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After Reading – kindly watch the video below.
The following is a free resource to help you get started and build on the motivation of wanting to grow and strengthen your prayer life after viewing the War Room movie below.
Elizabeth begins reading the papers taped to Clara’s closet and asks Clara, “You wrote prayers for every area of your life?”
Clara replies, “Yes! A prayer strategy!”
In a recent interview, Alex Kendrick said, “We have plans for everything—careers, finances, health. But what about a strategy for prayer for our lives, our spouses, and our children?” This movie and that interview prompted me to put together this 30-day prayer calendar of how to create your personal prayer strategy and “War Room.”
The strategy begins by examining your circumstances right now, and visualizing how things should be—and could be. As you pray over these relationships and responsibilities, write down plans and procedures for getting from here to there.
This means producing a prayer strategy so that God can take you from where you are to where He wants you to be. Prayer clears the path to God’s best for your life: His best plans, best opportunities and blessings, His best path and provision for His glory, and His Kingdom purpose in your life.
After seeing War Room, many people will want to immediately pinpoint a place of prayer, a “War Room,” in their home, and possibly even a secondary “War Room” in their church, school campus, and workplace. Begin to pray about this and write down your commitment to God to be more specific and strategic in prayer. Ask Him to show you where you can start your prayer closet/War Room.
It does not necessarily mean emptying your closet, but we all have a space that we can repurpose, even if it is shared space. Many times a “War Room” must be disguised as a mild-mannered linen closet or storage closet. The Spirit will lead you to pick a place to meet with God each day.
Sometimes we get to post our strategy and Scriptures on the wall, and sometimes we have to keep them secured in a notebook or box that we carry into prayer each day. The important thing is to commit and be consistent; let prayer grow and guide you.
Each day of this calendar will add an opportunity to post something new to grow and sow into your prayer strategy. The devil does not have a fighting chance if you let God do your fighting for you. Start today (Prov. 20:18).
Miss Clara cried out in her powerful prayer, “Lord, we need an army of believers who will stand on Your Word above all else. Lord, call us to battle! Raise them up, Lord! Raise them up!”
Before an army can be shipped into battle, they have to go through boot camp or some sort of training. God needs to train us up in order to raise us up, as we volunteer to be soldiers in His army.
The old hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers” keeps running through my mind as I type these battle plans. Worship music is a strong motivator, but always remember your “sword”—the Word of God. There may be times we are tempted to “lean on our own understanding,” instead of standing on the Word of God.
Human experiences and education are good, but God’s Word is best. God uses our education and experience to help us grow as the branches abiding in Him, the Vine. His Word is the root that keeps us steadfast and the sap that feeds and strengthens us. We must look at our experiences and education through the lens of God’s Word; it is our “Christian worldview.” Write down a few things that you believe that determine the way you behave; find them in Scripture and write down each verse that is the foundation of this belief you stand on above all else. If you cannot substantiate your belief with Scripture then you need to replace it with truth. Be careful, Satan is sneaky. He likes to twist and blur the Word to make it sound like something else that appeals to our flesh. Write down the Scriptures that give you clear wisdom about God’s will and ways and do not waver! Then open your ears to hear Him calling you to battle; be prepared and armor up, He is raising up an army and you have just been recruited (Eph. 6:10–18).
Miss Clara says, “There is not room for you and God on the throne of your heart. It’s either Him or you. You have to step down! If you want victory, you have to surrender first.”
Surrender seems backwards and counterproductive to our earthly mindset of success and victory. But in Christ, the key to success is to surrender, seek Him, and submit to Him daily. Write down he “rights” and wrong thinking that you need to surrender to God, and profess His Lordship over you. Ask forgiveness where you have placed yourself on the throne of your heart and life; as judge of others, or trying to justifying the breaking of His Word to get what you thought you “deserved” (Phil 2:1–11).
Miss Clara tells Elizabeth, “You need to plead with God to do only what He can do; then you need to get out of the way and let Him do it!”
After you surrender your life to the leadership and Lordship of Jesus, you position yourself to listen and obey His commands. Submission invites God into every area of your life to both prune and protect so that we will bear much fruit to His glory. Submission wants and waits for His Kingdom to come and will be done. Submission also leaves room for God to move in the areas/relationships that we might be tempted to manipulate or mess up. Submission makes spaces for God’s wrath or healing as He sees fit. Remember from the movie what Mandy (Beth Moore) said was her “Mama’s definition of submission”? It was, “Being willing to duck so God can. . . .”
