Sunday, January 24, 2016

War Room: Prayer Is a Powerful Weapon

War Room: Prayer Is a Powerful WeaponWar Room: Prayer Is a Powerful Weapon by Chris Fabry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent movie! This book is taken from the movie. The only thing different is most of the deleted scenes are in the book. If you enjoyed the movie you will enjoy this book. Every believer ought to see the movie, then if you enjoy reading read the book. I have listed many quotes from this book (movie) below. The words encouraged and challenged me and I trust they will do the same for you!

A prayer strategy. Yes. I used to do what you and your husband are doing, but it got me nowhere. Then I started really studying what the Scriptures say, and God showed me that it wasn’t my job to do the heavy lifting. No. That was something that only He could do. It was my job to seek Him to trust Him, and to stand on His Word.

Elizabeth said, “Miss Clara, I’ve never seen anything like this (her prayer closet). And I admire it, I really do. It’s just that I don’t have time to pray that mush every day. Miss Clara’s response, “But you apparently have time to fight losing battles with your husband.”

The other truth she believed, from a life experiencing it, was that for real change to happen deep in the soul, God tended to make people miserable rather than happy. He brought them to the end of themselves and showed them how powerless they were in order to show them how powerful He was. The children of Israel didn’t push back the Red Sea. They didn’t knock down the walls of Jericho. It was only when they were at the end of their rope and had to depend on someone bigger that they saw God work mightily. It was the same with each follower of Jesus.

She wanted to pray that God would restore Elizabeth’s marriage and turn her husband’s heart around and that everything would be fixed overnight. Immediate healing was easier to pray for than a transplant because a transplant takes time and someone else has to die. But the more Clara spoke with the Lord about the situation, the more she understood Elizabeth’s life was probably going to get worse before it got better. And the issue wasn’t just Elizabeth’s husband. It was Elizabeth herself.

“When I fought against my husband,” Clara continued, “I was fighting against my own marriage and my family. I tried for years to fix Leo, but I couldn’t do it.”
“Well, I’ve gotten nowhere with Tony.”
“Cause it’s not your job! Who said it was your responsibility to fix Tony? It’s your job to love him, respect him, and to pray for the man. God knows he needs it.” She raised her voice to a falsetto. “And men don’t like it when their woman’s always trying to fix them.”

“Elizabeth, you got to plead with God so that He can do what only He can do, and then you got to get out of the way and let Him do it.”

“God does hear what we pray. You don’t need a megaphone or a million people to get His attention. But the point of prayer is not to get what we want. Prayer changes the person who prays.”

“The goal of prayer is not to change God’s mind about what you want. The goal of prayer is to change your own heart, to want what He wants, to the glory of God.”

And you need to do your fightin’ in prayer. You need to kick the real enemy out of your home with the Word of God.

Now here Elizabeth stood, fully awake to the battle. “I don’t know where you are, devil,” she said loudly, “but I know you can hear me.” She looked at the stone fireplace and the furniture in the room. “You have played with my mind. And had your way long enough. No more! You are done!” She walked into the kitchen, lights reflecting on the granite countertop. She glanced back from where she had just come. “Jesus is Lord of this house, and that means there’s no place for you here anymore! So take your lies, your schemes and accusations, and get out! In Jesus’ name!” Elizabeth could hear Clara’s voice echoing in her head – the way she would say those words. She opened the back door and walked onto the deck. “You can’t have my marriage, you can’t have my daughter, and you sure can’t have my man! This house is under new management, and that means you are out!” She walked inside and slammed the door behind her. Then something clicked in her mind and she opened the door again and stepped outside. “And another thing! I am so sick of you stealing my joy. But that’s changing too. My joy doesn’t come from my friends, it doesn’t come from my job, it doesn’t even come from my husband. My joy is found in Jesus, and just in case you forgot, He has already defeated you. So go back to hell where you belong and leave my family alone!” Elizabeth slammed the door again and it felt like the exclamation point to her proclamation. She was finally taking control. No, that wasn’t the truth. She was getting out of the way and letting God take control. She was going with Him, agreeing with Him instead of her enemy. No longer would she be ruled by fear or by the actions of anyone else.

She wanted to tell Elizabeth that if you come to God with a good plan, you’ll probably leave frustrated. The believer’s job was to come to God with a surrendered heart. To come empty-handed every morning not to get what you wanted but to receive all of who He was and what He wanted for you.

“Sometimes the best gifts God gives us are not the easy times when everything goes our way. The best gifts are the hard times when your life is reduced to a couple of good questions: What is this all about? Why are we here? Sometimes it’s a diagnosis. Sometimes it’s a slamming door when someone you love walks out. Might be a bill you can’t pay. And at first you think the answer will be healing or that loved one returning or a pile of money that drops right out of heaven. Now I’m not against healing. I’m for it. And I’m for reconciliation. If God opens up the storehouses of heaven and rains down hundred-dollar bills, I’ll get out a basket and gather them like manna.” Elizabeth laughed, though Clara figured tears were running down her cheeks at the same time. “But here’s the thing I’ve discovered after walking with the Lord a long time, Elizabeth. God is not interested in making me comfortable or happy. His goal is to make me holy, like His Son. And I’ve never met a follower of Jesus who hasn’t encountered some suffering pain. God doesn’t tell us to pick up a memory foam cross. It’s rugged and it’s heavy. You can run and try to find some easier way, but eventually He leads you through the thorns and briars and that valley of the shadow. But I promise you, if you trust Him, He will lead you to green pastures and peaceful waters. Not just when you get to heaven, but right now. Peace and contentment in the middle of the storm. In the middle of the disappointment and fear and anger.

