The director who helped bring “Courageous,” “Fireproof” and “Facing the Giants” to the big screen has a big goal for his next film: He wants to see Christians change the way they pray.
That director is Alex Kendrick, and his next movie, “War Room,” hits theaters Aug. 28 with a bright spotlight on the power of prayer. It tells the story of a middle-class couple in a big city whose marriage is falling apart—until an elderly woman (Miss Clara) enters the picture and helps transform the wife’s heart. Miss Clara is the quintessential prayer warrior, even going so far as to dedicate a large closet in her home solely to prayer. It’s her “war room”—the place where she goes to “do battle” in the spiritual realm. She lines the closet walls with notes, helping her remember not only for whom to pray but also reminding her of times in which God answered prayers.
“War Room” stars T.C. Stallings and Priscilla Shirer as the husband and wife, and Karen Abercrombie as Miss Clara. Kendrick also has a role.
“When I talk to other believers, almost all of them have something of a strategy for their finances, for their health, for their children’s education, for their retirement,” Kendrick told Refreshed. “But if you ask them, ‘What’s your strategy for prayer?’ they look at you funny. … They don’t have one.”
A Christian’s prayers, Kendrick said, tends to focus on matters such as healing and safety.
“Those are elementary prayers,” Kendrick said. “How do we get to the deeper things? … In this movie, we see a young wife being mentored by an elderly prayer warrior, who teaches her to fight the right way with the right weapons—which is first in prayer using the Word of God.”
Following Miss Clara’s lead, Shirer’s character empties a closet in her home and turns it into her own spiritual “war room.”
It’s the fifth film from Alex and his brother Stephen Kendrick, whose string of box office hits not only helped inspire other faith-based filmmakers but also motivated Hollywood to put more money behind such projects. “Fireproof” and “Courageous” opened in the Top 5 at the box office, with the latter film opening at No. 1 on the first weekend in per-theater average.
B&H Publishing is partnering with the Kendricks to release a book by them, “The Battle Plan for Prayer,” along with a War Room Bible Study and a War Room Church Campaign Kit.
The movie features an African American family in the lead roles—something that excites Stallings.
“And I like the fact that it shows us winning against issues and sin and problem—as opposed to someone dying or we’re going to a funeral,” he said, referencing mainstream films. “We’re victorious, we’re victorious through Christ. Maybe some families will say, ‘We can do that, too.’ An African American family in a rough neighborhood, or even a good neighborhood, they can say, ‘We can come out of this if we pray.’ No matter what our color is, prayer is the answer.”
War Room contains no sexual scenes, coarse language or violence, and is rated PG for thematic elements. Learn more at www.warroomthemovie.com.
— by Michael Foust
Foust is an editor and writer. Visit his blog at MichaelFoust.com