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War Room lit a fire under you. Clearing room for a prayer closet and ripping clothes off hangers, you left a giant mound in the floor, determined to fight on your knees.
But somewhere along the way, you became discouraged because somehow it didn’t seem as powerful as the movie version.
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>Your husband wasn’t too keen on the idea of church dresses and yoga pants jammed in between his business suits.
>The kids won’t leave you alone – you just can’t find time.
>Even worse – your war room prayers aren’t being answered!
1. Your war room doesn’t have to be a closet
Yes, the Scripture says,
“But when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; ~Matthew 6:6a
But the context is this: Christ spoke of hypocrites who “Love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others”. (verse 5.)
Christ’s goal was for us to build a relationship with Himself, and not for show.
Growth in Christ involves matters of the heart. It’s between you and Him.
Yes, we should strive to get alone and pray with the Lord, away from distractions.
But it doesn’t have to be a closet. It can be a bathroom (perhaps where you’re hiding from the kiddos), a laundry room, a bedroom, or your car.
Don’t feel bad if you don’t have a prayer closet. God hears your prayers no matter where you are, even if it’s in the middle of a pile of laundry.
Your war room doesn't have to be a closet - it can even be a laundry room amidst a giant pile of clothes! Click To Tweet
2. You can pray around distractions (and sometimes need to)!
If you’re a mama to littles, this whole War Room closet can be a little intimidating.
You may think your prayer life doesn’t count right now because frankly, you barely have time to go to the bathroom alone (and then not always successfully).
The infant/toddler years are not conducive to alone time.
Learn to pray with your eyes wide open and your ears alert (for quiet littles, who are most definitely up to something).
Pray as you load the washing machine.
Pray as you nurse your baby.
Pray as you clean spilled milk (for the umpteenth time).
Pray always, and without ceasing.
Just because you can’t find time alone in a closet doesn’t mean your prayers are meaningless or that God doesn’t hear you if you’re not on your knees.
Just pray. As a mom of four, I’m here to tell you – He meets you where you are.
3. Your husband may not repent quickly
Yes, prayer is our weapon.
God gives each of us a will, and He does not force it on us.
God gives each of us a will, and He will not force it on us. Click To Tweet
If your husband doesn’t change, it doesn’t mean you’re not doing it right.
A godly friend prayed over her husband, even denouncing Satan in the name of the Lord, saying, “You can’t have him!”
And yet, he chose the other woman.
Yes, pray earnestly. Pray zealously. Call on the name of the Lord! Pray expectantly!
But wait on the Lord.
Prayer is just as much about shaping your godliness as it is about the repentance of others.
While waiting in prayer faith rises to its highest level and becomes the gift of God. It becomes a constant fellowship with a tireless request to God. ~E.M. Bounds
4. Your issues need time to resolve
I realize the movie needed to be resolved in 1 hour and 36 minutes. But in real-time, marital issues take much longer.
Marital discord takes time to sow. By the same token, so does the reparation process.
Give it time, and give it years.
If your husband is an unbeliever, or is living in sin, you cannot make him believe or stop sinning.
But God can work in mighty ways we know not of. Never give up, never stop believing, keep praying and keep yourself right before the Lord.
5. Your ending may not turn out perfectly
In War Room, Tony, the husband, lost his job due to illegally inflating his sales figures. He should have gone to prison, yet his boss saw his repentance and did not press charges.
Tony rebuilt his formerly weak relationship with his daughter, and was offered another job with lower pay.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s pay increase made up for his pay cut.
They did not lose their house, Tony recommitted his love for Elizabeth and the movie ended with him giving her a foot rub and ice cream.
This is great. We love happy endings, and I left that theater with the warm gushies.
But you need to know that in real life, everything does not always turn out well, even if we repent.
There are consequences for sin. Messes made that are not tidied up so quickly.
Sometimes you do lose your house.
A husband can walk away.
And you’re left crying in your dishwater.
There is no magic formula in the Bible that says, “If you do this, then your life will end up great.”
Not everything will turn out perfectly just because we pray, but God will sustain us! Click To Tweet
6. Keep your war room faith because God is good
Life is hard, and life is tough.
But God is faithful and God is good.
And faith is about accepting the first statement and believing the second.
Faith is believing life is hard, yet God is good. Click To Tweet
“Now to Him Who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” ~Ephesians 3:20-21
Let’s not put limitations on God. In his book, The Attributes of God, A.W. Tozer writes of God’s goodness:
Nobody ever got anything from God on the grounds that he deserved it. Having fallen, man deserves only punishment and death. So if God answers prayer it’s because God is good.
From His goodness, His lovingkindness, His good-natured benevolence, God does it!
That’s the source of everything.
If you’re wondering at this very moment if God hears your prayers because you have a clothes rack instead of a closet, or you can’t even find a quiet space to pray, don’t give up! God still hears you, no matter where you are.
Even if your prayers haven’t been answered as you would like, if your issues are far from resolved, or if other problems have developed.
Immanuel means “God with us”. He is with you in your darkness, your messy, and yes – even in the middle of the food fight happening in your dining room between your middle school children.
