Cynthia's War Room


Carolyn Wade, Missionary, Kenya

Cynthia's War Room

Have you seen the movie War Room about a woman who prays faithfully from her closet? My Kenyan friend Cynthia (name changed) was so inspired by that movie that she created a similar space in her own home. 

I first met Cynthia in 2011, when we met with several girls who wanted to leave the sex industry. She has continued ministering to them since that time. Cynthia has a missionary heart, encouraging and supporting widows and other needy people in her community. 

I knew the Holy Spirit was guiding me to mentor Cynthia. When she came to our first meeting in my home, she brought her oldest son, Joshua. This had not been anticipated! I knew we would discuss sensitive issues, so Joshua was sent to lunch with our worker while Cynthia and I talked. 

She was in crisis at the time. She and her children had been victims of physical and emotional abuse by the children’s father. The chief had given a letter of warning to the father, and Cynthia left the home with the four boys. She had been praying for a resolution in the family.

Cynthia related how the movie War Room had impacted her prayer life. She learned that there is power in secret prayer. This had been a strengthening spiritual experience for her in the midst of all the challenges.  

She had constructed a wardrobe in which to hang her clothes, and this wardrobe became her prayer closet. Each time she wanted to pray, she removed the clothes from the wardrobe and went inside to pray. She poured out her heart to the Lord about all that concerned her and her children during those precious moments of prayer. 

Joshua had been observing her going into the closet, and one day he asked to go in, too, saying that he had some things to talk to God about. Soon, all four boys were spending time in the closet praying to God. 

The family has since moved to a larger home, and Cynthia created a new space for prayer. This “closet” is a curtained-off area of her bedroom. She and the boys individually bring one request before the Lord and post it on the wall. When the Lord gives an answer, they mark the response. The answers to prayer are flowing!

  • One day, Joshua went into the closet to thank the Lord for the cup of plain tea they were drinking. He told the Lord that he wanted to be grateful for the plain cup of tea, because surely the Lord had chosen to give their sugar to someone who needed it more. Joshua was trusting the Lord to supply for their needs. Soon after, there was a knock at the door. A woman handed Cynthia two kilos (about four and a half pounds) of sugar and a large bag of tea leaves. Later that day, three packets of milk were brought to the house. The answered prayer came about in the supply of all the ingredients needed for a proper cup of tea!
  • Caleb, Cynthia’s second son, had broken his right arm playing soccer. Local physical therapy was causing extreme pain for him. Cynthia prayed over him, and the family was able to go to Tenwek Hospital to seek answers. The cast had been removed too quickly, and his arm was splinted for another 10 days to assist in healing. Caleb has to continue with daily exercises to bring back full range of motion to his right arm, but he will not need the painful therapy he had endured. 
  • Cynthia has started a small shop selling produce, French fries, soap, and matches. We believe God is going to bless this business as she tithes. 
  • All four boys are in school with fees paid by Cynthia. Joshua was chosen the leader for the Christian Union at his high school, leading devotions each Friday. This occurred even though he was late starting school, because the principal was amazed at how well Joshua knew the Bible. Cynthia has been teaching the boys from the Word of God for many years!
  • Helping former sex workers earn clean money and discipling them are two of Cynthia’s goals. Recently, on her birthday, nine girls accepted Christ as their Savior and left the sex industry. Four of them are now washing clothes for other women, and Cynthia is working to encourage them all in their new lives.

A closet is certainly not required for God to answer prayer. However, Cynthia loves being alone with God in her prayer closet. It is also teaching her sons the value of prayer and that God does hear and answer.