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Having a War Room was a phenomenon that occurred based on the movie War Room by the Kendrick Brothers. Since most of us don’t have a room (or even closet) to dedicate as a war room, the practice of a war binder was birthed.
If you have either of these, you may have wondered if you should be using a prayer strategy or battle plan for prayer. The answer is a resounding YES! A war room strategy will help you go to battle in prayer and wait expectantly for the Lord to answer.
Before a general goes into battle, he draws up a battle plan. Before a coach arrives at the field before a big game, he crafts a game plan. Before a knight faced the dreaded dragon, he made a plan of attack.
When you are fighting the enemy and going before our mighty God in prayer, you need a battle plan for prayer. Of course, God will listen to our ramblings, but if we come prepared with a prayer strategy and we know how we want to approach the throne of God, our prayers and our hearts are better aligned for specific outcomes, just as the general, coach and knight plan for their specific outcomes.
In this post, I’ll be answering some questions from readers based on the practice of having a war room or war binder to dedicate to prayer and we’ll cover prayer strategies, as well.
Before we create our war room strategy, we need to have a better understanding of what prayer is and any barriers to effective prayer that we may be putting up.
Ready to dive in?
What is prayer?
Prayer, at its simplest, is talking with God. It is our direct dial communication line with our Father in heaven. There’s no operator asking you to hold while they get Him on the line. You just call and He will answer.
Prayer is not, however, just us telling Him what we want. It is so much more than that! It is a conversation with our Creator and should include asking for forgiveness of our sins, thanking Him for all He has done for us and sharing your needs and desires with Him.
Prayer is a chat with your best friend. Someone who knows you deeply and loves you unconditionally.
It is waiting with expectation and joyful hope that He is going to answer (maybe not in the way we want or expect, but He WILL answer!).
“Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly” – Psalm 5:3.
“I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray” – Psalm 17:6
What the Bible Says About Prayer
God desires for us to communicate with him. It is part of the foundation of how He created us – to be in fellowship with Him. Of course, since prayer is so important to God, the Bible is filled with scripture related to prayer.
As you prepare to create your own war room prayer strategy, keep these scriptures in mind. You may wish to write them in your war binder or print them and post them in your war room.
I’ll share just a few in this post, but you may wish to download and print this PDF on What the Bible Says About Prayer and add it to your war binder or the wall of your war room. Even the PDF doesn’t come close to including all of the scriptures about prayer. Use a concordance or online Bible study tool to dig deeper and uncover more Bible verses about prayer.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. – Romans 8:26
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. – James 5:16
Click the image below to download your free printable on what the Bible says about prayer.
10 Barriers to Effective Prayer
Have you ever prayed about something over and over again and felt that God didn’t answer you? Or maybe you just felt that something was “off”? You may have been affected by a barrier to effective prayer. Sometimes we are aware of a barrier in our prayer life. Other times, we may not be conscious that something is preventing us from effective prayer.
Before drawing up your battle plan for prayer, examine your heart and ask God to search it to reveal any barrier to effective prayer that may be causing you to stumble.
1. Not Praying Enough
How often have you told someone that you would pray for them and you didn’t? Is prayer a regular part of your day and life or do you only pray when you need something?
So much talk about prayer and how they believe in the power of prayer, but so few are actually praying as part of their walk.
We have time for the latest reality show and dinner out with friends, but we aren’t making time to spend time with the One Who Created us!
Prayer should be a part of our daily life. As second nature as breathing or telling your toddler “No”.
If you are not praying, your prayers won’t be answered. It’s that simple!
You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. – James 4:2
2. Sinful Life or Unconfessed Sins
When we continue to sin or neglect to confess sins to our Father, we are jamming the lines of communication to Him. Go to your knees and confess any sin you are aware of. Ask God to shine light on any sin you may not have thought of or even be aware of and ask for His forgiveness. Not only will you begin to feel free and loosen the chains of sin in your life but you will open up the lines of communication with God.
If I had cherished sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened; – Psalm 66:18
3. Wrong Motives
When you pray, are you praying for your own selfish motives? What’s in it for you? God knows your heart and your prayers may go unanswered when you pray with the wrong motives. While many of us pray by giving God our “laundry list” of things we want, put yourself and your own needs aside and pray for others. I’m not saying that you should never pray for your own needs, but put the needs of others before yourself.
When praying, pray for God’s glory to be revealed, not your own.
When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. – James 4:3
4. Relationships Out of Whack
When our relationships are out of whack, our prayers may be hindered. If we have unresolved conflict with a family member, friend, or neighbor, we simply cannot have effective prayer. In Matthew 5, Jesus tells us that before we worship we must first make peace with the person who we are in conflict with.
This is especially true for spouses. We are to love and honor our spouse and if we aren’t, barriers to effective prayer become difficult to tear down.
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. – 1 Peter 3:7
5. Lack of Belief
When you ask God to do something, do you believe that He will actually do it? Are you asking with the firm belief that He can do anything and immeasurably more than we ask or imagine? Or, are you asking with an attitude of “well, I’m just going to throw this out there, but..”