The bad times are really the good times in disguise.

“All I know is, you can fight against your wife, and probably hold your own, but if God is fighting for her, you can hit the gym all you want to, but it’s not looking too good for you.”

Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in God.

But I’ve learned that my contentment can’t come from you. Tony, I love you. But I am His before I’m yours. And because I love Jesus, I’m staying right here.

“Ha-haaaa! Devil, you just got your butt kicked!” she screamed. “My God is faithful! He’s powerful! He’s merciful! He’s in charge! You can’t fire Him, and He’ll never retire! Glory! Praise the Lord!”

“Really, what I’m talking about here is the difference between you working hard to change things and revival. I hear people talking a lot about revival and what they want God to do to change society and the culture and how much sin there is in Hollywood and everywhere else. I pray for revival. But I’ve lived long enough to know that it doesn’t start with anybody but me. Right here.” Clara pointed a bony finger toward her own heart. “If you find yourself getting anxious, nervous, questioning whether Tony can change, you’re not really questioning him, you’re questioning whether God has the power to do what He said He could do.”

C.S. Lewis Quote:
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.

“Lord Jesus, You know the struggle that Tony has. You know the indecision, the shame, the pain of his choices. I pray You would remind him right now of whose child he is. And that when You look at him, You see the perfection of Your Son, Jesus. Thank You that You have conquered sin. Thank You that the evil one is not in control. Give Tony the courage to do what You’re asking him to do, in Your timing.”

“Once the power of God is unleashed in a life, things don’t stay the same. And that’s what prayer does, it unleashes the power of God. You see, prayer is not about getting things right. You don’t get your prayers answered because you kneel in just the right spot or say just the right words.”

Why pray at all? “If God knows everything and if He’s working out His will in the world, what’s the point?” “Mm-hmm,” Clara said. “The answer to that question is simple, but not easy. We pray because God tells us to. He commands us to. So we obey. And John says whenever we ask anything according to God’s will, He hears us. So why would God ask us to do something that makes no difference? That’s really your question.” “I do or I wouldn’t waste my time or the cartilage in my knees.” “Prayer brings us closer to the heart of God. It opens your heart to those around you and makes you long for what He longs for. And it’s clear from the first page to the last that God does respond to the requests of His people. I don’t pretend to understand it, but it’s true.”

Pray and wait. That’s what she had done in the past few weeks. And in the waiting came the strengthening of the muscles of faith. It was a whole-faith workout to wait and allow God to do what He wanted to do. As Clara said, it was time to just get out of His way.

“God is working here. He’s done a big thing in your husband’s heart. And it doesn’t matter what that company decides.”

“The circumstance doesn’t matter. It’s your reaction to it that matters.”

“Most people think ‘God helps those who help themselves’ is in the Bible. Listen, God helps those who have come to the end of themselves. And that’s where Tony is. I know it feels terrible, but it’s a very good thing.”

No matter what happened to her and Tony, no matter how choppy the waters became because of the evil one’s influence, she had a choice. She could choose to be tossed about and blown off course, or she could be controlled by the love of God. She could choose to look at how far God had gone to show her love – the death of His only Son. She could choose to see the rescue plan God put in place for her soul, how much He cared, how much He wanted to bless her. She could either look at the circumstances she was in, which were pretty dire, or she could see the big picture, that God was ultimately in control and would walk with her no matter what happen.

I hear people say, “Well all we can do now is pray.” That’s the best thing we can do.

A lot of people want to do great things for God. A lot of people want to change the world. I just shake my head when I hear that. God is the only one who can change the world because He’s the only one who can change hearts and minds.

My whole source of joy is in You.

I would rather have a man chasing Jesus than a house full of stuff.

If … My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.

“You’ve done it again, Lord. You’ve done it again. You are good and You are mighty and You are merciful. And You keep taking care of me when I don’t deserve it. Praise You, Jesus. You are Lord.”

“Give me another one, Lord. Guide me to who You want me to help. Raise up more that will call on Your name. Raise up those that love You and seek You and trust You. Raise them up, Lord, raise them up!”

In her mind, she saw a family clasping hands at the dinner table to pray. A man on a tractor in the middle of his field. Two men with bowed heads praying in front of a world map.

“Lord, we need a generation of believers who are not ashamed of the gospel. We need an army of believers who hate to be lukewarm and will stand on Your Word above all else. Raise’em up Lord. Raise them up.”

Clara saw streams of young people moving toward a flagpole, encircling the area with eyes closed. Others were heading for a church in the distance, carrying young children.

“I pray for unity among those that love You. I pray that You’d open their eyes so that they can see Your truth. I pray for Your hand of protection and guidance.”

Clara thought of the police officers in her town and across the nation. Of the division between races and the struggles she had witnessed over the years.

“Raise up a generation, Lord that will take light into this world. That will not compromise under pressure that will not cower when others fall away. Raise them up, Lord; that they will proclaim that there is salvation in the name of Jesus Christ. Raise up warriors who will fight on their knees, who will worship You with their whole hearts. Lord, call us to battle, that we may proclaim You King of kings and Lord of lords!”

Clara pictured fathers praying over their newborn children. She pictured men and women in places of high power kneeling and praying for guidance. She thought of schoolteachers and business leaders and gas station attendants and mothers at PTA meetings. She thought of pastors and youth workers and missionaries and the faces all came together in her final words of petition.

“I pray these things with all my heart. … Raise them up, Lord, raise them up!”

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