As a subtle but not so subtle transition, I spoke about all types of relationships except the one that is most important to me, God. All this week is inspired by my exploration of my relationship with God. I wasn’t able to see The Shack yet, so let’s talk about a surprise enjoyment, War Room instead.
War Room Trailer:
War Room is about using the power of prayer to overcome some of the most insurmountable life issues. The film follows a Real Estate agent, Elizabeth, as she deals with a deteriorating marriage with her husband, Tony. Elizabeth (Priscilla Shirer) ends up meeting a lovely lady Miss Clara (Karen Abercrombie) that spends most of her time trying to teach Elizabeth how to pray and understand that some things cannot be fixed by will alone. Her marriage continued to unravel as Elizabeth started to develop her faith and eventually came to peace with God’s will of their marriage in her life.
I won’t completely spoil the ending of the movie but, it’s a pretty cookie cutter, B-level inspirational spiritual drama that has some really cringe-worthy scenes at some time. Tony (T.C. Stallings), is absolutely a horrid person through the majority of the movie with few redeeming qualities. Elizabeth starts of rigid and two-dimensional with the best moments being her daughter Danielle (Alena Pitts), then she finally starts to fill out as a character.
However, that is not to say, write this movie off. In fact, I got the DVD because something inside of the message resonated. Most of the reviews I read were filled with vitriol for the most in part, because of the director’s usually heavy-handed approach to Christian movies. However, it was also clear that some reviewers think the concept of Spiritual Warfare is nothing more than fantasy and Elizabeth should have just got a divorce and left instead of dealing with all of it.
As a Christian of Apostolic faith, I am on the fence. I do believe that once abuse rears it’s head into a relationship, safety comes first. Tony was never physically abusive. Both of them became more and more shut off from each other as they dived into their jobs. The feeling of love was no longer a thing to them. We actually see Tony slowly gear up for a potential affair and Elizabeth almost completely ignores her daughter’s well-being at some point. This is a very real situation. Sometimes we get so lost in our daily lives, we forget to cherish our loved ones.
I am true to the belief that if you come to God with questions, He will answer. The moment a relationship becomes physically abusive, I am hard-pressed to believe God will tell you to stay in that. I’ve prayed about harmful situations (emotionally abusive) from friends, family, and relationships before; God told me to move on. I have always had signs for me to get out of bad situations for me, but many times I didn’t see my warnings and escape routes.
Miss Clara brings up the concept of a War Room. A place where you can go, pray, and be in solitude with the Lord. In this room, you’d put up bible verses that resonate and prayer requests. This is where you talk to God about your battles and leave what you can up to Him. The War Room is a reference to a room where military experts come together and make strategic plans for battle. In the context of Spiritual Warfare, this reference made the difference between me wanting to turn the movie off and enjoying it. Plus, Miss Clara reminds me of my Grandma sometimes.
My teachings always talked about how we are constantly under spiritual attack. Not just from Satan, but the principalities of the world. They say Satan, the world, and your flesh are in league together. That you are in the world but not “of” the world. I was also told that the husband is the covering of the household. That it is often that for the Devil to attack a family, he goes for the husband first to break through the covering. These concepts are present in War Room throughout.
Both Tony and Elizabeth get lost in their work. Tony is so caught up in the financial success and accolades he receives, he decides to take a little extra for himself. He starts to drift away from his family, especially after losing his job. Tony drifting weighs on Elizabeth heavily as she doesn’t feel the spark or support anymore. This eventually even trickles down to Danielle. The whole family was nearly destroyed due to the husband’s weakness, his Pride.
The importance of the movie isn’t in the characters but the message. The message is that sometimes the biggest obstacles to overcome aren’t financial but mental and spiritual. That communication and openness to work together can help people overcome insurmountable opposition. It also shows that prayer can help. I don’t know if it is as dramatic as a 2-hour movie can show, but I do believe it changes things. I’ve prayed so hard sometimes that I was surprised God gave me what I asked for so quickly.
I also do want to highlight Elizabeth’s power in this situation. Women are often the glue families and I’ve had plenty prayer warriors in my life. I am continuously amazed by the amount of strength women have and the faith they constantly exercise. I will also say that as a man, women often act as our conscious. When we get off track, sometimes it’s a woman who has to go get us from eating bugs with a warthog and meerkat in the jungle to come home and be the leader we are supposed to be.
The movie itself is okay but the message moved me. I want someone to not give up on me but pray for me. I want the first choice of how to fight is to pray. This is not a one-sided thing either, I must come to God before I make many of my choices, then consult with my spouse and so on. I enjoyed War Room because it reminded me that you never go into battle unprepared or alone. Together, we can will any war.
Do you have a war room? Any particular scripture or passage that you would particularly keep front and center? Any thoughts about the concept or feelings that you would like to share? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.