Provision Through Prayer
On Aug. 28, 2015, we had the privilege of releasing a feature film entitled WAR ROOM into U.S. theaters and over a dozen international markets. The movie introduces viewers to the concept that prayer can be a powerful weapon that will positively impact every area of our lives. In WAR ROOM, an elderly widow named Miss Clara shows a young woman her "wall of remembrance" in the foyer of her house. It's a collage of pictures that serve as mementos of specifically answered prayers in her life.
This concept was more than a plot point and artistic license for us. Answered prayer was featured in living color in our home and church growing up. Our mom still tells the story of when she was six years old and huddled under their kitchen table watching our grandmother cry out to God for protection as a tornado hit their property. Afterward, they walked out to damaged buildings, fallen power lines, and uprooted oak trees around them, but their house was left untouched.
During the 1990s, we watched our father, who didn't have the money, books, or classrooms launch an independent, private Christian school through prayer. They just celebrated their 25th anniversary. Once, when he needed funds to rent a modular classroom, Dad prayed for the $7,000 needed to set it up. A few days later, a married couple, unaware of the need, dropped by his office said, "We believe God is leading us to give this to you." The man placed a check written out for $7,000 on dad's desk. Not a penny more or less than what dad had requested. Not a year too early or a month too late. We were in awe.
In 2002, following in our father's footsteps, we were privileged to launch a faith-based movie ministry through our church with no money, no professional experience, and no film school training. But we had learned that God could provide at every level, and so we laid every need before Him at each phase of the production.
Now, after 13 years, five films, and international distribution in 76 countries, we continue to be in awe of God's precise provision in response to specific prayer. Each film has been the result, not of our adequacy, but of a string of one answered prayer after another. Now, in our office at Kendrick Brothers Productions, hangs our own wall of remembrance. Eighteen photos that remind us of some of our favorite stories of answered prayer.
Incredible provision. Unbelievable direction. Impossible odds. We laugh and have yet to see God fail us.
This concept is not new. The greatest men and women in the Bible were always people of prayer. Abraham lived by faith, but was guided by prayer, and the nations of the world, even today, are still affected by those decisions. It was Isaac's prayerful intercession that resulted in the birth of Jacob — who became the father of the twelve tribes of Israel (Gen. 25:21). Moses spoke with God "as a man speaks to his friend" and received God's revelation for his leadership decisions (Ex. 33:11). The world still has the Torah and the timeless guidance of the Ten Commandments as fruit of it.
Nehemiah's prayers resulted in Israel miraculously rebuilding the city walls of Jerusalem in record time. You can visit Jerusalem, as we have, and see a portion of Nehemiah's wall still standing today.
From Joseph to Jeremiah, Hannah to Hosea, the Scriptures are replete with people who discovered that God really does listen and respond to those who approach Him in faith.
Yet, we believe Jesus Christ remains the ultimate model and master of prayer. He would rise early or stay up late to pray. As His popularity was exploding, He would "often slip away to the wilderness and pray" (Luke 5:15-16).
His first fully recorded sermon in the Scriptures explains the fundamentals of how to pray (Matt. 5-7). He gifted the world with the greatest model prayer known to mankind (Matt. 6:9-13) and later prayed the most powerful, priestly prayer of all time (John 17). As He threw the crooked moneychangers out of the temple, He shouted, "My house shall be called a house of prayer" (Matt. 21:12-13). Before laying down His life and even while suffering on a Roman cross, Jesus continued to make prayer His priority.
We believe that answered prayers are not extreme coincidences. They are fingerprints of a living, loving God who is inviting anyone willing to trust Him by faith to draw close and enter into a relationship with the One who made us and "is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:27-28).
Prayer is not merely a ritual or a religious experience. It is about a relationship with a person — God Himself. When it is merely a selfish means to access the provision or protection of God rather than about knowing and pleasing the Person of God, then we are missing the point. But when the priority becomes to connect in a loving relationship with Him — one on One — we have seen that God will cause prayer to also help us experience the powerful provision of everything we need in such a way that ultimately brings us great joy and gives Him great glory.
Published in the Washington Times, November 30, 2015.