Making use of our strongest weapon
by Don Morris
The most recent Kendrick brothers’ movie, War Room, tells the story of a young family in crisis because of a disconnected marriage. The wife, played by Priscilla Shirer, evangelist Tony Evans’ daughter, is shattered by her husband’s flirtation with infidelity and is searching for answers. She finds them through an older woman, a new client in her real estate business, who leads her to begin earnestly praying for her marriage and family. War Room is one of those movies that elicits a lot of emotion. When I watched it at a local theater, most in the audience were shedding tears. I had to get a tissue out for myself.
The movie centers on prayer as a powerful life-changer and is being lauded by some as perhaps the beginning of a prayer movement in our American churches. Many, myself included, are detecting the growth of more and more dedication to prayer in our local churches. I am observing this passion become a greater emphasis with pastors, particularly millennial pastors. I also believe that this movement will continue to accelerate among dedicated and spiritually alive churches across the country.
When I was pastoring Pine Acres Church in Weatherford, Okla., we often held church-wide days of prayer and fasting. Those were wonderful experiences as the church came together to pray fervently for a particular ministry or for the lost in our community. I remember countless expressions of wonder as people shared how God was working in their life in truly amazing ways. Miracles were not uncommon.
However, my personal view is that far too often followers of Jesus underestimate the power of prayer. At times, it’s almost as if we take prayer for granted and only offer up uninspired peripheral prayers. It becomes what we are supposed to do, and we don’t necessarily have faith that our prayers will make a huge difference. But when people and churches begin to pray with conviction, intentionality, regularity and real faith—marvelous things happen.
In part, I believe we need to do more praying in our churches, specifically for people who don’t yet know Jesus. Pray names out loud. Take before God the names of people who are headed for an eternity apart from him and fight for them in prayer. We must realize that this is a war. It’s a war against Satan, the enemy, who wants to keep us passive and restrained in our prayer life. He doesn’t want us to focus our prayers for people who are unsaved. He knows that prayer is dynamic and changes the outcome of the battle.
Let’s allow God to generate transforming prayer knowledge and prayer hunger within us and within our churches. Let’s habitually go to the war room and carry those people who we know are lost before the throne of God. Let’s go to battle. Prayer is a strong, strong weapon!