The Ultimate War Room Game Changer (and What You Need to Do to Make it Work)

Last Friday I wrote about the 4 reasons why having a war room isn’t going to change your life. For weeks and weeks after creating my special prayer closet, I didn’t make time to spend with God. This week, I’m going to tell you what has been my game changer. Are you ready for this?

2-War Room Game Changer

It’s quite simple really: I decided I had to change my sleep schedule.

Instead of going to bed late night after night, I set my bed time for 9-9:30 and my wake up time for 5-5:30. This means no more surfing the internet aimlessly ’til 11, falling asleep on the phone, or working on projects ’til my brain hurts and I can hardly keep my eyes open. Instead, I try to schedule my tasks so that I’m in bed at a reasonable hour so I can wake up and have those early morning moments with God.

Now, I can’t lie to you–this is a process. There are days where this works better than others. Sometimes I simply can’t get to sleep that early and wake up that early. Late nights are not only a hard habit to break sometimes they’re unavoidable. Like I mentioned in the last post, new habits are hard to stick to and prayer requires trade-off BUT it’s a process I’ve committed to because I believe in the power of early mornings.

Saying no to late nights and yes to early mornings is like setting a standing appointment with the Lord to meet Him at a time when fewer things can distract me. No text messages, no knocks on my door, no messages needing an immediate answer. I can enjoy the peace in my closet and focus on God-it’s a beautiful thing and it’s worth waking up for!

The Bible has a lot to say about seeking the Lord in the morning. Here are a few verses:

“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” Psalm 5:3 KJV

“Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.” KJV

“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations. For they mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds. Be thou exalted O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.” Psalms 57:7-11 KJV

Early in the morning

Even though I’m most definitely a chronic snoozer and like burrowing under the covers ’til the last possible second, I’ve found that waking up early and tackling my top priorities first thing in the morning, makes me feel much better throughout the rest of the day.

So how exactly does one bounce out of those comfy sheets and into the prayer closet? Here are 4 tips to help you get started and make it work:

  1. DON’T HIT SNOOZE. This is the absolute hardest for me. It’s so incredibly habitual. DON’T DO IT. It’s best to have your clock or phone on the other side of the room so you have to get up and turn it off. Whatever you have to do, get yourself out of the bed before your body has a chance to think.
  2. MAKE YOUR BED. It’s easier to stay up when you’ve made your bed. Something clicks in my brain, telling me that sleepy-time is over and the day has begun. If making your bed isn’t a habit, try it and see what happens!
  3. HYDRATE. Seriously. It’s time to wake up physically and mentally. Your body hasn’t had water in several hours and it needs to be hydrated. Don’t shock yourself with cold water, room temp is good or warmed up with some lemon will do you even better!
  4. PREP FOR PRAYER. Don’t go directly from bed to closet. Trust me on this one. If I go straight into prayer upon rising, I fall asleep before getting very far. I usually start out with listening to some worshipful music and reading the Bible. The key is to wake up your brain while preparing yourself for prayer. But don’t check email or social media, don’t catch up on the news, don’t start playing your favorite podcast or reviewing project deadlines. All that can wait. It’s time to focus. This is also a good time to review any prayer requests you may have, either for yourself or someone else.

These are really simple steps but they help. But remember–it’s a process. You’re not going to be good at this right away and that’s okay–all good things take time. Pray about it! Be open about your struggles with the Lord. Ask Him to give you the strength to rise early and stay awake. And on the days that don’t go so well, give yourself some grace. Don’t bully yourself, God certainly won’t. You’re asking Him to change your heart in drawing you into a stronger prayer life, He’ll give you what you need to make the appointments with Him.

Let me just add that there isn’t a right time or a wrong time to pray. Your prayer time might be in the evening when everyone’s asleep for the night or maybe sometime in the middle of the day when everyone else is occupied for an hour and that’s totally fine. I personally think that giving God the first part of the day is preferable and, while it does take plenty of adjustment, it’s a worthy habit to develop!


Check out the blog every Friday morning for the next 4 weeks to read each new post in this series and let me know your thoughts in the comments

Stay blessed!

#quiettimefriday | #whereifight

4. Snapshots | 31 Days

This is post 4/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

Last year and the year before, I had no time to really enjoy the seasons. It was the worst during the holidays. I’d bring homework to family parties and was always thinking about my next deadline. I was constantly running at breakneck speed in order to get everything done and done well.

I understand that there are times for that. When you just have to get it done.

But I hate it. I hate missing out on the present in pursuit of a future outcome. While I think that God expects us to do good, hard work, I believe He also expects us to enjoy the beauty around us.

“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

Psalm 34:8

“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

Yesterday, we took communion in church and at that end of the service, we sang Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus. That’s the whole point of communion–remembering the sacrifice, the great and terrible sacrifice He made for us. That’s the point of church–to recognize Him as the Creator and Ruler of all. The whole point of our existence is bring glory, honor, and praise to our Heavenly Father and we can only do so when we break from the rat race and fix our eyes on Him.

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Did my God create a beautiful world or what?

