Written by: Jay Heilman (8/21/2015)
Prayer. It’s the most powerful tool that God has given to us in which to intercede with Him. It’s something we use in times of need, times of triumph and even in times of thanksgiving. Either way, I think we can all agree that prayer is a powerful thing. That’s the main focus of the new film War Room, which hits theaters on Friday, August 28th. I have long followed the careers of Alex & Stephen Kendrick going all the way back to their first theatrical hit Facing The Giants in 2006. In the process of supporting their films since then, I even got a rare opportunity to visit the set of Courageous in 2010 and also appeared in the film as an extra. Since Courageous, the brothers have split off from Sherwood Pictures, creating their own film company called Kendrick Brothers Films. Since then, they have kept somewhat of a low key with the new film, not even revealing the title until earlier this year. This also marks the first time the brothers have filmed a movie outside of their hometown of Albany, GA, choosing to film in Charlotte, NC and the surrounding communities.
War Room stars Priscilla Shirer as Elizabeth Jordan, a real estate agent who is trying everything she can to keep her life, her family and her marriage together. Upon meeting an elderly woman named Miss Clara (portrayed by Karen Abercrombie), her focus and priorities clearly start to take on a different path. When it is revealed to Miss Clara that Elizabeth’s prayer life is lacking and her marriage to her husband Tony (Portrayed by TC Stallings; Courageous) is about to crumble, Clara reveals to her the secret weapon in which she has fought all of life’s battles with – her prayer closet, in which she calls her war room. Elizabeth is not the only one that is dealing with problems, as Tony on the other end of the spectrum is dealing with demons of his own. The foreseeable casualty of their problems seems to be their young daughter Danielle (Portrayed by newcomer Alena Pitts) who is an innocent bystander in the whole process. This is the point in which Elizabeth takes ownership and finds her own war room in her closet where she begins to pray for her marriage and her family. But has the damage done become irreparable? The culmination of the film is full of both surprises and helpful insight into an issue that almost every Christian may come across – implementing prayer as a priority in life.
Miss Clara’s character basically steals the show with her hardcore, charismatic prayers that she uses to help battle with, on Elizabeth and Tony’s behalf. In real life, we all may have these prayer warriors, and War Room serves as a good reminder that these people along with our own fervent prayers can best be served if we would all humble ourselves and get upon our knees and ask Christ for help through our prayer life. The film features many other notable actors such as director Alex Kendrick (Tony’s boss), comedian Michael Jr. (Tony’s friend Michael) and in her film debut, author and teacher Beth Moore (playing Elizabeth’s co-worker and boss, Mandy).
While War Room is a powerful film, one in which I think can be used as a tactical weapon for Christians when it comes to reviving their prayer lives, I think the ‘preachy’ element of the movie are definitely stronger than the Kendricks’ previous efforts and will most likely be the one thing that limits the reach and audience of the film. Not to say that’s a bad thing though. Here at TCE, the message is the most important aspect of any project we view, but it might be considered more overtly Christian in its message to the mainstream audience. My prayer is, is that this film can be one that can get a fire started and let Christians everywhere know that prayer is needed more than ever now, and if we don’t prayer on behalf of the lost and ask Christ to reveal Himself, then who will? It’s our most powerful weapon in the arsenal, and just like the Armor of God revealed to us in Ephesians 6:10-18, it’s something as believers we must take serious and start doing more of.
Clear out that small room in your house and open your own war room and allow God’s power to defeat the enemies of life and bring peace to our lives. War Room is a wonderfully directed film, full of intense dramatic and comedic moments – but most importantly a film that can inspire one to put prayer at the top of your daily priorities. Prayer is a powerful thing indeed and can be most effective when used everyday in spiritual battle. Are you ready?
MUSIC: Musically, the film has some new great new songs in it, including the song “Crazy Faith” by John Waller; “Warrior” by Stephen Curtis Chapman; “Press On” by Mandisa and “Impossible” by Building 429. Pick up the soundtrack at: http://apple.co/1MJigYA