Your War Room may not look like the movie, but girlfriend, God is bigger than that!
Keep praying, keep fighting, and keep looking up. Prayer is about obedience and a relationship with God!
Obedience to God helps faith as no other attribute possibly can. When a person recognizes the validity and supremacy of God’s divine commands, faith in God becomes an easy task. ~E.M. Bounds, The Power of Prayer
*A few great posts on the movie War Room from my blogging buddies are:
Why War Room is just half of the picture by Marva at Sun Sparkle Shine
Why watching the movie War Room is not enough by Johanna at Devoted to Maker
How to create a War Room that works in a busy schedule By Stefanie from Walls of Home
Prayer resources from Ruthie Gray.Mom
How to make time for a consistent prayer life with 4 tested steps for busy moms
How to make a simple prayer journal, my guest post at Arabah Joy’s blog
One simple acrostic to improve your prayer life now – more insights for mom prayer time
Pray without ceasing…a command in my book. Sometimes as women, tossed to and fro, we have to pray in the moment and not wait to go to our closets. Mine is actually a closet. The only place I can be alone in this season of life. Thank you Ruthie for reminding us of God’s presence anywhere we are and in whatever we are doing.
Bahaha!! I bet yours is a closet out of necessity! I’m feeling you, girl. You’re in my prayers – and that post today was so good. Shared from your heart – now that’s what resounds with readers. Even though it’s like giving a piece of our bodies away, that’s how connections are made, and I’m sure you will get a lot of heart felt response from that one! May God use it and you to make a difference in people who have been hurt by the church (and there are many)!
Sandy Lawson says
It’s while I am up for the third time with the baby and then can’t get back to sleep. It’s when I am washing dishes. It is while sitting in the pickup line at preschool. Thank you Ruthie for the encouragement!
Yes!!! Sandy, did you do that when your older kids were little? I remember doing it some but not being near as mindful of it as I should have. I just wonder if growth and maturation has made you more mindful of it in this season?
And you’re welcome. You are amazing and you have my prayers!
Christi Gee (@ChristiLGee) says
I always wanted this sign I heard about to hang over my kitchen sink when I was a mama in the middle of it all:
“Worship service held here 3 times daily”
Good one, Tex! Hey, thanks for reading and for the affirmation. I’ve been ruminating on this for months. Praying how to phrase it. Took me all weekend to write, and even then I couldn’t sleep. But it is from my heart – and more importantly, God’s Word! Love ya, Tex!
Dianne Thornton says
Thanks for writing this, Ruthie. I love that more and more quality Christian movies are being produced. But I also love that you clarified the truth that change takes time. Also that we don’t need a literal “closet.” This gives so much hope to people. Sharing this morning!
I do too, Dianne, I appreciate the Kendrick brothers investing their time and energy into getting God’s truths out there in the general public when these subjects are largely unpopular. God is not dead!
But this has been brewing in my mind for some time, especially because of my perspective from my friend’s experience.
Women need to know God still does hear! Thanks for reading and sharing, CBB buddy!
Wow, friend! You have SO much wisdom in this post. So much encouragement for prayer. Thanks for reminding us that we don’t have to get super spiritual to be effective prayer warriors! And so important to remember that prayer is about God with us, no matter what the outcome is.
Betsy, this was one I ruminated on for several months. Moms really do need to know that God meets us anywhere – including the middle of that giant pile of laundry! I realize that now – years later, and I want other moms to know it now, in the young, crazy years!
Stefani | Walls of Home says
This post is absolutely jam-packed with encouragement. Thank you, Ruthie!! As a Mom to 1 and 3 year old, it’s just nice to read a blog that gives us Mommies a little space. Love the encouragement to keep on no matter what. 🙂
Mommies like you need to know their prayers matter, Stefani! That’s one of my passions. God is right there in the trenches with you, even though it doesn’t feel like it, and He hears you! Your prayers matter!
Marva | sunSPARKLEshine says
I think so many women need to hear this (gosh, men too!) and I really appreciate you breaking down some of the misconceptions. While the movie was great, life doesn’t always go so smoothly, and we can be tempted to give up on prayer or even God. Thankfully you had the courage to write these wise words to encourage us all!
Thank you for sticking it out in the trenches with me too. Your encouragement makes such a big difference!
I appreciate your feedback on this one, Marva! I’ve been meditating on these truths for a while! It’s something that I just really felt needed said, and not to thwart the message of the movie, because I did love the movie. But God works on His own time clock, not ours.
And I fixed my image so it’s pinnable – I had pinned on Pinterest but put the square one on the post for fb. I’ve since just entered the URL in fb in Yoast and we are in business!
Awesome job with the pinnable image, Ruthie. I’ve just updated my War Room post to add a link to yours. It’s still making good traction and I think everyone needs to hear this side of the story too. Hugs!
Wow you are so thoughtful, Marva. Truly, I’ve noticed you go the extra mile. I’m going to do the same with yours and also Johanna’s (she has a War Room post too!)