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The birds are calling out to one another overhead, the sun is shining on my back, the wind in is rustling through the trees. Food cooks on a smokey morning fire and I stopped caring what my hair looks like. No one care what your hair looks like when you’re camping.

God’s in His heaven. He’s working wonders in my life. I’m in a slower season now but whenever it does pick up again, as I’m sure it will, I want to still take time to take snapshots of the present. To be still. To know that God has and always will be in control. To remember that His mercy never fails and His love is big enough to cast out all my fears. To listen to my family and friends. To care about the happenings around me.

To put my life in perspective.

Our work is important. But the everyday moments deserve our notice. They’re wonderful in their simplicity. God gives them to us as a gift. Don’t miss out on the beautiful present in pursuit of a future, as good as it may be. Life is too short, too precious, to ignore the life we live now.

#write31days

3. The Truth About Wisdom | 31 Days

This is post 3/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

I’m what you call a book nerd. I’ve been an avid reader since I was a child and now, as an adult, I love seeing my books lined up on my shelves. Kindles and Nooks have their place but real, physical books remain supreme.

Naturally, while I’ve always loved the written word, my appreciation for their power has grown as I’ve gotten older. I love words, spoken and written. They encourage thought, they broaden knowledge, they convey emotion, they allow us to connect.

But knowledge will only take you so far. The key is to know what to do with what you know. To know what thoughts to have, what knowledge is worth possessing, how to correctly understand and express my emotions, how to effectively connect with those around me. It’s not enough to know that something needs to be done. That’s knowledge and that’s good. But we need something more to carry it through.

That’s wisdom.

There are a lot of really smart people out there. But that doesn’t make them wise.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.”

Psalm 111:10 KJV

That’s not what the dictionary says but as a Christian, how could I ignore such a clear definition?

Wisdom comes from God. Period. So now matter how many books I read, classes I take, conversations I take part in, credentials I collect, or experiences I have, true wisdom, the ability to discern between right and wrong can only come from God.

A complete lack of discernment is what makes smart people do really dumb things. For all I love my books and like to learn new things, I’d much rather be simple in my knowledge of the world and rich in the wisdom and knowledge of God. That’s almost a weird thing to say, like I don’t want book smarts or street smarts, which isn’t true, I do! But I also don’t want to be counted among those who consider lecture halls and letters after my name to be more important than the quiet moments I spend in the Word. Wisdom comes from those quiet moments because in those moments, the Creator of the universe speaks and my heart and mind feast on things that no other educational experience could ever hope to offer.

The truth is, I cannot ever hope to attain or cultivate real wisdom without a real reverence and deference of the Lord (that’s what fear of the Lord is). My pursuit of God heart must be first on my list of priorities. Then He can take my knowledge and turn it into something useful and meaningful for His purpose and glory.

I can safely assume that you’re a smart person 🙂 Are you seeking wisdom too? Are you actively seeking the heart of God so that you can discern between right and wrong and put all that knowledge and experience to good and proper use in the world?

#write31days

Monday Morning Gifts

It’s Monday morning, y’all!

This is so not the post I planned on writing but I was grappling with a school assignment last night till the wee hours of the morning so that kind of threw a kink in my plans. But! I have determined to blog on Monday mornings and I will do just that.

There are gray skies overhead in my neck of the world but, surprisingly, despite my lack of sleep, I’m feeling more energetic today than I’ve felt in many a Monday AM. So I thought I’d give you some presents and spread some Monday cheer :).  We all need some inspiration and motivation to get us going, yeah?

First, a song.

Okay, another song cause I couldn’t choose!

Second, one of my favorite passages in the Bible.

“To whom then will you liken Me,
Or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One.

Lift up your eyes on high,
And see who has created these things,
Who brings out their host by number;
He calls them all by name,
By the greatness of His might
And the strength of His power;
Not one is missing.

Why do you say, O Jacob,
And speak, O Israel:
“My way is hidden from the LORD,
And my just claim is passed over by my God”?

Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.

He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,

But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:25-31

I looooove these verses cause they remind me of the greatness of God and His watch care over me.  He gives strength to the weak and they will not grow weary.  Thank You, Jesus!! 🙂

Third, a resource.

I’m really trying to change my sleep schedule and be early to bed, early to rise.

(That way, these Monday morning posts will be for real in the morning, like at 6 or 7!)

Late nights are such a hard habit to break but I’m determined to get it together.

Last week, I found this really great podcast that I’ve been listening to and it’s giving me another push toward my goal of a better sleep routine and increased productivity. So far I reeeeeally like it so you might want to check it out too!

It’s called the 5 AM Miracle hosted by Jeff Sanders and you can find it HERE on his website or subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher or where ever you listen to podcasts.  Check it out and let me know what you think!


I don’t know what you’re facing this week, but one thing I can guarantee you: God’s got your back.  Whatever you’re dealing with, whatever obstacles your facing, whatever circumstances feel overwhelming, He’s got you and He will not fail you.  Give it all to Him and rest assured He will lead you through.

Have a blessed week, y’all!

Elyssa

#goodmorningmonday small