Have you ever seen a movie that felt more like a mentor?
Where you leave the theater not only entertained but inspired, instructed and even a little rebuked? Well, this has been the case for me after seeing War Room twice this month. First, at the Dallas premiere with my prayer partner and again this past Saturday at MegaFest's International Faith and Family film festival pre-screening with my family and friends. On both occasions, I saw and heard different aspects of the movie that stood out to me. During one scene in the movie, Ms. Clara, the older woman who is looking to sell her home, takes the bold step to reach out to her realtor, Elizabeth Jordan (Priscilla Shirer), and asks her some very poignant questions about her family, faith and prayer that challenge her to consider her life in a new way. (Side note: Have you ever noticed how God will ask you a question that He already knows the answer to just to get you to think? Well, this scene reminded me of that.) There was one question in particular Ms. Clara asked that has consistently stood out and caused me to really think about one specific area of my prayers:
How often are you praying for your husband?
If you're a young wife like me, there's a chance that you're having a similar reaction to what I had. You love your husband, have a good marriage, and yet, you realize in this moment that you are not praying for him enough. Well-intended? Absolutely. Prayers before he leaves for work or has something coming up that he asks prayer for? You're on the job. But consistent, just-because, strategic prayer for specific areas of his life and heart? Well....we need some improvements here.
Now, before you get down on yourself or click away, keep in mind that I'm "preaching to the choir here." I'm right there with you, and I am acknowledging that this area of my prayer life needs a "jump." I spoke with my husband about this, and for me, War Room was that jumper cable that helped refuel me with the purposeful reminder to get going in this area. Not just when your marriage is out of gas on the side of the road but even when it's running well on a full tank of gas!
You know ladies, as I think about the movie and Miss Clara's call to battle in prayer with Elizabeth Jordan, I know that it's not just a scene in a movie. It's a call of action to a generation of young wives like me and you to begin to actively pray and fight for our marriages and our families. Our mothers and grandmothers took this seriously, and we must too. I can remember seeing my mom's prayer sheets, tear-stained and covered in a laminated sleeve, with every family member's name on it. I knew that she was actively praying for my dad, brother and me every day without fail! (Even while out of town!) I can vividly remember hearing about the prayer circle that was formed around me by family members, friends and churches while I was sick in the hospital back in 2007. To this day, I still have my grandmother's prayer sheet of healing scriptures that she kept in her bible and prayed over me, her personal thoughts and prayers written off to the side in her lovely writing. I have since used it to pray over my daughter in times where she wasn't well. I have so many memories of a praying mother, praying grandparents, aunts and women all around me, and I'm sure you can think of at least one woman in your life who has prayed fervently as an example before you.
This is what the Lord says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’ (Jeremiah 6:16 NLT)
Our generation is at a crossroads. We are standing between the narrow path of our mothers and grandmothers and the wide way of our current culture. We cannot afford to turn away and refuse the godly path of old and forfeit the victory that has been culminating over the course of history. Prayer can't just be a thing of the past. An old school practice that fades with the current culture. Something that remains on our "when I have time to" list. Our fellowship with God in prayer must be a top priority, especially for our husbands and families. We've got to take on the mantle, pick up the baton, and continue the legacy of faith for our families. Our children will inherit the choice we make. It's up to us!
As I think back on the scene where Ms. Clara is challenging Elizabeth to pray and invites her to spend one hour a week with her to learn how to do so, I remember her looking at Elizabeth in her eyes and speaking these powerful words of vision:
"I see in you a warrior."
As I watched this scene unfold, I couldn't help but think of you and me, and the women who are watching us on the rise. I believe that there is a generation of older women who may not have said it, but surely do see in us more than we see in ourselves. I believe they see our passion, and pray that it's directed in a godly way. I believe they've been praying for us and paving the way for us to walk in. And most importantly, I know for sure that God sees the great potential in us, and Jesus is interceding for us daily (see Hebrews 7:24-25).
We are warriors.
This is what War Room movie has meant to me, and I am praying that every wife who sees this movie is inspired to be a warrior wife. A wife who is engaged in strategic prayer and willing to battle the right way. A wife who builds her house and refuses to tear it down with her own hands (see Proverbs 14:1). Here are six ways we can get started today, and I'm sure you'll have even more after watching the movie:
1. Ask for Passion
Many of us have lost the desire to pray, so it's important to ask God for the passion to remain consistent in our prayers beyond the times that we feel like it.
2. Define Your Vision
Vision keeps the end result in mind. Scripture says in Hebrews 12:2 that "for the joy that was set before Him, Christ endured the cross." Ask God to reveal to you a vision for your marriage and family, something that is plainly seen in your heart and can help you endure along the way.
3. Designate Your Place
Matthew 6:6 tells us this: "But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you." Find a place where you can pray privately. For me, it's my closet. I've pulled in my lucite chair, Bible, notebooks (old and new), pens and sharpies, prayer books, and vision board to keep me on track. It's a tiny little place, but I love it. :)
4. Write Down Your Prayers
This helps you get clarity of thought and stay focused on what you really want to pray about. I'm finding that not only is it easier to write prayers down, but it's special to look back on what I was thinking and praying in times past and see how those prayers are being answered.
5. Post the Promises
Find or buy some index cards (they're on sale everywhere for Back to School) and write out some scriptures that align with your specific areas of prayer, particularly your husband. :) Tape them to your closet wall or somewhere you can see them regularly, and stand firmly on them daily.
6. Pray strategically
One thing I've been reminded of from the movie is the importance of not just consistent prayer, but strategic prayer. Targeting those areas of weakness in our lives or specific circumstances we really want to see change.
Well, I hope that this post can be a resource for you and a catalyst for prayer! Before you go and get in your war room and develop your prayer strategies, check out the movie trailer below and consider taking your family to go see War Room this weekend at a theater near you. It's a movie worth supporting, and I know you will get more out of it than you think. If you go, I'd love to hear your thoughts about the movie too so feel free to come back and comment below!
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