The Hollywood film, The War Room, was a surprise hit film in 2015 affirming the amazing power of prayer and proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus Christ over the affairs of life.
The storyline of the film is simple: people may appear to have it all, be in seeming control of their lives, but then difficulties occur that cannot be solved by conventional means. An elderly widow, a committed Christian and prayer warrior, introduces her “prayer room” (which she aptly calls her “war room”) to her realtor who finds herself in deep marital trouble.
The widow has discovered the effective biblical strategy of “fighting” problems with “spiritual weapons” and not with the weapons of the world, ie arguments, debates, credit lines, etc. She reveals her own private “war room”— a transformed closet, with prayers and scriptural references posted all over the walls—where she has spent many hours in prayer seeking the help of Jesus and many answered prayers are the result.
Those who have walked the treacherous paths of commerce will know too well, there are certain problems that cannot be solved by the world’s means. Nevertheless, there is great hope and solution to be found as Luke 18:27 directs us “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
Edward M. Bounds was a world-renowned authority on prayer. Born in 1835, he was by profession an American author, attorney and was also a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church clergy. He made this profound statement:
“What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use – men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men – men of prayer.”
There is no better example of how and what to pray than the one given by Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke, known the world over as the ‘Lord’s Prayer’. In these verses, Jesus Himself lays out the principles of successful prayer and, if you take time to work through each line, every area of your daily life will be covered.
I love this wonderful saying: “Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the arm of omnipotence,” and there is no greater truth than this. The power of prayer lies in the truth that Almighty God rules this world and His mighty hand is forever on the rudder of human affairs. Nothing is more important to God than prayer in dealing with mankind.
“Failure to pray is failure along the whole line of life,” said Edward Bounds. He who does not pray, therefore, robs himself of God’s help and limits his potential to achieve.
Prayer & Purpose
Prayer is how we find God’s purposes for us; it is how we find God’s peace and it is a sign of our dependence and submission to Him in every area of life. Prayer was responsible for the move of God that delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage. Hannah’s passionate petition for a son birthed a time of liberation from bondage and oppression for Israel that started with her son Samuel and continued through the reigns of both King David and his son King Solomon. So too, we need to be passionate in prayer if we are to succeed in our business ventures and stop the rot from infecting us with an incurable disease.
We conquer Goliath only with godly wisdom. James 1:5 tells us: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” If you need wisdom (not the unstable wisdom that we have been taught), you have only to ask God for it in prayer – build your own “war room”.
How to Build a Prayer Room
My four brothers and I were given the insight from our devoted parents on how to build a prayer room. My wife was also taught these principles from an early age, so the prayer room (or ‘war room’) is familiar to us. However, it was only when I faced severe business trials that I became much more focused on spiritual weapons with great success, so I hope the following guidance will help you to build your own prayer room:
- At the outset, when you commit to spending serious time in your prayer room, you will immediately be accused (mostly falsely) by Satan above and your critics below – this we all face, so don’t be discouraged, just persevere;
- Prayer is mostly warfare, spiritual warfare, so you need to have Jesus as your sole focus (because He is your Saviour in this war), not yourself;
- Start by thanking and praising God for all He has done in your life;
- Ask God to forgive all your sins, all those known and unknowns sins;
- Bring the needs of others to your prayer room, let your personal needs not dominate the prayer time;
- Recognize that its not by power, nor by might, but by God’s Spirit that you overcome your trials;
- Seek God’s help for your need – quote Scripture verses relevant to your situation, because the Power is in the Word; finally
- Jesus may have been your line of vision in the past, but now He must become your line of focus!
Nothing can replace the Lord’s Prayer, but I hope my skeleton will give you some help to build your own prayer room.
If we want our lives to be victorious, we must have a life of prayer. Praying to God should be just as natural as breathing – our first response, and not simply a last resort. We should be living, always before God in prayer.
About the Author: Dr Alan Louis is a third generation entrepreneur in a family with a 100-year business history. He devoted his life to Jesus Christ as a child. He was awarded a PhD in Commerce, is an Ironman Triathlete Gold medallist and was inducted in the IBC Hall of Fame for entrepreneurship. Internationally he has served on more than 100 private corporate boards, and has experienced the trials, failures and successes of commerce for 3 decades.