Recently, I finally got around to watching the film, War Room. Directed by Alex Kendrick, this is wonderful, encouraging film all about the power of prayer! It’s such a refreshing, uplifting look at prayer and has taught me some great new things. So today I wanted to share with you my 7 lessons from War Room!
Know who your enemy is
The first of my lessons from War Room is that we need to know who our enemy is. Sometimes in life, we can feel like our enemies are those who annoy us, the people around us who hurt us. In War Room, the bitterness of a failing marriage made it seem like Elizabeth’s husband was her enemy. But Ephesians 6:12 tells us that:
“our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”
We shouldn’t be fighting amongst ourselves, but against the spiritual forces of evil. That’s why we need to pray.
Get rid of any distractions
If you haven’t seen this film yet, Elizabeth creates her own space for prayer (her war room) in her closet. She clears everything out and keeps it as a space purely for prayer. The lesson I feel this demonstrates to us is the need to rid ourselves of any distractions. The space she created was peaceful, away from other people any the other jobs that need doing around the house. This is the kind of environment we need to be creating for our own prayer lives – finding a space where we can focus upon God and not be pulled away by distractions.
Share your prayer life
During the film, I was really struck by the characters’ willingness to share their prayer life with those around them. Clara had some of her experience of prayer displayed inside her house, a conversation starter for her to share this part of her life with her estate agent. Elizabeth is also able to share her prayer life with her daughter. To me, this really speaks of Deuteronomy 6:5-9:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
This passage talks of the need to share our love for God with others, through repetition constantly throughout our daily lives and through public declarations.
Don’t be lukewarm
My next lesson from War Room, comes from right at the beginning of the film. It is Elizabeth describing her prayer life as ‘lukewarm’ that prompts Clara to teach her about prayer. We should be boiling hot, on fire for God and always wanting more of him. The Bible warns us against being lukewarm:
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
– Revelation 3:15-16.
We must do all we can to avoid being lukewarm.
We should grow to love prayer
Sometimes starting out, prayer can feel like a chore – something we’re doing because we know we should. But it doesn’t always seem fun, it doesn’t always fill us with joy. War Room shows us Elizabeth’s discomfort and struggles with getting into prayer. But we also see her grow to love prayer, we see the difference it makes in her life and the joy that it brings her – she wants to pray, not because she knows she should but because it is filling her life with joy, regardless of the struggles she’s facing. Prayer is a gift from God, a chance for us to spend time with him, talk to him and hear his voice – this should be something we long for and enjoy!
Mentors are fab!
In the film, after introducing Elizabeth to her War Room, Clara acts as a kind of mentor to her, regularly meeting up and talking to her about her prayer life. She doesn’t just tell her what to do and disappear, she is constantly there to support her, helping her when she starts to struggle and celebrating her triumphs with her. From experience, I have seen the value of a mentor, just to check up on me, keep me accountable and just encourage me in my walk with God; and I’ve also seen just how much I miss a mentor when they don’t do these things. I would definitely encourage you to find someone that could be your mentor – someone with a mature faith that can encourage and support you in your journey.
Find someone to invest in
At the end of the film, Clara encourages Elizabeth to find someone that she can invest in – someone that she can share what she’s learnt with and encourage in their prayer life. Once our lives have been changed, once we have learnt something about prayer, we should want to share this with others.
The Great Commission in Matthew 28 tells us to:
“go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.
We should want to share our experiences of God with those around us. Not even just when we consider ourselves to be “experts”, I don’t think we can ever know everything about God – but however little we do know, we can still invest this knowledge in someone else.
I would highly recommend this film to all of you and hope it can encourage you in your prayer life. Let me know if you learnt any lessons from War Room!