When We Fear Our ‘War Room’ Failed
…O ye of little faith (Matthew 6:30–KJV).
What happens when the War Room doesn’t work?
That’s how a woman I know began a recent post. It was quite a hook, and I read on. She continued by telling in detail how her marriage had been failing, how she’d spent hours on her face in her prayer closet, much like Elizabeth Jordan in the Kendrick Brothers’ movie War Room (Fireproof and Facing the Giants), staring Priscilla Shirer and Beth Moore.
She confessed that, while she was far from perfect, she earnestly desired to save her marriage, and so she sought Papa in prayer–begging Him to heal and restore her relationship with her husband.
And still, their marriage ended.
Many of us are asking this, for a variety of reasons.
- Why isn’t my loved one healed?
- Why is my marriage a constant struggle?
- Why aren’t my children walking with the Lord, choosing instead to wander waywardly?
- Why has Covid returned so violently?
- Why did hurricane-related floodwaters rise to wash away neighbors’ homes, hopes, and dreams?
- Why have earthquakes destroyed already devastated places?
- Why are American families and sympathizers in Afghanistan being tortured, women and girls taken hostage and abused in ways our minds simply cannot comprehend?
Does it matter that we go in to our prayer closets, those War Rooms where we close the world away to be one-on-one with our Papa, seeking Him with earnest, gut-wrenching, heart-pressing prayers?
Perhaps our question is more. Maybe it’s also–
Does He even hear?
But we’re promised in scripture–
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours (Mark 11:24–ESV).
But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me (Micah 7:7–ESV).
And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith (Matthew 21:22–ESV).
If you ask anything in My name, I will do it (John 14:14–ESV).
If you abide in Me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you (John 15:7–ESV).
Or maybe our question isn’t whether or not God hears but something else–something which, depending on the answer, holds power to rock our faith. Maybe even crumble it.
What if, despite His hearing, God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we think best?
And that’s where I for one get stumped–so much so that sometimes I fail to pray at all, afraid that, having poured out my heart to God, He won’t answer, and my faith will, in turn, falter.
Sadly, I’m Queen of Justification, excusing my lack of faith.
Perhaps it’s better not to pray about this. Rather, I’ll leave this particular request to those who are more courageous. After all, it must certainly be better to remain prayer-less before You in this matter, Papa. Otherwise I’m at risk of being drained of what little faith I do have. Surely that’s worse than my cowardice now.
Am I the only one who’s said this, which, ironically, is in and of itself a sort of prayer–one God can certainly handle? But the scriptures speak to this too, one passage reminding us specifically why it is that we struggle.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6–ESV).
It’s not so much our fear of suffering a faith shortage that renders us prayer-less, paralyzing us and keeping us from our prayer closets. It’s the fact that we struggle to have bold faith at all, not fully trusting Papa with the outcome.
Seems we need to take what smidgen of faith we do have and snuggle up to our Savior. He’s the One who can do much with little, and by simply drawing near to Him our faith increases exponentially–much like fish and loaves. The reward for this time spent in Papa’s presence is undoubtedly a more faith-filled, courageous prayer life–no longer dependent on the answer one thinks best but trusting Him for the outcome, no matter what.
And one more nugget of truth to help us in our pray-with-faith dilemma is discovered several chapters earlier in Hebrews.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need (4:16–ESV).
Again, it’s in the drawing near to Papa with confidence; that is, boldly, with whatever measure of faith one has, that she finds mercy and grace to help–
- To help her grow further in faith.
- To help her know how to faithfully help others.
Because, truth is, we live in a world filled with imperfections. Our prayers will not always be answered the way we believe best, even when God’s heart, too, is breaking. Sin has separated and led to all sorts of destruction–
- In our bodies.
- In marriages.
- In families.
- In a world-wide pandemic.
- In our communities by natural disasters.
- In our world fueled by hate, with terrorist groups waging war.
Why? Is it that there’s something wrong with our War Rooms?
Or is it that the world isn’t as it should be, not as it will be one day? Though our faith may feel frail, we’re to continue to go in and do battle with the enemy–the Sword of God’s Word clutched in our hands if not hidden in our hearts. Do it until our knees hurt, our eyes are puffy, our stomachs feel empty, and our hearts are poured out before Papa.
Because He hears. He knows. He’ll answer, even if the answer’s not what we’d hoped it would be, and He’ll likely call us to be His hands and feet to offer help which brings about the miracle.
And one day–one day!–He’ll make all things right, including our full transformation into His perfect likeness.
The woman I mentioned began by asking–What happens when the War Room doesn’t work? But she ended her post with a bold proclamation–
“My War Room didn’t change my marriage but it allowed Papa to change me.”
Indeed. Go in–even when your faith feels small, ready to be changed.
Come out equipped to help change this broken world.
What circumstances are testing your faith right now, making you ask “Why?”
Do you have a special place where you go to be alone with Papa? If not, perhaps make it a goal to create that sweet space.
What is your favorite scripture pertaining to prayer?
Dear Papa, please increase my faith as I press in to You. May my War Room always bring transformation–first my own, then, as Your vessel, through the work You’ll call me to do in the lives of others. In Your Son’s powerful name–Amen.