War Room (2015), the first Kendrick Brothers Productions film, will premiere in theaters on August 28. Tony Jordan (T. C. Stallings from Courageous) keeps arguing with his wife Elizabeth (Priscilla Shirer); their daughter suffers as a result. But a client named Miss Clara teaches Elizabeth to make a prayer closet, or “war room,” so that she can save her marriage and family.
“Christian” America desperately needs to watch War Room, but it troubles me that a film was even chosen to carry such a vital message. When did the church here in America begin to neglect the prayer closet? When did something so basic in our spiritual lives fall by the wayside? Why must we go to a movie theater just to learn how to pray? This is clear evidence of our spiritual decadence and decay.
In Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (1880), Amy makes a prayer closet so she can “think good thoughts” and ask God to “preserve her sister” Beth from scarlet fever. Led by a French Catholic maid, Amy places a Bible, a hymnal, and a painting of Mary with baby Jesus in her “war room.” Here, she “turn[s] to the strong and tender Friend, whose fatherly love most closely surrounds His little children.” When Mrs. March sees the prayer closet, she tells Amy that “it is an excellent plan to have some place where we can go to be quiet, when things vex or grieve us.” This experience is a revelation for Amy. Yet even Beth prayed privately before becoming ill; “when her heart got heavy with longings for Mother or fears for Father, she went away into a certain closet, hid her face in the folds of a dear old gown, and made her little moan and prayed her little prayer quietly by herself.” If Louisa, the daughter of a Transcendentalist, knew about prayer closets in nineteenth-century Massachusetts, then why should War Room be a revelation to us today?
Christians in the United Kingdom don’t need to see War Room. They don’t need to be told to make a prayer closet to save their homes and families. Since 1999, with little fanfare, the student-led 24-7 Prayer has created more than four hundred “war rooms” in cities across the nation – churches, homes, schools, prisons, shops, etc. These places are always open and anyone can pray. The interdenominational prayer movement has now spread to 100 countries. I know that many UK Christians are praying for revival and I believe they’ll see the fruits of their labor.
“The first was like a lion and had eagle’s wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off. It was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.” – Daniel 7:4 (NKJV)
Great Britain is the lion, America the eagle. After we won independence in 1783, Great Britain experienced a spiritual revival. The result was the abolition of slavery, a Victorian sense of duty that morally uplifted the nation, and a worldwide empire with a conscience. If the UK severs cultural, economic, and other ties with America in the future, she might see another great revival. Besides, a standing lion with the heart of a man is the perfect answer to Nebuchadnezzar’s image of a heartless human-like figure made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, and clay (Daniel 2:31-33).
America, don’t wait for War Room to hit theaters in August. Create a prayer closet at home or work today. This sin-filled nation desperately needs a revival of conviction, repentance, and faith.