I have a confession: I had a real attitude towards Chris Fabry’s War Room. I almost didn’t give it a chance, I just assumed I was going to hate it.
War Room was recently made into a movie and it’s received a significant amount of praise, or what I like to refer to as “hype”. It even beat the widely popular mainstream non-Christian movie, “Divergent” in the box office. For a little Christian film, this is HUGE news.
I always tend to get an attitude towards books that receive a lot of hype especially if they’ve been made into movies, simply because they usually fail to meet my expectations. It’s a lot of hype and it’s just a trend, not something that’s actually good. Usually the best books are the ones no one ever acknowledges.
I also am a bit embarrassed to admit it now, but I thought the whole concept behind War Room sounded stupid. A whole book about people that pray and a woman that has her own prayer room? How on earth did they even manage to make a movie out of this? Sounds like a real snooze-fest, if you ask me…
But my mom was really excited about War Room and told me I had to read it, so even though I made up my mind ahead of time that the book was going to be stupid and a waste of my time to read, I still decided to give it a chance.
The first few chapters of the book were a little slow and I was unsure if this would turn out to be the disappointment I expected it to be or if I should continue on. Something in the back of my mind told me to keep reading, so I did. I have recently ended my relationship with my boyfriend of a year. Some of the conflicts between the main character, Elizabeth, and her husband, Tony, reminded me of some of the issues between my now-ex boyfriend and I. My ex and I were obviously not able to work past our issues, but I wanted to see how Elizabeth and Tony would work on their issues and I was rooting for them to work it out. I kept reading on because even though the arguing got annoying and repetitive initially, I was intrigued.
I loved the character of Miss Clara, too. Her faith was amazing. That is the kind of Christian I want to be and I think we as christians should all strive to be more like. I loved the way she devoted her life to the lord and was so faithful and obedient to him. She prayed ceaselessly just as the bible directed her to do. I love that she prayed for EVERYONE, not just her family and friends. She even prayed for people she didn’t really know and she pretty much prayed that the lord would bring more people to her to pray for. And prayer was never just a one-time thing for her, it was a daily event and she made a point to develop relationships with those she prayed for and to follow up on the prayer requests, never ceasing in prayer until after the requests were met and addressed. This inspired and moved me tremendously. It made me reconsider how I prayed, who I prayed for, and how often I prayed. I wanted to become a prayer warrior just as Miss Clara did.
The concept of the prayer room amazed me, too. I never considered having a designated area of the home specifically for prayer, but it sounded like a beautiful concept and I began to think in my mind about how I could make one in my home like Miss Clara’s. I love how the writer described the room, I could see vivid pictures of it in my mind and I was encouraged to make a room of my home just like it. I’m not sure that I have room in my home now to make a full-fledge prayer room like Miss Clara’s, but I have made the living room my daily prayer area each morning and I am beginning to think that in the future when it comes time to buy my own home, that may be something I’d like to create.
When I first heard of War Room I made the common mistake that many other Christians and individuals in general tend to make. I dismissed prayer as being something Christians were supposed to do, kind of like a rule. But I failed to see how powerful it really could be. I obviously didn’t notice the subtitle of War Room which is printed in smaller letters beneath the main title, Prayer is a Powerful Weapon. But this book demonstrated it to me tenfold.
Things looked very bleak for Elizabeth and Tony in the beginning of the novel. Tony was a horrible person and Elizabeth was no saint, either. Divorce seemed inevitable and their daughter, Danielle, appeared to already be broken up by it. The family was falling apart and things only seemed to be getting worst with Tony’s unfaithfulness and the lost of his job. But when you’re down to nothing, God is always up to something. With the power of prayer, Elizabeth and Tony were able to restore their marriage and their relationship with their daughter, Tony was able to find a better job, and they were all able to come out stronger than ever before.
I like too that War Room never came off as being too preachy or cliched. I enjoy Christian novels and movies a great deal, but some of them can come off as being a little unrealistic or cliched. War Room showed Christians precisely how they are on a daily basis: imperfect, broken sinners, some of which didn’t really know God like they said they did. But through prayer, God was working through them and helping them to become better people. It didn’t mean they were perfect. Even Miss Clara who throughout most of the book carried the image as the perfect Christian wasn’t without fault, as the novel showed in the end. This is what helps to make the characters more easy to relate and connect to. Simply put, they are real christians and above all else, real people, too.
War Room, a book I was so sure I wasn’t going to like initially, surprisingly gets 5 out of 5 stars from me. This is one of those books that I’d consider to be life-changing. It did its job well; it encouraged me to get down on my knees, pray, and get closer to God.
Only one question remains now…when can I see the movie and how will it match up to the book?