So while you are ducking, just fall on down to those knees and pray. Submit to His decisions and direction. Write down a sentence or a declaration of submission and refer to it daily. Pledge to obey, or to get out of His way, and always pray (Matt 6:5–15).
In a recent interview Stephen Kendrick said, “Prayer is so much more than people realize. It can powerfully affect every problem and need in our lives if engaged from within a vibrant relationship with God.”
So how “vibrant” is your relationship with God? Write down some adjectives, characteristics, and evidences that describe your current relationship with Jesus. Describe your daily interaction and affection toward Him. How many times do you think about Him during the day? How often do you talk with Him, thank Him, or give Him credit for something good or beautiful? Is prayer your first response or your last resort?
One of the biggest mistakes made in prayer is that we make it about us. We think that we only need to talk to God when we need something. But that is not how any successful relationship communicates. If your write your spouse a love note, or a friend a thank-you note, you do not fill it with ways they can make your life better and easier. You thank them for all they have done and the meaning that they have already brought to your life.
Love expresses and affirms affection without attaching a required expectation at the end of the sentence. We do not say, “You bring so much joy to my life, so give me $50.” Practice praying your day; a sentence here, a thought there that just tells God how much you love and appreciate Him. Then begin to practice making your requests in the mindset of His will, so He receives glory and His Kingdom is impacted.
A happy marriage glorifies God, so does an addict who recovers, a prodigal who repents and comes home, a bill that gets paid, a church that is filled with people who have a heart for prayer, worship and service, etc. Abiding in Him teaches us to value what He values, not the other way around. Write down ways to praise and thank Him as you see Him move in your requests, and in your relationship (Isa. 55).
Miss Clara prays, “Raise up those who call upon Your Name, and love you and trust You and will seek You!”
Write down, “Lord, in Your love and authority You beckon me to call upon Your Name, thank You! Prayer is our time together in conversation that makes our relationship stronger and more intimate in my life. I love You because ____________; I trust You because____________, and I will seek You first, every day and in all circumstances.
Write down and pray all the ways that you commit to seek Him. Seek Him first thing every morning; seek Him in the good and worse of circumstances, in His creation, in crisis, in decisions and the demands of life. Pledge to seek Him first, instead of fear, worry, or selfish ambition (Ps. 31:1–8).
Miss Clara tells Elizabeth, “Just because you argue a lot, does not mean that you fight well.”
If you find yourself doing the same wearisome or worrisome thing over and over again without seeing any progress or resolve; then you are definitely not doing it well! It is past time for a prayer strategy over that issue or relationship. Pray and then write down 1–3 situations in your life that exhaust and exasperate you. Then write down and pray a Scripture over each of those areas. As we progress through our War Room strategy we continue to add prayers over each of these topics (Isa. 40:21-31).
“Victory does not happen by accident.”
Victory can only happen with tenacious training, scrupulous strategy and persistent practice. We do not stumble into victory, we battle our way to victory. We are warriors, prayer warriors—the most lethal and feared warriors in God’s army. Satan shutters when we start to pray; he flees as the name of Jesus rolls off our lips.
If you want victory to come to your life, your church, your family, your community and nation then you have to be deliberate in prayer. Prayer is a habit, not happenstance. There is no such thing as a coincidence.
Write down the answers to the following questions: What does victory look like? Where do you need to advance and from which direction? Who is your enemy and how does your enemy fight? How will you know when the battle is won—when the prayer is answered?
You have already identified 1–3 areas that need a prayer strategy; now write down your specific requests, characteristics, changes, etc. that will define what “victory” will look like in each of those areas. God may change your heart or definition of success along the way, but as you pour out the desires of your heart for the areas that need God’s triumphal touch, and write down what victory looks like so you will know when it is time to celebrate (Ps. 20).
The mission statement of the Kendrick Brothers Productions is that they are “a company of brothers; Alex, Stephen and Shannon Kendrick, that exists to honor Jesus Christ and make His truth and love known among the nations through movies, books, curriculum and speaking. By prayerfully blending engaging stories with scriptural integrity, the Kendricks seek to encourage and inspire viewers and readers with resources that impact their daily lives and strengthen their families and personal relationships.”
