By Paul Bremmer
The wait is finally over.
“War Room,” the new Christian drama from Kendrick Brothers Productions, is hitting theaters across the U.S. on Friday.
Co-directors and co-writers Alex and Stephen Kendrick, known for films such as “Facing the Giants” and “Courageous,” believe their latest work is their best.
“‘War Room’ is filled with heart like our other films,” Stephen told WND. “Like our other films, you’re gonna laugh, you’re gonna cry, be caught up with the story and inspired by messages from Scripture that hopefully will enrich your own life.”
Alex said he and Stephen spent a lot of time praying for guidance regarding the film’s emphasis, and the answer was that it should be about prayer itself.
“[God] pointed us to the power of prayer, and even the weapon that prayer can be, and the fact that we need to go seek Him first and do our battles first in prayer,” Alex told WND.
The concept of prayer as a battle inspired the movie’s title, according to Alex. Just as military commanders plan their strategy in a war room before they hit the battlefield, the Kendricks believe Christians must go into their prayer closets and pray before going outside and living out the gospel.
Alex cited Matthew 6:6, where Jesus instructs his followers on how to pray: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
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Said Alex: “We want to call the church and remind them of the crucial priority that prayer should be in your life for every area. You can pray about anything. But spend that time exclusively with the Lord, undistracted, before we fight our battles in life.”
The Kendricks have both served as Baptist pastors.
“You can shut up all the world’s arguments with a true demonstration of God’s power, and prayer is a demonstration of the power of God,” Stephen said. “Jesus said if we abide in Him and His words abide in us, we can pray and ask and He will work and move mightily on our behalf.”
Stephen pointed to some historical examples of the power of prayer. The biblical heroine Esther, he said, “completely rocked the political system” of her day after praying for three days and going in before her king. The Great Awakenings, he argued, transformed America after more and more Americans began praying.
The Kendricks argue now is a great time for Americans to turn to God through prayer, considering all the turmoil in the country.
“We believe that right now, the politics is not getting it done, more money is not getting it done, the fights and the racism, the cultural wars,” Stephen said. “We go back to, what does Scripture say God will do if we repent, if we as a nation will seek his face and humble ourselves and pray? He says he’ll heal our land. He says He’ll work. We see it in history. We see it in the Scripture. We believe He wants to do it now.”
The Kendricks urge everyone to take part in the 9/11 National Day of Prayer and Repentance. Held every year on Sept. 11, the event calls on Americans to heed the words of 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their sinful ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.”
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The event is held on the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks because that day was a “national wake-up call” and “epitomized our dependence on God and our helplessness without Him,” according to 911DayofPrayer.org.
The Kendricks agree with the event’s founders that Americans have slipped into a pattern of immorality and need to pray for God’s mercy on them and on the country.
“God has worked miraculously in previous generations when believers united together across racial and denominational lines and began to cry out to Him on behalf of their nations,” Stephen stated. “The second and first Great Awakenings in America happened because believers were praying. We believe the time is now for believers to get desperate before the Lord and begin to cry out to Him based upon what is going on in our country.”
Stephen encourages people to see “War Room”before Sept. 11 so they can use it as a “catalyst of prayer” in preparation for the 9/11 Day of Prayer.
The brothers hope their film encourages Christians who might be distracted by petty differences such as worship styles to unify around Jesus as the only hope for the future.
“When we unify around the foundation of our faith, Jesus Christ the Son of God who died on the cross, rose from the grave – when we unify around that, and that is the greatest reason to unify, we can accomplish so much more as a body of Christ,” Alex said.
“War Room” is the fifth film the Kendricks have worked on together. Their previous efforts were “Flywheel” (2003), “Facing the Giants” (2006), “Fireproof” (2008) and “Courageous” (2011).
The movies have all dealt with Christian themes: “Facing the Giants” was about faith, “Fireproof” focused on love and “Courageous” dealt with courage and faith as a parent, Alex noted. But the brothers are most excited about “War Room,” which they say was filmed with a different cast, a different crew and at different locations.
Stephen said, “We think it’s the best one yet in so many ways, and so we’re asking the Lord to use it right now in people’s lives, and we’re looking forward to August 28.”