I admit I’m a little late, but I finally saw War Room for the first time last night. It was a really good movie, not just for the message but surprisingly for the acting and story too. I was proud of my girl Priscilla Shirer, who was as every bit funny and she is when preaching and teaching. I have seen the power of prayer work in my own life and am glad someone showed the effects on the big screen.
Now I must admit though that my life often looks most like the scene where she is sitting in the closet eating chips. I would love to have a War Room, but I don’t even have enough closet space for my clothes. Even if my closet were empty, I couldn’t sit my family in it comfortably during a storm. Not only that, but instead of a polite 10-year-old girl who is content jumping rope I have a 3-year-old who is on my heels 24/7 and a baby.
I commented to my husband that I guess I could use the bathroom as a war room. He pointed out that our son even follows me there and stares at me on the toilet, unless I lock the door in which case he knocks constantly. Knocking, “Mama, it’s me, Lane.” Knocking, “Mama, hello, it’s just me.” (This goes on until I open the door.)
So when you literally have no privacy and little quiet time, how do you prepare for battle? Here’s how I’ve successfully managed to carry out a strong prayer life, chaos and all:
1-Surround yourself with Scripture. I have Scriptures on my refrigerator, on my computer, by my bed, etc. I would love to have a whole closet, but it’s just not happening in a 1500-square-foot house taken over by Paw Patrol and baby paraphernalia. So I put Scripture in convenient places, like on the refrigerator or on sticky notes on my desktop. There’s a Scripture on my jewelry box and one by my bed.
2-Make the most of your time. Whenever I dry my hair I read a devotional. I can’t hear any distractions with a blow dryer by my ear. Just a page a day is very helpful. I’ve heard people say that they don’t have enough time to really read or study. Any time is fine. With my ADHD personality I actually do better concentrating on one or two Scriptures and actually meditating and getting them in my mind and heart than I do trying to read a whole chapter of something. Quality not quantity.
There are some good study apps you can put on your phone too. I use First 5, which offers a new 5-minute devotion every morning during the week and a video on the weekends. Then there are plenty of Bible apps that offer reading plans and give daily verses.
I used to read magazines a lot more than I do now as well as play around on the iPad. Just cutting back on those mindless tasks has opened up time to pray and read Scripture or other Christian materials. Once you change your reading habits it will be easy to reach for your Bible or another resource. Many Bibles also have commentaries in them that will allow you to go deeper into a certain Scripture passage.
3-Talk to God. The cool thing about reading the Bible is that we can talk to the author any time we want. Since I’m a writer, journaling is something that comes natural to me. Some people sit and talk to God audibly and others quietly. I actually write letters to God about prayer requests, praises and thanks, and anything else that is on my heart.
Even if you’re not a big writer, it’s cool to keep written records of what’s going on in your life. My husband is a terrible writer but started journaling once we had kids. He likes that he can look back at what we were going through at the time and see how God helped solved the problem. He also likes to write what goes on day-to-day with our children.
You may think you haven’t grown much in God until you look back at where you started. Having written records of such can show you how God has worked in your life. It also will serve as proof of answered prayers and show you how He has been faithful in your life.
4-Find support. It helps to surround yourself with other prayer warriors. Pray with your spouse and/or friends. We pray with our older child all the time so that he will learn the importance of prayer. Find support within your church and even through other organizations like Moms in Prayer.
When times get hard, it helps to have prayer warriors by your side. Probably my favorite part about my church family is that I am in several small groups where I know I have love and support. We can share prayer requests with no judgment and have Godly people going to the throne of God on our behalf.