In the movie The War Room, Christians are again force fed the pablum that God will miraculously save a marriage if one of the partners just prays hard enough (kind of a repeat of Fireproof). I’ve written before about free will and the other partner’s choice to choose good or evil no matter how hard the faithful spouse prays, so I’ll skip that lecture and get to my point…
My War Room looks different than the happy endings of Christian films. My War Room has a lot of unanswered prayers, and a lot of images of people who chose to follow their own flesh instead of God. My War Room has images of women battered internally as well as externally. My War Room has bodies of children broken to pieces by ISIS, refugees from Syria who have lost everything, and vague images of my Christian brothers and sisters imprisoned in slave labor camps in North Korea
My War Room is not pretty.
Because real war is not pretty.
Real war is bloody. Real war is nasty. There is evil in war.
I thought, until I spent time listening to the pretty stories from pulpits and Christian cinema and music, that we were in a battle against evil.
But, apparently not.
Apparently, all it takes is a simple but fervent prayer and suddenly, miraculously, all is well.
No more ISIS. No more North Korean dictators. No more abusive husbands.
That’s not real. That’s not war. That’s a sad false belief.
War is hell, prayer can be as well.
But we are called to it. We are called to be on our knees, literally and figuratively.
Pray without ceasing.
Watch and pray.
Pray always and don’t lose heart.
Pray in the Spirit at all times.
Persevere in prayer.
I don’t believe in happy endings for all prayers. There are some, those are sweet and precious. But we are in battle, in battle there are casualties. We can’t save everyone, and we should never promise others they can. If we do, we run the risk of running their faith into the ground when they realize that the miracle we promised in our sermon or film or song is not to be.
My War Room is ugly and filled with images of people who have chosen evil over good, and of their victims.
That’s real war.
That’s real prayer.
That’s real life.