Think and pray about a personal and/or family mission statement that could be used to direct you in decisions and daily life. Over the next few days write down some ideas and formulate a mission statement as part of your personal and family prayer strategy (Rom. 12).
Every strategy includes identifying your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). It helps you to take a critical and complete look at what you have and what is needed for success (victory) to occur. God is your strength, and He has given you many talents, gifts, resources, and opportunities. Write down these strengths. Ask at least three people who know you well to tell you what they have seen and experienced as your strengths. Write down their responses and keep them/post them with your list.
Be honest about your weaknesses; pray and seek guidance from God and others when needed. Pray for opportunities to use but not abuse your training. Never manipulate people or projects; that is Satan’s game and gain. Know your threats—recognize the real enemy, temptations, and tricks you tend for fall for. Fortify your offense and defense in your War Room. We will continue to build on each of these points throughout this battle plan (2 Cor. 12:9–10).
Miss Clara points out to Elizabeth that Satan is the enemy, not her husband— and that all of her complaining brings curses and not blessing or healing to her marriage. Complaining is the praise music of hell. Satan loves to hear us gripe and grumble.
On the other hand, Satan hates to hear us pray. He can deceive, distract, and discourage us all he wants until we turn to God to fight for us—and then Satan is defeated! God has no tolerance for complaining; it does not express faith.
If you want to fight the good fight, it is time to turn our eyes on Jesus and profess our faith in Him. Praise expresses the awe-inducing, unchanging, mighty attributes of God. As we profess that He is Almighty, we perceive that our problems are not big and bad after all.
Write down some attributes of God from Scripture and pray them to remind yourself and the enemy that God is stronger and sovereign. Write down blessings to pray over the people connected to your prayer strategy. Remember, asking God to reveal anything they are doing in deceit is a blessing as long as you pray repentance and redemption over them as well (2 Tim. 2:22–26).
Elizabeth realizes that she needs to kick Satan out of her house. She quotes James 4:7, “Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee.” It is a procedure with a promise. Jesus quoted Scripture against Satan’s temptations in the wilderness and Satan’s schemes were unsuccessful.
What tricks, threats, or treats has Satan used to tempt you? Ask God to forgive you if you have followed the tempter or even fallen into a pit of sin and destruction. Ask God to lift you up and set you firmly back on His path for His glory. Choose and write down verses you will use to deflect and defeat the devil next time he comes prowling around your life (Rom. 4).
Satan does not give up. Even in Jesus’ ministry after the three temptations in the wilderness, Satan continued to use demons and other people to be a distraction or disruption—or even try to detour Jesus from God’s plan by the people’s desire to make Jesus their earthly King. Jesus as an earthly king sounds like a good idea that could yield some good, temporary benefits to the Jews in the first century; yet God’s plan was best—the eternal defeat of sin and death and redemption of the created with their Creator for all eternity.
Write down ways that you have been detoured or distracted into settling for “good” instead of God’s best. Pray for God to show you areas of your life that you need to release in order to have open hands (and time) to receive what He wants to give you and where He wants to grow you (1 Peter 5:6–9).
In a recent interview, Pricilla Shirer said, “Prayer is the most powerful weapon the church has to unlock the activity of heaven on earth.”
It is important to write out a prayer strategy for every area of your life, but there is nothing powerful about writing them and taping them to a wall. No strategy will ever be successful without a leader that is devoted to its success, and your devotion is expressed through your consistent, faith-filled prayers.
Prayer moves the hands that move the universe. Prayer invites God to glorify Himself in our needs and weakness. Prayer confesses desperation for God and sets our attention on His ability and authority make things right and make people righteous. God not only heals, He restores, redeems, and can make things even greater than you can imagine or dream if you set your heart on His will.
Write down Pricilla’s quote and post it in your War Room. Prepare and commit to using this weapon frequently throughout the day and night, to not only unlock the door, but to usher in the activity of heaven into your relationships and circumstances (Luke 11:9–13).
Beth Moore recently said, “God waits to see a generation that will take Him at His Word. Let’s be that generation.”
