AN URGENT APPEAL
Before I attempt to explain the “Irony Of the Battle-Closet,” I want to make an urgent appeal! I am NOT suggesting you follow these radical, unsafe examples! If you are in need of medical or emergency care, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE use wisdom and seek the necessary medical attention right away! Remember, Precious, Servant Prayer Warrior, God sees our hearts. He will also impart wisdom into our minds to make wise and healthy choices, and He expects us to be obedient to His leading! Remember, it is God's will for us to be His witness to the ends of the earth, (see Acts 1:8) so, let us be wise and obedient as we remain on the earth to carry out His will!
“The Irony of the Battle-Closet”
The “Irony of the Battle-Closet” is not just one tangible concept that is easily taught or explained. Since God is an extremely creative God, with unlimited creativity, there are countless ways that He shows the “Irony of the Battle-Closet” to His “Prayer Warriors.” There have been so many examples in my own prayer life, and I would like to share a few of those examples that have impacted me in the most profound ways.
Prior to ever receiving a filmmaker as a “Prayer Assignment,” due to personal situations, my radical, unconventional, extreme passion for intercession was greatly misunderstood. I felt suffocated by condemnation and shamefully hindered from serving the Lord in the unique way that He created me to serve Him.
Although I was an extremely immature intercessor, and I needed to grow up in many ways, I KNEW that I had so much to offer the Prayer Assignment that God would give me. My “radically-passionate-about-prayer-heart” desperately needed to pour itself out onto the God-given assignment – whomever that would end up being. I was so dissatisfied and unfulfilled when I was not able to pour out my life, as an offering, to someone in prayer. However, I needed to mature. I needed a challenging Prayer Assignment – one that God would use to take me to a much higher, and also a much deeper, level in prayer.
As stated earlier, it took several years for God to mature me enough to actually give my filmmaker assignment to me as a Prayer Assignment. (I was “pregnant” with the call for a long time before I ever gave birth to the reality!) I know God's timing is perfect, but, if one were to look at the circumstances in my life at the time when God revealed to the filmmaker his Battle-Closet Prayer Warrior's identity, one may question why God would choose such a time to introduce filmmaker to intercessor.
At the time of my initial phone call to my filmmaker prayer assignment, I was going through an extremely difficult time in my life. Approximately three months prior, I went through two extremely painful and traumatic experiences. As if that was not difficult enough, approximately three months before the traumatic experiences, there was an unexpected and sudden death in my family. Additionally, at the very same time I became a Prayer Warrior for my filmmaker assignment, my current Prayer Assignment (not a filmmaker) was literally in the process of dying. My heart could not have been more shattered. It was broken and bleeding.
Enter my “Filmmaker Prayer Assignment” into my life. Needless to say, when my trembling hands picked up the phone to call him for the first time, even though, as an intercessor, I had so much to offer, emotionally, I was so broken.
As an unrelenting warrior, I would be a radically faithful intercessor who would be willing to die on the battlefield for her assignment, and yet, I was so emotionally needy, my heart felt as if it was dying a thousand deaths a day on its own battlefield. If a “Prayer Relationship” was going to work, I needed a balance between a prayer assignment that I could literally lay down my life for, and a strong, Godly, available, patient, gentle, loving counselor, mentor, and leader who would gently help me pick up the shattered pieces of my heart, hold my hand, and lovingly lead me to Father God, the only One Who could put those pieces of my heart back together again.
Within days of becoming my filmmaker's Battle-Closet Prayer Warrior, I knew that he was that balanced person. I knew this Prayer Assignment was from God Himself, birthed first in the Throne Room of Heaven. My “call” from the Lord to be his intercessor was confirmed by the filmmaker, himself, as well, the very first day we ever spoke on the phone.
However, at this point, I want to make it very clear, that although God has GREATLY, beyond measure, used this filmmaker to deeply and profoundly touch my life in a way that I will never be the same ever again, the filmmaker did not radically change my life, nor did becoming a filmmaker's Battle-Closet Prayer Warrior radically change my life. What I am about to explain, the “Irony of the Battle-Closet,” is what radically changed my life.
Here is just one example of the “Irony of the Battle-Closet”:
My life radically changed when I died to my needs, my dreams, my desires, my rights, and my wants, and truly made my life a sacrificial gift to give to away to my assignment. It was in the most painful moments of “I NEED – I SO DESPERATELY and DEEPLY, DEEPLY NEED - but I will CHOOSE to GIVE instead of take,” that I sought the intimacy of the heartbeat of Father God FOR my Prayer Assignment, his family, and his ministry, where I, myself, truly found healing, wholeness, and deeply fulfilling intimacy in God's radical, undying, passionate, unrelenting love for me! THAT is an example of the “Irony of the Battle-Closet!”
The Bible says it so simply. “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35 KJV) Through the truth in that simple Bible verse, I found life, meaning, purpose, passion, healing, wholeness, peace, joy, and the understanding of the irony of my “closet.”
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13 KJV)
I do not believe in co-incidences, but I do believe in “God-incidences.” As I was in the the process of writing this chapter, I had an episode of a television show playing on the tv. The message, being spoken through the tv, was as follows:
“...Love is a choice that we get to make. Actual real and true love doesn't happen by accident. Let's take God's love for a second. Did you know that God's love for us endures all things and that never changes, even when we do? He loves us with a consuming, passionate, holy, jealous, and gentle love...Jesus Christ showed us His overwhelming love when He went to the Cross...He (God) simply loves us because He is love...If God can love us so much like that, why can't we love each other like that?”
