My Prayer Closet

“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.”These words by Ralph Waldo Emerson have proven to be true over and over again during my time hosting a live, call-in radio show in Denver. In those five years, I interviewed high-profile Christian authors who offered insights on overcoming adversity by remaining anchored in faith. I could literally fill a small library with the lessons they shared in their books.

So, I did!

First I had to find the space, which soon became my favorite room in the house. It’s the cozy sanctuary where I get to embrace the words of these inspiring writers on my own time and in my own space. It’s where I shut out the noise of the world and reconnect with God through the lessons they shared on Scripture and His wisdom for every imaginable problem.

Not long after finishing my small library—really a converted closet—a remarkable movie entitled The War Room2, hit theaters. In the film Miss Clara converts a closet in her home, and furnishes it with powerful scriptures. It’s where she goes to pray and fight her spiritual battles. Miss Clara fights for herself and for anyone God sends to her. While trying to sell her home, she meets a young woman fighting to keep her marriage. Miss Clara suggests that, instead of complaining, the young woman devote an hour a week in prayer in her own converted closet or, as she calls it, the “war room.”

As I watched the film, I realized my little favorite room would now have a new name: Stephanie’s War Room. It includes my scriptures, photos of the people I pray for daily, and books written by people who have radically changed our world through faith in Jesus Christ.

Had my life gone exactly as planned, I would never have needed a prayer closet/war room. I was a veteran news anchor, recipient of several awards, and I looked as though I had it all. But God saw it differently and had other plans for me. I was not a dedicated servant of Christ, not living the Word, not praying on a regular basis. I did not have a battle plan! I did not have or feel the need for a prayer closet/war room.

All that changed. Over the course of about a year, everything that once defined me was cut out of my life. Everything! I had never been so profoundly hurt before—or since. The hurt cut deep into every part of my life: family, friends, self-worth, self-image, and career. During that dark time, the story of Job hit home: “I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil” (Job 3:26 NIV).

The people I could blame for the wrongdoings in my life probably had no clue what I was going through, and I pray they never will. In my battle, I realized there was no personto blame:“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”(Ephesians 6:12 NIV).

During that difficult time, which was the worst time in my life, I made a choice to turn to God. He got my attention. What I’ve learned from reading His Word has been my greatest blessing. The Lord’s Prayer has a whole new meaning now: “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12 NIV). The hardest thing I’ve ever been asked to do, is the best thing I’ve been asked to do. On the other side of forgiveness, I found peace and blessing. We only hurt ourselves when we dwell on what happened. However, when we release our hurts, we are released from the torment they bring us.

Your heavenly Father values you and loves you so much. I know it doesn’t feel that way some days, but faith isn’t about a feeling; it’s a choice to believe God’s Word. It helps us forgive and believe through prayer that God can change everything!

I love Second Corinthians 1:10–11: “He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many”(NIV).

Don’t hesitate to remind those who are struggling that they aren’t alone—Jesus paid the price on Calvary; the battle is already won! All we have to do is declare it in the name of Jesus Christ!

Imagine a world where, like Jesus, we could check in with headquarters before starting our day, opening our mouths, or making the next move. Now you see the importance of a prayer closet/war room. I didn’t have one during my original battle which brought me to the foot of the cross; but I have one now, and I use it!

Through my brokenness, I found blessings I never imagined! I have new and wonderful Christian friends, true romantic love, a wonderful son who is now a fine young man, and a new hope for the future. Most importantly, if I am targeted by satanic attacks, I am a fortress in my prayer closet/war room. I’m ready to battle, and I pray you are too!

1“Ralph Waldo Emerson,” BrainyQuote.com, Xplore Inc, 2015, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/ralphwaldo103524.html, accessed October 21, 2015.
2The War Room, dir by Alex Kendrick (2015; TriStar Pictures, 2016 dvd).

 

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