Is there a part of God’s Word that you have not believed? Is there a promise that you disbelieve? A command you disregard or something you do or say that regularly disrespects God? It is vital that you believe God’s Word from beginning to end; you do not get to pick and choose through the stories and verses.
If you have any questions make an appointment with your pastor, and read some Christian books on the reliability of the Bible such as The Case for the Bible by Lee Strobel. Read, pray, and write down a strategy that professes your faith and commitment to God’s Word. Believe it! Memorize it! Write down verses and post them in your War Room. Let it guide and guard your heart and life (Ps. 112).
Miss Clara prays, “Raise up those who will worship you with their whole heart, that we may proclaim You King of kings and Lord of lords!”
We divide up our time, our energy, our attention, and our resources but we cannot give God divided heart. His Word promises that we will find Him when we seek Him with our whole heart. Psychology 101 teaches that we behave as we believe. If our lives do not worship Him whole-heartedly, we are not an effective witness to proclaim God as King. Half-hearted Christians are not ready for the frontline of warfare. The most dangerous soldier is one who is distracted or ready to retreat at the first sign of danger.
Only God is worthy of our worship but we are distracted and attracted to so many other things that take His place; our self, our stuff, our schedules that overflow—and we leave God with a sliver of our heart, time, and worship. When you go into your War Room, or prayer time leave your cell phone in another room. Give Him your undivided attention.
Write down anything that distracts you, pray over it, and keep your whole focus on Him the whole time. If you think about something that happened earlier, write it down and pray over it. If you think of something you need at the store, write it down and thank Him for His provision. If you think of something you need to do, write it down and pray for guidance and for Him to be glorified in it. If you think of people you need to call, write their names down and pray for them. Keep your heart, mind, and attention wholly holy for Him (Ps. 119:1–10).
Miss Clara begins her powerful prayer at the end of the movie by saying, “Lord, You are good, You are Mighty and You are Merciful—Praise You, Jesus!
You will notice a pattern in the prayers written in the Bible and spoken by Miss Clara—most begin with praise. Praise is the professing and blessing of God’s unchanging attributes. Focusing on His attributes gives us courage and confidence to lay down any of our challenges, crisis, or concerns into the hands of our God who knows and does what is best.
Get into the habit of starting every prayer, even if it is only a sentence or two, with words of praise and adoration. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise before you proceed any further in your conversation with Him. Finish each prayer by telling Him that you love and trust Him. For each of your prayer strategies write down three or more attributes of God that you will focus on in awe, affection, and affirmation of His authority and power in all things (Ps. 34:1–8).
Michael tells Tony, “Marriage is not some buffet where you get to pick and choose what you want; you married her junk and all.”
Life, commitment, marriage, parenting, career, etc. are not a buffet where we get to pick what we enjoy and leave the rest behind. We are in a covenant with Christ; in marriage and in life as the Bride of Christ, for richer, poorer, better or worse, sickness and in health, rested, tired, happy, sad, and so forth. The blessing is that we do life together, guided and guarded by the hand and heart of God when we pray.
The best thing you can do together as a couple, as a family, as friends, as neighbors, as co-workers, is pray together and pray for one another. Nothing leaves a blessing like hearing someone pray over you, nothing brings unity like two or more praying together, locking their prayer shields and taking ground away from the enemy.
Examine your attitude about some of your relationships and responsibilities. Write down anything that you have ignored because you just “did not want to deal with it.” If you have had a “buffet mentality,” write down some of the areas you have been turning a blind eye or hard heart toward. Remember who the real enemy is—it is not your spouse, your children, your pastor, your boss, or any of the people you are praying for! Ask God to examine your heart and point out the areas you need to address in prayer and compassion. Be brave; ask Him to shine His light in the dark places that you would rather not deal with, but know that you can because of Him. Ignoring even one area of your life gives Satan a place to hide and harbor.
Write down a Scripture or prayer for each of these areas as they come to mind. Give grace and mercy in these areas as God heals and restores (Heb. 4:12–16).
Clara continues in prayer, “Raise up warriors who will fight on their knees.”
Sometimes the most difficult part of the fight is to stay on our knees. In our impatience or pride, we may think that we have diagnosed the problem and know just how to fix things. But the truth is that we don’t know what we don’t know. Only God knows every detail—the past, present, and even the future. Only God knows the intention the heart and mind behind the decision and situation, who the victim is and where the fault really belongs.
