Can you remember a time in a neighborhood movie theater when the deeply-moved audience erupted into unexpected applause on the last note of a film?
Me? I can count these rare marvels on three fingers.
The first time, it happened at an exquisite Hollywood production (Shadowlands) taking us into the lives, sorrows and emerging love shared between C.S. Lewis and his wife Joy. (Not only did the audience clap for two minutes when this wrenching beauty came to an end, but stood in lengthy ovation as to a live play.)
Two, at a sweet sleeper called Uncle Nino – (I think I went to see this one at least three times because of a then-local campaign, including the actor and writer who literally appeared live beside our seats at the end, to appeal for our help in spreading the word and bringing back wholesome, gentle movies such as this non-ostentatious gem).
And then this Saturday, I heard it once again.
That stirring sound beginning with one clap and spreading three to twenty to fifty uplifted pairs of hands, enthusiastically – like a light victory-banner thrown up into the air, to billow and fall soft as a blessing over all of us there,
We were at the 2nd week’s showing of the newest (and I think, THE ABSOLUTE BEST SO FAR) movie by the Kendrick Brothers (of Facing the Giants, Fireproof, Courageous fame) — just come to its exhilarating, inspiring, heart-spurring end.
I’d been wanting to see this movie since it debuted on August 28th, but been putting it off in favor of settling back here at home after this near year away. Too much to do… still. Walking through the mall Saturday, feeling overwhelmed by something I’ve been praying so long for, I was silently begging the Holy Spirit for leading in my prayers. For strengthening of heart and faith to hold onto. What do you want me to do from here? I queried.
His prompting seemed to come swiftly. Go to the movie… now, this afternoon.
I checked my watch. Mm… already 1:45. I didn’t even know the showtimes. And most likely, Lord, it’s already in progress, I dallied. (No smartphones in my purse.) I could drive to the theater, but if it had already started I’d be waiting around for who knows how long. Back home to my computer, I found the times. I could make the next showing easy peasey – one hour to go.
Now, my own hands clapping, I knew why He’d sent me here today. For renewing of my prayer warrior heart to keep on. Not give up. To know God really does have my back.
- To recognize again that the problem can’t stand when we wield the Name of Jesus… and the enemy is a liar who is trying to get us to believe that all this disaster is just LIFE. That fear that we have to just succumb and surrender our hope. That instead of faith reaching out with a knowing the Lord will act on our behalf (like the woman with the issue of the blood and all those who came to Jesus in the bible), we think faith means just… endure it, somehow. The devil knows he is a liar, but he is counting on us not remembering that, not understanding our true authority given in prayer by the Lord.
- To return to the zeal of the kind of prayer He wants to lead us all in. Declaring His Word through our words. Understanding He has won us victory over the enemy of our souls – the one he has warned us comes to steal, rob and kill us through his lies… and that we need to kick him out! Take back our “land” under the Lord’s “colors” and stand in the gap for all we are lifting to Him, knowing He has told us – I surround you with songs of victory!
As the movie story opens, thirty-something Realtor Elizabeth, her husband and young daughter Danielle appear to have their lives in successful order, but underneath this family is reaching a point of boiling over. .. until the day Elizabeth meets the elderly Miss Clara, prayer warrior and mentor. There is a peace and joy in Miss Clara’s elegant home that immediately captures the frazzled Elizabeth, draws her to this woman who has lived through her own times of sorrow, widowhood, single-mothering yet exudes strength and light Elizabeth doesn’t even know she is yearning to have.
“I love your home,” Elizabeth breathes softly as Miss Clara leads her from one lovely, genteel room to another. (And to my own decorator-heart, that beautiful old Southern charmer caught me too! I found myself wanting to look round each room at the wall decorations, touch the pretty china bowls of roses and other flowers everywhere –reminded of the scalloped blue and white bowl I just this week put pink roses in – on my own side table – above… I loved touring every room of this house too! 🙂 )
“Want to know my favorite room?” Miss Clara tosses out, feigning nonchalance.
“Which one is it?” Elizabeth queries back, looking around.
Coyly, Miss Clara answers. “Come back, and I’ll tell you then…”
And in her coming back, so begins the mentoring relationship that is about to change Elizabeth’s life, unravel secrets, lead to healing and open her heart to renewed love for the Lord and for the people she had not realized she’d felt so wounded by…To lead her in a deeper way of praying God’s Heart over and in them. And to restoration she had not yet dreamed.
I’ve sometimes been disappointed by the amateur quality of many Christian inspirational films. But, truly…the acting in The War Room is excellent. The writing expert. The settings as good as any film you might see out there, without the excess budget. If there are some minute cheesy moments (clue: the shoes and the feet — you’ll get that when you see this) we can forgive them because of the genuine power and beauty in this movie portrayal. And even that schmaltzy bit comes back around to a lovely moment in the end.
Following Elizabeth and Clara, watching the way Elizabeth’s newfound prayer life spills over to her little daughter and marriage, seeing the power of Jesus’ Name over our prayers in action… well, it was like watching the Holy Spirit at work. Knowing his heart was so deeply in this movie as a call to all of us for a new wind of prayer revival in our churches and in our lands. Beginning one on one.
Has life seemed to be more turmoil or heartache than joy lately?
Have you felt a tug to deeper prayer, but just been so bent down under all that’s been going wrong?
Or simply been wanting something to lift your heart?
Then, I urge you not to wait on this must-see movie.
It refreshes with Truth. Spurs on Hope with Light. And reminds you how to put on your Heavenly armor and stand in knowing God has endued power behind His words in our mouth. If Adam and Eve had told the devil he was under their feet he would have had to flee. What God will do in and through us when we resist the devil and see him flee at Jesus’ Name!
This is a film that will leave you with a grin spreading across your face, a renewed sense of God’s Heart for all of us, and your own wash of exhilaration in prayer that dances like the double dutch!** (And then, as Miss Clara says to Elizabeth, you’ll find yourself wanting to share it with someone else!) 🙂
** Double Dutch – if you thought it was child’s play,
wait until you see the marvel of it at the end of this movie!
© Pam Depoyan
STILL SATURDAYS @SANDRAHESKAKING
SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS – @SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS