The Power of Prayer

The movie, “War Room” is about a family – Tony, Elizabeth, and Danielle, who on the surface, have it all.  They have a beautiful home, a beautiful daughter, plenty of money, and a seemingly, perfect marriage.  However, things begin to crumble when Tony is tempted by a beautiful woman whom he has dinner with and is then invited to her apartment while away on a business trip. In the meantime, his wife who is a realtor, meets an elderly woman who wants to sell her house so that she can move in with her son.

My favorite scene in the movie is when this woman invites Elizabeth to have a cup of coffee.  She asked Elizabeth if she went to church.  Elizabeth responds, “Sometimes.”  She then brings Elizabeth a cup of coffee.  When Elizabeth takes a sip, she complains that her coffee is cold.  The woman says, her coffee is hot!  And, she then tells Elizabeth – you don’t like your coffee “lukewarm,” nor does God like his relationship with you – Lukewarm.

The story is about prayer and the power of prayer.  This woman full of wisdom designates a closet in her home where she goes to pray – to fight against evil and prays for God’s will in people’s lives. She calls this room in her home, her “War Room.”

Jesus in on the mountain where he is preaching the Beatitudes – a sermon of how we are to live our lives – It’s full of “do this” and “don’t do that’s.”  He talks about adultery, divorce, keeping promises, retaliation, how you should treat others, and how you are blessed if you are persecuted if on His account.

And so, this text is a continuation of this sermon while Jesus is on the mountain – people gathered all around him, asking him questions about how they should live their lives and what to do in certain situations. It starts out with Jesus telling us how we are to always be humble – to not practice piety – like we are better than others. When you give for charity – don’t let others know what you have done – keep it to yourself because God will know your good works.

Jesus also talks about prayer. Prayer is a very sacred thing.  Don’t stand on the street corner so that on the surface you look like a saint – but that prayer is between you and God. Go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. It doesn’t have to be a lot of words because God already knows what you need – And, then Jesus teaches them how to pray and the words to say.

Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name –Name above all names – God is our priority – holy and central – Our main concern in this life is that we treat God as God – God is and God is honored and has been made known to us through Jesus Christ.

Your Kingdom Come…To bring God’s Kingdom to here on earth is to hear the Word of God, believe in Jesus Christ who will lead you naturally to “practicing and applying the Gospel” to your everyday life.

Your will be done…What is the will of God?  Well, I believe it is Jesus’ sermon on the Mount – The blessing of the poor, the merciful, deep respect for other people, and living our faith in the rewarding reality – the importance of God, our Father so that we may be able to live as single-minded Christians. God will choose to use us to do His works in the world – God’s will is practiced – not our will.

Give us this day our daily bread –We pray not only for our spiritual bread, but also for the physical bread for our physical bodies.  We pray that all are fed – even Jesus fed the thousands of people with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish – However, as Christians this should perk up when we pray this petition – For this is a prayer for social justice – that all may be fed with the “Bread of Life” – the life that is truly life that only be obtained through Jesus Christ.

And forgive us our failures as we, too, forgave those who failed us. The abundance of grace.  Give and forgive.  Give us physically what we need in order to live like humans; then please forgive us spiritually those things that we do or don’t do so that we can really live as humans – free of guilt.  Food is humanity’s priority need, but forgiveness is humanity’s profoundest need.

And don’t let us be led into any temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Satan is constantly luring us toward his mines and pits and it is only God who can snatch us away and rescue us and free us from destruction.  We pray that God will lead us in such a way that we will be able to resist the temptations that surround us – please Lord, swoop down and rescue us from the evil in the world –Lord, we need your help!

Jesus’ prayer that he teaches the people is the ‘perfect’ prayer – It embraces everything that is important in life.  The Lord’s prayer begins with the Father and ends with the devil.  So, why pray then if God already knows what we need?

Well, I too have sort of a War Room in my home.  It’s where I go to be alone.  It’s where I go to pray.  In my “war” room, I have some a reminder about prayer: “Prayer changes things.”

No doubt, that if were to watch the movie, “War Room,” you witness in this story the power of prayer, especially when Tony loses his job because he was stealing prescription samples and selling them on the street for extra money. This seemingly perfect family was on the verge of losing everything – their home, their money, and their marriage.

Through prayer, Elizabeth prays for her husband and while she has every reason to break off her marriage with Tony, she does the unthinkable and forgives him and loves him, in spite of his wrongdoing.

The transformation in Elizabeth is powerful to witness!  She goes from a “Lukewarm” relationship with Jesus to a relationship that is “ON FIRE!”  The Spirit is active in her life who guides her into doing the will of God – “If you forgive other their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you –

But, I think I want a new sign in my war room!  – It is not that “Prayer Changes Things.”  It is Jesus Christ who changes us through prayer – our relationship with Jesus changes when we are in communication with him. Prayer gathers us into Him.  It creates a bond.  Prayer builds relationship with our Lord and Savior.

Jesus empties us of our pride, hate, and anger, and fills our hearts with his Grace, Mercy, and Forgiveness…Through prayer, we are transformed into the likeness of Christ.

Jesus Christ then becomes our treasure by “Living a Life in Christ.”

A Life that is truly life.

About pastorterrihttps://pastorterri.wordpress.comI serve as the pastor at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Augusta, GA.

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