Going before God to ask Him to move is a great first step, but believing, truly believing that He will actually do it requires faith. When we are not praying with true faith, we will not see Him answer.
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. – James 1:6
6. Lack of Persistence
Have you ever prayed for something once or twice then gave up because you assumed that God wasn’t going to answer? I think most of us would say that they have.
One of the biggest barriers to effective prayer is throwing in the towel when God doesn’t answer on the timetable we expect.
In Luke 18, Jesus told His disciples a parable about praying and not giving up. He knew that lack of persistence would be an obstacle to effective prayer.
Sometimes God wants us to keep praying because He knows we are not ready. Perhaps we are to build strength, knowledge or even character before He will answer.
Don’t give up. Keep praying and He will answer.
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”
And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” – Luke 18:1-8
7. Lack of Obedience
If we fail to be obedient to the One Who Created Us, why should He choose to bless us? Obedience and answered prayer go hand in hand. Before you assume that God just didn’t want to answer your prayer, consider any area of your life where you are not in obedience to Him.
Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. – 1 John 3:21-22
8. Lack of Forgiveness
Are you holding any grudges? Is there anyone in your life that you just haven’t been able to forgive? If so, ask God to remind you of how great His forgiveness is for you. This is a big barrier to effective prayer. Failing to forgive others builds a wall between them and more importantly between us and our Heavenly Father.
Forgiveness can be tough, but it is freeing and removes the debris from the channel of communication between you and God.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. – Matthew 18:21-22
9. Idols in Our Life
Throughout the Bible, God admonishes His people for the idols in their life. Nothing is to hold a higher position to us than our God. If we are placing idols before Him, why should He answer our prayers?
What idols might be blocking your relationship with God and your prayers? Perhaps money? relationships? your job? Ask God to reveal to you any idols you are placing before Him.
“Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all? – Ezekiel 14:3
10. Hiding Behind Things (shame, fear, guilt)
Jesus has come to break our chains and set us free. When we hold onto guilt, fear, shame and hurt, we continue to be shackled. Remember that He came to set you free and who you used to be is not who you are. Confess your “hidden things” to another and most importantly to God.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. – James 5:16
Barriers to Effective Prayer
(This is an older video but it is really powerful and not that long. Take a listen)
By now, hopefully, you have identified any barriers that were preventing a truly effective and powerful prayer life. Now we are ready to create a war room prayer strategy.
War Room Prayer Strategies
Before a commander goes to battle, he assesses the situation.
- Who is he battling? (the enemy)
- How equipped is his army?
- Where will they battle?
- What tools or resources do they need?
- What plan of action will they take?
Going to your knees in prayer requires a similar strategy.
Let’s unpack each of these questions and how they apply to our own war room strategies.
Who are we battling?
We are often battling the enemy. Satan. The evil one. What do we know about him? We know that he is cunning, manipulative and deceitful. Learn about your enemy by reading what God’s Word says about him.
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. – John 8:44
How will the enemy try to snare you? Will he hit you where you are weak (not feeling good enough, strong enough, fill-in-the-blank enough)? Will he tempt you with alcohol, overspending, gossiping (or whatever your particular stumbling block may be)?
How Equipped Are We to Battle?
If you’ve gone through the above barriers to effective prayer and feel that you have removed them, you are off to a great start! Do you have your Bible ready? Is your journal and your pen in the locked and ready position? Is your heart open to confess sin, give praise and communicate with your Heavenly Father?
Are you fully dressed in your armor of God? All set?
What else might you need to equip yourself for this battle?
Where will the battle take place?
This one is really in two parts. The obvious is that our battle with the enemy takes place everywhere, every day. Throughout your day, talk with God and, if you are feeling particularly attacked, rebuke the devil in Jesus’ name.
You’ll also want to identify where in your life the devil looks for places to attack. What temptations do you face? What spiritual battles have been plaguing you? What are your weaknesses? Knowing these before arming yourself, can help you face the evil one head-on.
The second part is where we truly pull out our swords and hit the battlefield. This would be your war room or your war binder (prayer journal, etc.)
Choose where you will go to battle (in what place, physically) and how you will do it (with a war binder or journal or simply on your knees in prayer)
What tools or resources do we need?
The most important tool you will need is your Bible. You may also choose to use a war binder or prayer journal. I choose to use additional tools to help me really dig in and understand the context of what I am reading. Often that includes the Bible study tools and reference books mentioned above or on this page. I also really love Logos 8 Bible software – it’s a complete library of Bible study tools at your fingertips.
What Plan of Action Will We Take (War room strategy)?
This is your war room strategy, your battle plan. Instead of simply sitting down with your Bible and reading (there’s nothing wrong with that, at all, but here, we are developing our prayer strategy), you will know what you plan to do, have the tools ready and hit the ground running ready for battle.
By now, you have identified how the enemy may attack and how he operates.