Staying on our knees keeps us from charging in and making the situation worse in our ignorance. Write down your prayer requests and ask God to give you insight and instructions. In situations where you feel anger, frustration, or other negative feelings, ask God to deal with your emotions and attitudes. Stay on your knees and ask the questions, “What does love require? Are my desires self-serving or God-serving?”
Write down how you would want to be treated if the tables were turned. Would you be willing to change the tire of the man who wanted you thrown in jail? God can only raise you up if you are willing to stay down on your knees in humble prayer (Ps. 69:13).
Michael tells Tony, “Yeah, I’m a paramedic. But I’m also a Christian, which means I help people while I am helping people.”
Pray about how you can live out being a Christian where ever your work, whatever the circumstances, however hard it may be to speak the truth with love. Write down some positions/ titles you hold and profess: “I’m a mom/dad, CEO, nurse, IT expert, executive, grandparent, educator, coach, etc., but most importantly, I’m a Christian, which means I ______________ while I am __________.
Ask God to permeate every relationship and responsibility in your life. Write down and pray about specific situations where it is difficult to be a Christian. Ask God to give you courage, strength and steadfastness do His will, no matter what (Ps. 31:1–5).
Miss Clara prayed and asked God to, “Guide me to who You want me to help.”
Her hurts and past lessons gave her a testimony and teaching strategy to share with others so that they did not have to go through the pain she had suffered. Write down lessons God has taught you through past experiences. Write down your testimony and always be ready to share it with others. Ask God to guide you to someone He wants you to help. Write down a name as He shows you opportunity to share His love.
Pray for clarity so that you do not hesitate nor manipulate the situation. Ask for wisdom. Remember Miss Clara’s profound prayer, “Lord, do not let me push too hard; I know I have a big mouth!” Write down a prayer for a specific area where you already know you will need God’s hand to move as you reach out to the one He guides you to help. Remember that He may guide you to someone who is not at all like you had hoped or imagined. Be obedient no matter who He leads you to (John 13:34–35).
Every strategy includes “keeping score.” This is not keeping a score of rights and wrongs between you and another person, or even the wrong theology that if our right behavior outweighs our sin.
In business, employees/employers write goals that are measurable and timely targets. This is often called a scorecard, which acts as an instrument panel guiding your people and company toward achieving your vision. With the scorecard, you can actively track your progress on a monthly basis.
One of the best ways to see God’s faithfulness is to keep a record of our answered prayers. Miss Clara had framed a list of “Answered Prayers” on her hallway wall. As you ask God to move or meet a need, write it down on a list or keep a journal. Make written notes when you see God’s hand moving, circumstances changing, and, finally, when the prayer is answered (Ps. 138).
Michael tells Tony, “I’d like to see the church in you, Bro!”
Write down what you think it means for others to “see the church in you.” Write down a couple of Scriptures that teach or touch that topic. Pray about what the lost see when they look at you, and when they look at the church.
How much time have you spent on your knees for the lost? For the sinner? Ask God to show you if you have had a judgmental attitude instead of a prayerful attitude toward those whose lifestyles reflect the depravity of their souls. Write down a prayer that asks God to bring His presence into their lives, to reveal Himself in a way that they cannot deny Him. Ask God to draw the lost, to fill and heal the hurt in their lives, to give you an opportunity to love them in His grace and truth, and to bring them to a place of repentance and salvation in Him. Pray that they will know His salvation and not His judgement. Let this be your strategy so that you are prepared to pull them from the fire, to free them from the captivity of the enemy (2 Peter 3:7–10).
Miss Clara asks Elizabeth, “Do you deserve grace?”
Clara continues as Elizabeth squirms, “God gives us grace and He helps us to give it to others even when they do not deserve it.”
Do you deserve grace? Think about the times that our Holy God has given you grace instead of the judgement you deserve. Do not write them down, because if you have asked for forgiveness they are gone—wiped away—as far as the east is from the west! He has erased them, so do not dare re-write them. Just praise and thank Him for His grace and mercy.
Write down names and ways you need to give grace to others, even though they have not asked for it or deserve it (Eph. 2:1–10).
