes in your prayer life? I’m not going to lie to you and tell you it’s easy. We’re talking the patience of the saints here (Revelation 14:12). It takes commitment and a unrelenting desire to draw closer to the Father. But, oh, is it worth it!
I so cannot wait to share my heart and some of the ideas I’ve curated from other great posts and videos, as well as a few of my own ideas! Check out the blog every Friday morning for the next 5 weeks to read each new post and let me know your thoughts in the comments 🙂
#quiettimefriday | #whereifight