Back on Labor Day weekend of this year, War Room accomplished what many Christian movies before could not: it stood as the number one movie in the box office. Equally as impressive was the fact that it was the second week the movie was in theaters, and yet it still made the jump from second place to the top spot.
War Room tells the story of Tony and Elizabeth Jordan, a married couple who on the outside seem to have everything going for them, while in reality their marriage is on the verge of collapse—that is until Elizabeth meets Miss Clara, who encourages her to create a prayer strategy by establishing a "war room."
A war room in this case means a room specifically designated for prayer. It is where you create your prayer strategy and spend time alone with God.
Co-writer Stephen Kendrick has said that Matthew 6 is one of the key pieces of Scripture behind this idea for the movie. In the passage, Jesus is teaching his disciples how to pray. Matthew 6:6 (ESV) says, "But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you."
Jesus is telling them not to go out and pray publicly, in a way that seeks recognition, but instead go into your own secret place and authentically communicate with God.
How many of us actually do as Jesus has told us to though?
In one scene of the movie, Elizabeth is speaking with Miss Clara when she describes the lives of her and her husband: "We're like most people. We have full schedules," and when describing her prayer life, "I'm not hot, but I'm not cold either. Just somewhere in the middle."
Can you relate to Elizabeth?
It is very easy to get caught up in a constant cycle of life. We wake up, prepare breakfast, get the kids ready for school, head to work, come home and make dinner, help the kids with their homework, get them ready for bed, spend a little time with our husband or wife (or ourselves) and then fall asleep only to do the same thing again the next day.
Time for prayer just doesn't seem to fit.
War Room offers us the reminder that not only is prayer powerful, but it is a necessity.
Priscilla Shirer, who plays Elizabeth in the movie, says that prayer is “what opens up the flood gates for God to come down and be involved in our everyday circumstances.”
Spend some alone time with God today, and see how He can change your life through prayer.
If you’d like to set up your own war room, check out some of our gifts of encouragement to store in it.