During Elizabeth’s fierce stand against Satan as she throws him out of her life, marriage, and home, she promptly fills the space where Satan’s schemes and lies had filled her mind with truth from God’s Word. “My joy does not come from my friends . . . my job, or even my husband,” She declares. “My joy is found in Jesus!” Then she reminds the devil—“in case he had forgotten”—that Jesus has defeated him!
It is vital to kick Satan and his wrong thinking out of our thoughts, but we must replace that space with Truth. Take every thought captive! Write down scriptural truth in the areas that Satan had you believing lies (2 Cor. 10:3–5).
Miss Clara has a big celebration in her kitchen, shouting, “Ooooh, devil, you just got your butt kicked!”
Go ahead and smile. I am sure Jesus did! Many times we forget to have a good celebration of joy and thankfulness over our answered prayers. Sadly, we may even give the answer a passing glance as we start a new list of requests.
Write down some past answered prayers: victories, needs met, problems solved, things you asked protection from that never even got to make an appearance in your life. Now, celebrate these answers, these gifts, blessings, and victories! Shout, dance, fist pump, twirl, jump up and down—make a big deal out of your appreciation in response to God’s answers and affection (Ps. 9:1–2).
Part of living out a strategy is to remember where you came from and where you are going. We are all sinners in need of a Savior. Once upon a time, we were on our way to eternal despair and punishment in view of God’s holy wrath. But Jesus came, and now those who believe and trust in Him as Lord and Savior have eternal life! You are a child of God, created in love and with amazing purpose!
Write down your answered prayers. Look at your list of answered prayers when you lose sight of God’s faithfulness and write down promises about your future from Scripture. Rejoice always! (Ps. 32).
On Day 5 I asked, “So how ‘vibrant’ is your relationship with God?” I also asked you to examine and write down some adjectives, characteristics, and evidences that described your current relationship with Jesus. You also described your daily interaction and affection toward Him, how many times you think about Him during the day, and how often you talk with Him, thank Him, or give Him credit for something good or beautiful.
I asked the question, “Is prayer your first response or your last resort?” To quote Miss Clara, “Would you say your prayer life is hot or cold?”
You have been on a very intense prayer journey! This month has been about writing a strategic battle plan for specific areas of your life. I am sure the enemy has fired back at you more than once; I know it has been difficult to build a habit of planned prayer time as well as writing down all of the tactical parts of your strategy. I know you have been challenged. No battle is easy, and I pray you have seen God’s hand move as you have sought His face each day.
Now, 23 days later, I want to ask you again, “How ‘vibrant’ is your relationship with God?” Write down how your relationship with Him has changed and thank Him for the growth and guidance. I pray this has been a time of deep discipleship and that you have developed new and profound disciplines in prayer. Think about all that you have posted on your War Room wall/ notebook, and all the prayers you have prayed.
The battle is not over as long as we are still breathing, so be as bold as Moses and ask God for more of Him and His blessings (Ex. 33:12–23).
Michael tells Tony, “Look, Tony, you can fight against your wife and maybe hold your own. But if God is fighting for her, you can hit the gym all you want, Bro. It’s not looking good for you!”
Please do not think that every one of your prayers will be answered and your life will be perfect in 30 days of battle. Some strategies and prayer requests take years to gain ground. But don’t give up! If God is fighting for you, it is not looking good for the enemy. Never stop praying. Never stop following God’s battle plan. Always do what you are called to do and never do anything that could get in the way of what God is doing to answer your prayers and bring His plan and process to pass.
Celebrate the little victories as well as the big ones. Write down prayers that profess your confidence in the Lord. Remember that praise adjusts our view to how big God is and how small our challenges, crises, and concerns are in His hands. Seek God’s face throughout the fight. Let joy and peace profess your confidence in Him even in the chaos of combat (Ex. 15:2–3).
As we end the 30 days, there may be sections you skipped, days you skimmed, or strategies that need more structure and Scripture. We must persevere in prayer! The battles are waged all around us for marriages, our children and grandchildren, our church, and the souls of the sinners as well as the attention and testimony of the saints.
As God answers your prayers, begin to write down new strategies for other areas of your life. Surely you had more than 1-3 prayer requests or areas that need God’s touch! Begin the process again. Continue to cover the walls and doorframes of your War Room. “Bake prayer in” to that space in your home and in your heart (2 Cor. 4:7–18).
By Kathy Branzell: Article was first published here, click to learn