The first time I saw "War Room", I was sitting next to a friend and her husband. She began chatting about education and politics, two areas I am very passionate about. She provided insight that only God would know that I needed to hear. As the movie started, I was smiling from ear-to-ear at the wisdom that my friend had shared. Little did I know how phenomenal the movie would be.
During the movie, I laughed, cried, prayed, forgave people, worshipped, praised God, and shouted for joy a few times.
I left out of the movie with my friend and her husband and we began to talk about another area that I needed some wisdom in. This particular area she had already walked through and immediately began to share her successes and downfalls. I stood listening in awe.
Let's be clear, I was not in awe of these moments because I had not been believing God for stuff, but because I had not been using my "crazy faith." I had slacked off on some of my personal prayer requests and more often praying and believing God to answer the needs others through my prayer ministry, Always Praying. Or trying to make things happen or people respond the way I wanted, which of course, the movie spoke directly to me and my need to learn how to fight the right way.
A few days later I was thinking about the movie and thinking about how I was once EXTREMELY bold with my faith. I would share Jesus with people on the way to class, ask my waiters/waitresses if they knew Jesus, invite and carpool people to church, etc. Many of my dear friends remember these days because they would be standing along side me ministering to people. I enjoyed sharing Jesus.
"What happened?", I thought. I still share Jesus yet not with the same conviction and fervency.
Watching Ms. Clara reminded me that God is still the same, yesterday, today and forever. When she said, "He can't be fired and He will not retire", my faith was being stirred at the very core. She is talking about the God I serve, and hopefully you serve, too. She was reminding viewers that their circumstances do not determine the presence or faithfulness of God.
So, I had this thought, "Lord, bring someone in my path that I can talk to Jesus about."
I am at the nail salon and talking with the nail technician. She was updating me on her life as she changed the polish on my nails. I listened. She even mentioned that her former roommates in college were Christians who did not know how to have any fun. My ears perked up and my heart leaped. I sat there thinking how will I tell her that Christianity is not boring! We continued and little did I know she was raised in the church. She had attended churches I attended and we knew some of the same people. She mentioned something happened that pushed her away from church. I am not one to really pry (probably because I am super private), so I didn't. I prefer for people to open up when they are ready versus prying out information, unless of course, I feel led to ask. In this case, I was listening and interjecting every now and again. Finally, as she was finishing my toes, she shared what pushed her away from church AND God. Oh, my heart broke. I reassured her that God's love for her never changed and the words she heard from a loved one were not the heart of God. (Please join me in praying she forgives the loved one and her relationship with Jesus is restored).
I left out knowing God heard my thought! You can imagine how excited I was... just to share Jesus. It was a great start back in the saddle of sharing Jesus in times where I would normally be focused on relaxing or planning the rest of my day.
We have to fact the truth that everyone you and I share Jesus with will not accept Him. And, that is okay. Nor will everyone we pray for experience the blessings and freedom of God we desire for them. It is important for you and I to remember, we may be placed in someone's path to plant or water the seed. It is God who does the harvesting and answering of prayers, not us. Please do not be discouraged when you do not see immediate results. I know in the movie, everything happened in less than two hours, but in real life that could be two days or two weeks or two months or two years or longer. It is okay. Trust in God because He loves you and cares about everything concerning you.
I decided to see the movie for a second time.
It was even better!! This time around I heard things that I had missed in the first viewing. This time around I knew I needed to do more than just reflect on the movie and its many lessons, I needed to act.
After the movies, I dashed to find a new prayer journal. I needed a fresh start. I needed to be more diligent about writing out scriptures and my prayers and not be stuck on my phone (it is okay if you use your phone :) I just get distracted easily when I am on it). I needed to accept that I had allowed some personal and professional disappointments to dampen my outlook in life. But no more!
I immediately started writing in my journal. The first page is below.
I woke up the next day worried about an issue. I was concerned about this issue and needed some direction and wisdom. I went on to work as normal. I saw a friend and he asked me to go to lunch. I said, "Sure!" His wife joined us and the conversation lead to them speaking to my concerns and fears. She was open and transparent in the areas that I needed to hear. She wasn't telling me something she heard or read about, she was telling me how she walked through that particular season in life. I'm grateful that God cares so much about me that he would divinely send someone who had successfully walked through where I am!!
The old me would have said that these and many other things this week had just been a coincidence. The "crazy faith" walker in me knows it was God. He is so gentle and always on time. There was NO way for this couple to know what I was struggling with. But God did and had me walk to a back room after my meeting that I may have missed if I was rushing out (like I normally am).
Lastly, I wrote out some prayers for friends- those I like a lot and those who sometimes seem like enemies to me. I was talking to one friend and as I spoke with them and they shared their issues (which they had not like this before), I realized that my prayer was literally, word for word exactly what they were feeling. My mouth dropped open for a minute. I did not say anything to my friend, yet took another note that as I have been writing down prayers, praying, and stepping out in faith, God is meeting me where I am (James 4:8).
And, no prayer is not a way for you and I to get God to do whatever we want Him to do. Some prayers will take time. Some may not answered. Others He will answer the same day or hour. I am okay with it all because after trying to live my life and being in control, I know that His way is the best way and that no matter how I much plan and try to predict the future, I will never be prepared for everything unless I am connected and listening to His voice.
War Room was the perfect reminder of the power of prayer. I needed to be reminded that the same way I stand and pray for others through Always Praying, is the same way I should be fighting in many areas of my life. I needed that gentle reminder that I will continue to be kicking against a brick wall if I do seek God in every area of my life like I try and plan for it.
I am determined to fight the right way-- in prayer! If you have not seen War Room, SEE IT!!
If you need prayer, share your request at: AlwaysPraying.com. We would to pray with you!
Here young adults share their struggles and victories to encourage you on your Christian journey. You are never alone! God is with and for you and we always praying for you!