Help for churches that want to make prayer more foundational to their entire ministry
War Room: A 30-Day Boot Camp Response
By Kathy Branzell
As a prayer coordinator for my church, I saw the movie War Room, and it was an answer to prayer! War Room brought the opportunity to inform and inspire my church family and Christians around the world to pray fervently, strategically, and faithfully.
With tear-filled eyes and choked-up voices, people in theaters all over have declared, “I want to learn to pray like that!” The challenge is taking those raw emotions and heightened desperation of wanting to “pray like that” from the theater to the prayer closet.
There are amazing follow-up materials for small group studies and a personal prayer journal written by Alex and Stephen Kendrick that are available from Lifeway Publishers. The timing of our small group launch did not allow us to use the materials right away. Therefore, I felt the need to grab on to the passion inspired by the movie before movie-goers gave up on the idea of “praying like Miss Clara.” I prayed, asking God how I could not only prompt a deeper, strategic prayer life in my church family, but also help them build a habit of “War Room” prayer with daily practice—a prayer “boot camp.”
I started thinking about how I could give my church family a guide to start praying the minute the movie credits ended. It had to break down the steps and build powerful prayer closet habits. This 30-day prayer boot camp recalls a quote from the movie, and then adds a short teaching on how to start filling your own War Room with Scripture and strategies for every area of your life.
Thirty Days of Prayer
The following is Day 1 and part of Day 2 of the 30-day boot camp. The rest of the prayer guide can be found at prayerconnect.net. This is a free resource to help you build on the motivation of wanting to grow and strengthen your prayer life, even if you have not seen the movie yet. Of course, I encourage you to see the movie and to purchase the resources.
Day 1: Elizabeth begins reading the papers taped to Clara’s closet and asks Clara, “You wrote prayers for every area of your life?” Clara replies, “Yes! A prayer strategy!”
In a recent interview, Alex Kendrick said, “We have plans for everything—careers, finances, health. But what about a strategy for prayer for our lives, our spouses, and our children?” This movie and that interview prompted me to put together this 30-day prayer calendar of how to create your personal prayer strategy and “War Room.”
The strategy begins by examining your circumstances right now, and visualizing how things should be—and could be. As you pray over these relationships and responsibilities, write down plans and procedures for getting from here to there.
This means producing a prayer strategy so that God can take you from where you are to where He wants you to be. Prayer clears the path to God’s best for your life: His best plans, best opportunities and blessings, His best path and provision for His glory, and His Kingdom purpose in your life.
After seeing War Room, many people will want to immediately pinpoint a place of prayer, a “War Room,” in their home, and possibly even a secondary “War Room” in their church, school campus, and workplace. Begin to pray about this and write down your commitment to God to be more specific and strategic in prayer. Ask Him to show you where you can start your prayer closet/War Room. It does not necessarily mean emptying your closet, but we all have a space that we can repurpose, even if it is shared space. Many times a “War Room” must be disguised as a mild-mannered linen closet or storage closet.
Sometimes we get to post our strategy and Scriptures on the wall, and sometimes we have to keep them secured in a notebook or box that we carry into prayer each day. The important thing is to commit and be consistent; let prayer grow and guide you.
Each day of this calendar will add an opportunity to post something new to grow and sow into your prayer strategy. The devil does not have a fighting chance if you let God do your fighting for you. Start today (Prov. 20:18).
Day 2: Miss Clara cried out in her powerful prayer, “Lord, we need an army of believers who will stand on Your Word above all else. Lord, call us to battle! Raise them up, Lord! Raise them up!” Before an army can be shipped into battle, they have to go through boot camp or some sort of training. God needs to train us up in order to raise us up, as we volunteer to be soldiers in His army. . . .
(For more of the prayer strategy, click here.)
KATHY BRANZELL is the founder and CEO/president of Fellowship and Christian Encouragement (FACE) for Educators. She is also a member of the National Day of Prayer Task Force and America’s National Prayer Committee.