You’ve prepared the tools you need and put on your armor of God.
Now, it’s time to determine the steps you will take, the route to the battlefield and envision your victory.
Each of us will have a different battle plan for prayer as each of us has a unique relationship with our Father and individual strengths and preferences when it comes to prayer and Bible study.
Your battle plan for prayer will look different than that of your neighbor or the woman who sits next to you at Bible study.
A few things to consider that you may wish to add to your battle plan:
- Examine the enemy’s characteristics and how he will likely engage in battle with you (or how he has been engaging with you).
2. Will you focus on one of the enemy’s weapons each day or each week?
3. Will you pray battle by battle (praying one by one for each of the people or battles on your prayer list) or will you have deep, focused prayer praying for one of the battles each day?
4. Will you incorporate your Bible reading into your battle plan? If so, does this include using a concordance to located scripture related to the battle? Or does it include choosing a chapter or book to read daily? Or, perhaps, opening up to the Bible where God leads you?
5. How will you incorporate worship into your prayer battle plan? God will have won the battle on your behalf and He deserved the glory and accolades for it.
The Old Testament writings tell us that when the Israelites would engage in battle, they would send worshippers ahead. Perhaps this would confuse the enemy, but whatever the reason, we know that praise and worship are powerful tools in defeating the evil one.
Using your answers to the above, commit your battle plan using the War Room Prayer Strategy Workbook below (click on the image to download).
PRINTABLE: Battle Plan for Prayer worksheet
What Should You Pray About in Your War Room (Or Using Your War Binder)?
Your war room or war binder is where you will go to Our Father in prayer. It is where you lay your heart out to Him. Where you will completely submit to Him and trust that He will answer. No prayer is too big or too small for the King of Kings.
- If your adult child has turned from their faith or stopped attending church, give it to God.
- If your marriage is struggling, give it to God.
- If you or someone you know is dealing with medical issues (a bad back, cancer, a cold that won’t go away), give it to God.
- If you are struggling with debt or need money to pay a bill, give it to God.
- If you are facing temptation, give it to God.
- If you are wondering if an open door is from Him, give it to God.
- If you are allowing past sins to affect your life today, give it to God.
- If you lost your keys, give it to God.
War Room Prayers (pray before you pray)
These are from Rockthis.org – they are just a guide, but are a great springboard to opening your heart to the Lord in prayer. Use these prayers (or the ones from your heart as part of your war room strategy).
Heavenly Father, I feel the enemy’s grip on my neck. His lies are loud. His schemes are real. He seeks to steal my joy, destroy my home, and wreck my life. My strength is failing, and my hope is weak. I need you, Lord. Holy Spirit make your presence known. Fill my heart. Fill every room in my house. Be the light that I desperately need. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen!
Lord, thank you for the relationship I have with (name). Praise to you, God, for her precious life. You see her heart. You know her struggles. Meet her where she is, Lord. May she have eyes to see you. Ears to hear you. A heart to accept you. And arms to embrace you. Give me a word for her. Use me to speak truth into her situation. In the mighty name of Jesus, I pray. Amen!
Father God, I am a sinner and acknowledge my need for a savior. Take my heart, Lord, and make it new. I surrender to your will. I put my life in your hands and trust the plans you have for me. Teach me, Lord, to follow you. Show me the path, and I will walk it, in Jesus name. Amen.
Lord, the burden I carry is heavy. I am tired. I am weak. I struggle and strive to no avail. I see no end in sight to the chaos that has become my life. I am desperate, Lord. I need you now. Show up, Lord. Do not leave me here. Send relief. Provide and way out. Part the waters for me like you did for Moses and the Israelites. In your mighty name, Jesus, I pray. Amen!
Dear Lord, you see my heart. You see that it is hard. It is bitter. It is angry. I struggle to forgive. I wrestle with letting go of past hurts. I cannot forget. I play it over and over again in my head. Help me, Father, to let go. Walk before me, Lord. Lead me down the path of forgiveness, and I will follow. Thank you, in the name of Jesus. Amen!
Heavenly Father, search my heart and reveal any hidden sin in my life. Show me the areas that I am clinging to—the things that keep me from knowing you deeply. Forgive me, God, for doing it my way. I choose to trust what you have for me. Help me because I cannot do it on my own. In Jesus name. Amen.
War Room Scriptures
Although you can use any scriptures from the Word of God to pray and in your war room or war binder, here are some particularly powerful ones that you may wish to incorporate. Consider printing them to post on your wall in place in your war binder. The Warrior Women package, includes some already formatted and in beautiful lettering to add to your binder.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” – Ephesians 6:10-11
“But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one “ – 2 Thessalonians 3:3
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” – James 4:7
“Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.” – 1 Timothy 6:12
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
What is your war room strategy, my friend? How will you prepare for battling the enemy?
If you are interested in further reading or more resources to equip you for battle and inform your war room strategy, consider one of these excellent resources:
(By the creators of the film, the War Room!)
Because of Him,