Aww…you’re so sweet. Yes, I also love Johanna’s post. I included her link when I first did mine. 🙂
You rock, girl! 🙂
Ginger Harrington says
Great points about prayer. So often we evaluate the “effectiveness” of prayer/our prayer based on receiving the outcome we want. Prayer is so much bigger than my ideas of what I think is best and it’s hard for me to remember God is working on a much bigger canvas than my coloring book. Loved this post today.
Exactly, Ginger! Wow I loved how you put it. God is working on a much bigger canvas than my coloring book. We forget that prayer isn’t the magic wand to fix our worlds. Or a bandaid. It’s a relationship. Thanks for reading and sharing, friend!
I love this Ruthie!!! God works on His timeline not ours, and that is what will sustain us over time, even when things are not movie perfect endings! He is good, even when it does not feel good!
Thanks, girlfriend. And usually, it’s not a movie perfect ending. God is good all the time, and all the time He is good. Our faith will make us whole! We just have to be faithful! 🙂
Can I be honest? I’m really struggling with some of these right now. I watched War Room a couple months ago and saw a lot of similarities to my current situation, except that my husband has moved out. Inspired by the movie, I’ve been striving to move my prayer life beyond “lukewarm.” I set up a prayer binder and have been taking time to pray every night, in addition to the random prayerful thoughts throughout the day. What I’m really struggling with is scriptures such as Mark 11:23 that assure us that God answers prayers (“Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.”) As you pointed out above, my husband has free will and may not return. There’s always that saying that sometimes God’s answer is no. But I’m praying for my husband to return to God. I’m striving so hard for an ending like the movie, but feeling so discouraged 🙁
Dear “Hurting”, first of all, know that I truly am hurting for you. I hear what you are saying and it doesn’t make sense. When we pray and we beg God in the name of Mark 11:23, and yet the situation does not change, we become so discouraged. It seems as if God’s Word is saying one thing, and yet another is the result. I don’t believe God wants us to stop praying for repentance and restoration. I believe He does want us to keep asking in faith, nothing doubting, because we never know when His answer may come – certainly not on our time clock. But it is also about our relationship with Him, and clinging ever closer, even in the face of seeming silence. I pray you will continue to lean into Him and know that He is always good. I pray that you will continue praying for your husband to be restored to God and to you. And I pray that God will do that for you.
This happened to my best friend, the one I mentioned in the post. She is hurting, and her whole family dynamic changed. Her youngest recently married and he showed up at the ceremony, bringing up old emotions and hurt feelings. My friend is the most godly person I know, and yet, he has chosen to walk a path of disobedience. I don’t know why, but I do know that she is closer than ever to the Lord. Her walk is stronger and she is even more joyful than ever. She regrets his choice more for himself now than for her, because she knows this bears on eternity for him. She doesn’t know if he ever truly was a believer.
God loves all of us, but He will not force us to love Him back. I do believe the promise of Mark 11:23, but I also believe it has an even bigger meaning in that God will grant us the fruits of the Spirit in our own lives, such as self control, peace, and joy, guaranteed. We cannot pray that prayer as a security blanket over another as if they will turn to the truth, but we can be assured that God will change US. He will hear our prayer for that soul, but He will also allow that soul to choose, even as He works to bring that soul to repentance (and I do believe He does that).
I hope you will keep in touch, Dear “Hurting”. I will be praying for your weary soul, your renewed faith, peace, and joy through this testing. Feel free to contact me here: http://www.rearreleaseregroup.com/contact-me/ and also, if you would like, sign up for weekly encouragement and receive “6 Powerful Scripture Prayers for the Overwhelmed Mom” (I think you would be encouraged by this) here: http://rearreleaseregroup.us11.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=c382491b3bdab95f43833b245&id=706f6f8410
I’m praying for you!
Lauren Gaskill says
Girllll! So much truth in this post. I especially love #5, and that’s what I thought about when watching the movie. You are so right — Not everything will turn out perfectly just because we pray, but God will sustain us! Hugs!
Yes!! Our prayers are more about God’s work in our hearts than what we think should happen in life. Prayer has become more and more of a deep comfort in my life and I love how God works through prayer to bring peace to my troubled soul. Praying for you, sweetie. <3
Jessica Tejada says
Praying for my marriage and that women disappear.
Thanks for your comment, Jessica. Praying with you right now. God is able, and you can be strong. <3
Hi Ruthie thank you for reminding me no matter : what keep on praying where ever you find yourself or what ever you are busy with. Life is tough and around every corner the challenge awaits me. I only want peace and happiness in my home but the evil one is like a roaring lion standing at my front door to disrupt my home. I am praying for salvation and a God fearing attitude in the life of my sister’s son who is living with us
Hi Julia! I am so sorry things are tough for you right now. You’re right, the Enemy never lets up – he does not rest. We must continue to put our faith in God and allow Him to work, even though we like to “play God”. It’s the only way. Pray for you and your sister’s son that God will work in his heart and life. <3
Here it is! This post is related to trusting the process! Because even war room prayers can take years. But there’s growth in the process. I do have a war room that I battle in. But it’s the most peaceful place I know that isn’t out in the woods. Thanks for making the war room concept realistic!
Yes – you found it! And yes it is all about trust in the process. God’s timing is not the same as ours.