What exactly is a War Room, you ask? Merrimack-Webster defines a War Room as a room where battles are planned that is equipped with maps, ideas, information, etc. Basically a military headquarters where a status is kept on troops that are in battle. The battles I want to talk about, however, are of a spiritual nature and our battles are fought (and won) on our knees.
Do you ever feel like you are fighting a battle with the people God’s placed in your life? Every conversation becomes a way to defend your opinion, justify your actions. Wouldn’t life be grand if everyone saw things your way? These moments can often times put an added stress on friendships and family relationships leaving us frustrated, angry and wanting to hang up the towel.
Don’t hang up – hang in.
I find that in most cases, people just want to be listened to. We hear that communication is key to a good relationship, but what we forget is that communication is about both speaking and listening. When my kids were growing up I loved to tell them that God gave them one mouth and two ears on purpose – so that we can listen more than we speak.
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interest of others.” Phil 2:3-4
There is an art to being a good listener. It is a gift where you can not only hear the spoken heart of someone, but hear the emotion in their voice, the words unspoken (the between the lines comments), and see the body language. One of my biggest pet peeves, when I’m talking, is when someone continually interrupts me. My brother did that to me growing up and it drove me nuts. I guess it’s because it makes me feel like my words are not important enough to listen to. Then there’s the person who looks like a bobble head, nodding continually just waiting for the moment you stop speaking so they can throw in the line that they’ve been thinking of since you began talking. You know the type.
“My desire is not just to hear the word spoken but to hear the unspoken heart words as well?” ~Karen Ehman
What we say and how we say it is important to the relationships we keep; especially with our families. Speaking kindly to our relatives gives us the opportunity to share God’s love and strengthen our relationships. Karen Ehman’s book gives so many examples and practical ways to learn to be a better listener. Of course, the foundation to all of this is prayer – because we all know that there are situations that are just beyond our control and our strength.
Recently, a friend of mine invited me over for an afternoon of friendship and a movie. We watched War Room. The premise of the film is an elderly woman who befriends a young women going though some marital problems. This older, wiser woman wasted no time in sharing her secret weapon in life – prayer! She takes the woman into a closet in her home that was cleaned out, had a single chair, and lists taped all over the walls. The younger woman asks “What’s this?”. The older woman exclaims
“This is where I do my fighting. I call this my War Room”
This movie and it’s message made a huge impact on my prayer life. I took it to heart when I heard the line – “Lord, raise up warriors, who will fight on their knees, who will worship you with their whole heart.” So I went home, determined to clean out one of my closets and create my own little space where I could sit quietly and pray my heart out for those I love and care for. However, I quickly remembered that we had absolutely no extra storage place for me to do such a thing! Karen’s book also points to those places we gravitate to when we pray. For some it’s a car, for others it may be a cozy place by a fire, for others, well the bathroom. No matter where your place is, come prepared –
“To win the fight, you’ve got to have the right strategy and the right resources. Because victories don’t come by accident.” ~ Quote from War Room
One day while sitting in my favorite ‘prayer chair’, I began going through a list I had of people and things to pray for. Being a bit of an organizational freak, I was getting frustrated that my papers were all over the place. Then I noticed a journal I had close by and had the idea that if I couldn’t create my own War Room to go to, I’d create a War Room that would come with me. I filled my War Room Book with scripture that would encourage me when I was down, and with promises that I needed to remind myself of all the time. On several pages, I placed sticky notes where I could write the name of someone who asked for prayers so I wouldn’t forget. I take this book in my purse, in my car, everywhere I go. It is also a great way to look back on answered prayers as well.
As Karen says in her book “If you aren’t praying for the members of your family, who is?”