Oh, Y’all–My Prayer Chair–The War Room

On Saturday, Labor Day weekend, September 5, 2015 I woke up with one desire. To get a new prayer chair. Maybe that sounds like a spiritual thing. It wasn’t.

I wanted a new prayer chair, but mostly I wanted it be green and soft and pretty. 

For years, I prayed in an Adirondack chair in my bedroom.

Then an antique rocking chair.

I’d filled years of prayer journals–faithful prayers. But they were dutiful, sometimes boring, and always busy-work kind of prayers.

Because that’s what you’re supposed to do, right?

You’re supposed to pray.

So, Saturday morning, I headed to Peters and Foster in Monroe, Georgia. Talked to a nice salesman. I knew my prayer chair the minute I saw it.

Just my size. My favorite color. It was even on sale.

For seven days, I used my new prayer chair like my old prayer chairs. 

I read the same books, wrote in my journal, and prayed.

I even took a nap in my new chair.

Then on Sunday afternoon, September 13, at 4:30 p.m. at Carmike Gateway Theater in Bethlehem, GA, my whole world changed.

My husband and I saw the movie, War Room.

Oh. Y’all.

This movie. 

I’m warning you right here and now–

It’ll mess with you. 

It’ll shake you up. 

The first thing it does is this. It reveals your own weaknesses. 

Mine are fear, doubt, pride, control, self-sufficiency, people-pleasing, judging others, selfishness, jealousy, coveting, trying to play God….

Then the miracle happens. During the movie, something changes inside you–it’s the way you feel about people. In the Spirit World, you’ll clearly see the VERY CHAINS that bind those you love. But you won’t waste another second condemning anyone.

Instead,

You’ll be filled with such a love that You’ll see people through Grace. Through God’s eyes. Through His heart. His compassion. And you’ll pray like never before.

Something else, too.

You’ll discover it’s not about having just the right chair or room. Or even a prayer closet, because when this kind of prayer falls on you, you might as well be flat on your face behind a prison wall.

It. Doesn’t. Matter.

When God rises up and pours His Love through you, you learn to fight from your knees. From a Place of Power and Love. 

Finally, oh, finally, you understand what it really means to pray.

And that’s when you become a Prayer Warrior. 

Movie Trailer below

If you can’t see the video above, click here.   

The heart of the movie below.

If you can’t see the video above, click here .

Have you seen WAR ROOM?

Love,

Julie

I Blew It

Well, y’all, I blew it. In less than a week, I rebelled against my word for 2015, SIMPLE. I turned something SIMPLE into something complicated and ugly.

As it was happening, I ignored God’s gentle tap-tap-tapping on my heart.

The week started out beautifully, too.

I used my Belk Christmas gift card from Mother to buy plain, white dishes. I thought if my kitchen table looked SIMPLE, I’d remember my word.

I found a SIMPLE green wreath from Target.

But the day I bought my dishes, a phone conversation with someone I love went south.

God seemed to whisper, Don’t respond. Leave this alone. 

But I didn’t.

Anger erupted inside of me like red-hot lava.

For most of my life, my anger has turned inward. My stomach hurts. I shut down and smile. This time, I lost my temper. I let loose. I screamed back. Tried to defend my opinion. I was driving, and it felt like the car shuddered around me.

Hang up the phone now, the Soft Voice said.

I lost all sense of time and space, but worse than that.

I lost my peace. I abandoned my word. 

Even then, I sensed God’s Spirit calling out to me.

You don’t have to do this. 

I knew better. I’ve had years of Alanon.

Still holding the phone, I cried messy tears–the kind where you can’t catch your breath. “I have to go now. Bye,” I choked out.

I came home. Took a hot bath. Cried some more.

I can’t share details, but I knew better than to poke the bear. 

The next day, my SIMPLE white dishes arrived.

Feeling stupid and exhausted and a million miles away from God, I unpacked them and set the kitchen table.

Then I unpacked my heart.

I sat by my dishes and wrote hard and fast in my prayer journal.

I did the only thing I could do.

I started over on Step One in Alanon which applies to every area of my life. 

I “admitted I was powerless over alcohol and that my life had become unmanageable.

If you’re like me and you’ve somehow lost your word, its closer than you think. 

So is God.

My Simple Peace returned, bright and warm, like the candlelight shining on my plain-white dishes. 

God’s tenderness found me. Again. 

Keep it Simple, Sweetheart. There’s really no other way.

How’s your year going? Your word?

Love,

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Message in the Morning Light

Early one morning last week, I began writing in my prayer journal. I’ve been praying about several requests for years. Sometimes I’ll just list the first names of people on my heart. Or one word of a situation. That morning I wrote out my list in a long line and whispered, “You know, God. Same things I always pray.”

My mind began to drift. And doubt.

I don’t understand Yours ways. Looks like all You’d have to do is….

I made a few suggestions as though maybe He’d gotten confused. Or forgetful.

Leaning back in my recliner, a long rectangular beam of morning sunlight fell across my journal.

We’d had rain for several days–first day of morning sunshine in a while.

Studying the of light on my journal, my heart felt warm–you know, that gentle way God gets your attention.

What are You saying? I’m listening.

With only a flicker of faith, I snapped a picture hoping if I captured the light, I’d understand His message.

Deep in my heart, it seemed He spoke something like this:

If I revealed the answers to your prayers right now, you couldn’t handle the glory.

It would be too much for you. Too bright.

I know what’s best. I haven’t forgotten.

Trust Me, My child. I’m Your Father.

I noticed the Scripture at the bottom of the page, and the way the little girl is skipping.

Full of expectancy and joy.

“Okay, Lord. I get it. Thank You. Back to dancing in slivers of Light and trusting.”

Do you have a prayer request? I’d love to pray for you.

Love,

Julie

P.S. Thank you, Roberta,  for this prayer journal. See how much I love it! XO

 

A New Way to Pray

I’m one of those people who loves writing in a prayer journal. I have stacks and stacks of them.  I even have a cozy corner in my bedroom to pray. So what’s the problem?

Lately, my journaling was pretty much the same words over and over again. I’d worked myself into a ritualistic prayer routine that felt dry. Dutiful. Worn out. I could almost write “ditto,” and check prayer time off my to-do list.

Yesterday, I filled the last page of my old prayer journal,  and this morning I held my brand new pristine journal. Sometimes a clean sheet of paper can be intimidating.

Here we go again. It’s up to me to fill these pages with meaningful stuff.

The Lord seemed to say, “You’re trying to control, Julie. Even your prayer journal. Give it to Me.”

Then I remembered how a family member had led us in worship one morning. He was in drug rehab and read to us from his journal. He cried his way through it. He read God’s words to us.

I asked the Lord if He’d remind me of His love for me like He did that day. Deep in my heart. Real and personal. I picked up my pen and started writing….

My Julie,

I love you with an everlasting love. You are so precious to me. I call you by name. You are Mine. Fear not. I am with you. I hold you with my righteous right hand. I only ask one thing today–Trust Me with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Me, and I will direct your path. I am your God–the Great I AM. I bought you with a price. You are my beloved daughter. I will never leave you or forsake you. Rejoice. I am with you.

“Lord, forgive me. In my busyness, I’d forgotten Who You are and how to listen.”

Love,

Julie