Are We Experiencing a National Interest in Prayer?

What’s up with prayer being such a hot topic at the box office this weekend?  War Room, the latest movie from Alex Kendrick, focuses on prayer as an ultimate weapon, no matter what the battle. “The Christian drama topped the four-day Labor Day weekend with $12.6 million in just over 1,500 theaters, according to box-office tracking firm Rentrak. Made on a budget of just $3.5 million, the PG-rated film has earned $27.9 million in just two weekends of release.” (Patrick Ryan in USA, September 7, 2015)

The burning question is why?  Amidst the shouting of “no prayer in school or public places” people in droves are now buying tickets to a movie about prayer? Sure, many of those are Christians who already believe in prayer. They want to support and celebrate prayer coming to the big screen.  But that doesn’t explain it all.  

Almost daily, the news tells us of yet another murder.  Police are being gunned down. They’re not in the line of duty. They die only because they are police. Our nation is carrying a threatening debt.  Shifting values have created a confusing instability. What is a family? Why are marriages in such a struggle? How can ISIS recruit young people so easily? There’s no place like home has a hollow ring to it. Are we scared? Overwhelmed?

Or, could we be waking up? We have a natural tendency to think we can do anything. We can solve any problem. We are equal to any challenge. Self-sufficiency, rooted in sin’s misguided security, fertilizes thinking like that. But some of the brightest minds and those most blindly convinced we can handle it, are likely beginning to wonder if that’s clearly not true. 

Could these lines at the theater indicate many are beginning to see their need of God? Is there an awakening that we need someone bigger than ourselves? War Room does not present prayer as a empty spiritual exercise. It demonstrates prayer as talking with the mighty God who is able to do things we never imagined possible. Are more and more people grasping their need to join that conversation? If so, I am hopeful.  

Author: Randy J. Gauger

Follower of Jesus Christ, Mary's husband for 55 years, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, preacher, ordained American Baptist Pastor retired, writer.

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