My War Room
Recently, I went to see the movie War Room (true confession: I’ve seen it three times). It is a Christian film on the power of prayer. It is beautifully written and acted. It has done amazingly well at the box office. This has left me pondering a few things:
- Why has it done so well in ticket sales?
- What is my view of prayer?
- How hot or cold is my own prayer life?
There have been several movies based on Christianity in the theaters over the past several years, everything from the Passion of the Christ to Fireproof. In a world that seems to be begging for acceptance and sameness, why would movies which focus on the message of Jesus be so wildly popular? I think we are searching for and seeking fulfillment. I believe that each of us is looking to fill an empty space. Whether we are filling it with things of this world or finding perfect contentment in Jesus, everyone has a need to feel complete. I, personally, spent years attempting to find happiness and satisfaction in things of this world. It varied from relationships to possessions to activity. I’ve come to understand that true contentment has to come from my relationship with Christ. God created us to be in relationship with Him and to worship Him only.
That led me to this: Do I have a correct view of God and the relationship that I should have with Him? Throughout the movie, God answers prayers in mighty and unexpected ways. A few times I caught myself thinking something like, “Well, that’s great but this is a movie.” When I became more cognizant of that thought, it stopped me dead in my tracks. Don’t I believe that God can answer prayers like this? If I believe in the authenticity of the Bible, and I do, then I need to believe that God is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do. That brought me to a place of reflection on my own prayer life.
As a child, most of my prayers were memorized, such as The Lord’s Prayer. While I hold great value in those words of Jesus, after a while I was just reciting it and not focusing on what the words mean. Until a couple of years ago, I felt that I didn’t even know how to pray. It felt silly to me. Given the fact that there are hundreds of books on prayer and that Jesus’ own disciples asked Him how they should pray, I am guessing that I am not alone in this. In War Room, Miss Clara (who is a delightful, yet fierce woman of God) has a closet in which she prays. She has Scripture, prayer requests, and answers to prayers posted on the walls of this closet. Now, I don’t have a closet in my house that I feel can be completely emptied and converted into a prayer closet. So, my “war room” is a portable two dollar notebook. Using the same concept, in this notebook, I record verses which speak to my heart and to specific situations, requests for my family and friends, and, what I believe to be most important, answers to the prayers. Even if the answers are “no” or “not now” or “yes, but now how you want the yes to look”, it is utterly important for me to record how I see God working. After all, it is when I focus on these answered prayers that I can really begin to see the faithfulness, provision and greatness of God.
If you are looking for a book to guide you in your prayer life, I wholeheartedly recommend these:
For the ladies, Fervent by Priscilla Shirer
For anyone, The Battle Plan for Prayer
I have used these books to guide me and have enjoyed them very much.
I certainly am not perfect at this. There are many days that I feel I am too busy or too tired to spend time in prayer. How foolish of me…somehow believing that my agenda is more important than God’s. But on those days when I get it right, I am blessed with the peace and joy that Jesus promised to give those who seek Him with all of their hearts.