Generally, our Shepherd Project movie discussions are written with the aim to help you find spiritual connections in film. They help you find ways to take a movie with no overt (or intended) spiritual message and find one, and then engage in discussions with others about it. There’s not the same need for us to help you discover connections when a movie is like War Room. Its Christian message isn’t hidden. You won’t need help to find ways to have meaningful discussions after you leave this movie; I can pretty much guarantee that! There wasn’t a dry eye in our theater. The movie is powerful and moving.
There are a lot of great resources already out there to help you take advantage of the movie. The movie website itself has a page dedicated to equipping you. http://warroommovieresources.com/ These resources are pretty in-depth: prayer journals, etc., similar to the Love Dare resource from the Fireproof movie.
But, in case you are looking for something quicker to help you have some conversations (especially if you haven’t already seen the movie but still want to talk to someone else who has)… here is a little something to get you jumpstarted!
Know who the real enemy is
Elizabeth and her husband, Tony, are fighting. Elizabeth thinks Tony is the enemy until her mentor, Miss Clara, points out that there is a real enemy, and it’s not Tony. This is partly why prayer for her marriage is so important, because it allows her to fight against the real enemy who is destroying their marriage. Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
- How might you pray differently about things if you recognized that your real enemy is not flesh and blood, but Satan and the forces of darkness?
- How might you respond to your earthly struggles (and the people that go with them) differently if you didn’t see them as the enemy anymore?
No one likes Lukewarm
Miss Clara asks Elizabeth about her spiritual life. She explains with some pride that she is religious, but not fanatical. Miss Clara then serves Elizabeth some coffee, lukewarm, which grosses Elizabeth out. Miss Clara then quips, “People drink their coffee hot or cold. Nobody likes it lukewarm. Not even the Lord.” Point taken. For some reason, we have come to pride ourselves in being lukewarm religiously because no one likes a fanatic, but in War Room, we see how ridiculous this really is. We see Elizabeth’s and Tony’s transformations for the better when they transition from being lukewarm to sold out and on fire. Their lives are much the better for it.
- How did things change for the better when Elizabeth and Tony stopped being lukewarm?
- Why does lukewarm seem like a virtue? What does God really feel about it? Revelation 3:16 “So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
Change of Focus
Elizabeth gets together with Miss Clara and unloads all of her pent-up frustration and hurt surrounding her husband. Miss Clara wisely asks her, “How much of the one hour we have today are we going to spend whining about your husband or learning what God can do about it?” She wanted to change Elizabeth’s focus from her circumstances to her God. When she thought about God, she was able to see that God could change her circumstances. God could move in Tony’s heart. God could give her grace and change her heart. God could do anything…but first she had to stop focusing on her circumstances and start looking to God. It’s the first step of prayer and of worship.
- How much of your time do you spend focusing on your circumstances versus focusing on God and His ability to change your circumstances?
- How might your hope and your attitude change if you shifted your focus? How might your prayer life change?
Know your job
Miss Clara helped Elizabeth understand her job as a wife. “It’s your job to love him, to respect him, to pray for the man, [not to fix him]… Pray and ask God to do what only He can do and then get out of the way so He can do it.” Elizabeth had been trying to fix and control Tony. When she stopped trying to control him, fix him, change him, she was freed up to both pray for him and love him, unconditionally, as he was. Unconditional love itself is a powerful agent of change. It took away the fight and allowed him to get off the defensive. It freed Tony up to respond and to change. It allowed Tony to hear God when his ears weren’t so full with hearing his wife. Everything began to change when Elizabeth learned her job.
- How did things change when Elizabeth stopped trying to do what wasn’t her job (fixing her husband) and started focusing on what she could and should be doing as a wife (loving, respecting and praying for her husband)?
- Are there people in your life you are trying to control? How might your relationship with them improve if you change your approach and stop trying to fix/control/change and start loving, respecting and praying for them instead?
- How do we sometimes get in God’s way of what He’s trying to do with someone?