As my filmmaker's “Battle-Closet Prayer Warrior,” I was faced with a choice and an opportunity to love him like that. Less than a year into our “Battle-Warrior Relationship,” I suddenly developed a much worse pain than usual. I live with chronic pain, but I knew that this pain was much different. It grew worse and worse. Then, I developed trouble breathing. Then, in the middle of the night, I was experiencing horrific, excruciating pain. My husband got out of bed and sat next to me. I was having much trouble breathing, and the pain was so excruciating. I wondered of I should go to the emergency room, but instead, I started to pray...
I started to pray...for my filmmaker “Prayer Assignment.” The more I prayed for him, the more fervent my prayers became. Suddenly, it was as if I was transported to Heaven and received a fresh anointing from the Holy Spirit to FERVENTLY and POWERFULLY pray like I had NEVER done before in my entire life. In the midst of horrifically excruciating pain and much trouble breathing, God showed up and gave me a prayer time like never before, and never since, for my “Prayer Assignment!” If there was EVER a time when I thought I went to Heaven while praying, THAT was the time. I have never before sensed that I was literally kneeling in the very Throne Room of God, literally at the very feet of God, pleading on behalf of my filmmaker prayer assignment for God to move in the way I was asking of Him. THAT is intercessory prayer in a way I had never before experienced!
After that indescribably amazing prayer incident, I sensed God asking me if I was willing to lay down my life as an intercessor. It is with much sadness that I admit that I had to get back to God on that one. I needed time to think about it.
I, eventually, answered a confident, “Yes.”
See, earlier, I thought I actually might die, but I was determined to die interceding on behalf of my “Prayer Assignment!” Apparently, my actions spoke louder, and faster, than my head and my mind. I did not have to think about praying. I just prayed for him. There was no thinking about it. There was no need to make a decision. I just prayed, and I was willing to die doing it.
I was literally willing to die doing it.
Many hours after that incident, I ended up in the emergency room, and was given the diagnosis of a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot that traveled to my lung). Many emergency room staff told me that it was good that I came in, because I could have died.
While I was spiritually “in Heaven” praying for my prayer assignment, I may have been much closer to death than I realized.
I may have been much closer to death than anyone realized.
God spared my life. I was grateful, and I was smiling.
In his incredible, life-changing, must-read book, Ten, Pastor Terry Smith, about John, the Beloved disciple of Jesus, writes,
“John suffered greatly, yet ministered with powerful joy.”
Terry A. Smith
Published by HigherLife Development Services Inc.
Oviedo, Florida 32765
While in the emergency room, an extremely wonderful, kind, gentle, and helpful emergency room staff member told me that people don't smile when they have blood clots. Well, “Battle-Closet Prayer Warriors,” after being spiritually transported to Heaven to pray for their “Prayer Assignments,” can smile...even with a potentially deadly blood clot...
“Those persons who know the deep peace of God, the unfathomable peace that passeth all understanding, are always men and women of much prayer.”
(R. A. Torrey)
...and THAT is “The Irony of the Battle-Closet!”
The “Irony of the Battle-Closet,” for intercessors, is an amazing concept! Jesus, when He hung on the Cross, showed His love, and was willing to “stand in the gap” and lay down His life for us. As intercessors, we stand in the gap for our prayer assignment. We literally stand between the enemy and our assignment. When we, as intercessors, are willing to lay down our lives, on the battlefield, for our assignment, we have found a love, a true love, in the purest form, so deep that there is no greater; and since God is love, we have also found God in a much more fulfilling, intimate relationship. And intimate encounters with God RADICALLY change lives!
I am living proof! I found deep healing from deep wounds. I was healed in my Battle-Closet! My life has RADICALLY changed!
You, too, can join me on the amazing road of the “Irony of the Battle-Closet.” Pray and ask God to show you His idea of how that looks in YOUR life! Ask God to reveal His practical application for your unique prayer life and your unique relationship with your assignment. It is only when we completely die to ourselves, fully surrender our lives to Jesus, live unreservedly for God, and are willing to lay down our lives for our friends, that we find true healing, complete wholeness, perfect peace, and bubbling-over-joy! THAT is when we can truly live!
To quote a portion from the famous “Prayer of St. Francis,”
"O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_of_Saint_Francisresearched on November 26, 2011)
THAT is when our lives radially change! THAT is the “Irony of the Battle-Closet!”
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.” (Matthew 16:25 KJV)
What Practical Application Nugget Did We Learn?
YOU can join me on the amazing road of the “Irony of the Battle-Closet.” It is only when we completely die to ourselves, fully surrender our lives to Jesus, live unreservedly for God, and are willing to lay down our lives for our friends, that we find true healing, complete wholeness, perfect peace, and bubbling-over-joy! THAT is when we can truly live! And THAT is the amazing and truly wonderful “Irony of the Battle-Closet!”
Practical Application Power Prayer
Powerful God, show me "the irony of MY closet!” God, I ask You to show me Your idea of how that looks in MY life! I ask You, God, to reveal Your practical application for my unique prayer life and my unique relationship with my assignment. Specifically show me how to walk out, truly enjoy, and even soar in the beauty of the “Irony of MY Battle-Closet!” Thank You! AMEN!