August 19, 2022
Dear brothers and sister in Christ,
There is a battle for souls, including our own, and we are – or need to be – on the side of Jesus Christ. One of the most potent weapons we have in this war is, of course, prayer. Indeed, the very idea of a non-praying Christian is an oxymoron. If we aspire to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, if we aspire to the salvation of our own soul and that of others, we have to pray. But how to pray and where to pray? In this 33rd Disciples Together on the Way challenge, I want to introduce you to the concept of a War Room.
The 2015 movie War Room features actress Priscilla Shirer as the main character, Elizabeth Jordan. Elizabeth is a successful realtor with a family life that appears to be the picture of worldly success. And yet, behind the façade, her marriage to her husband, Tony, is strained and heading for the rocks. It is then that Elizabeth encounters the elderly Miss Clara Williams who wishes her to sell her home. Miss Clara senses the stress Elizabeth is under and suggests that Elizabeth fight for her marriage by praying for her husband. She shows Elizabeth a special closet in her home that she has dedicated for praying. Miss Clara calls her “War Room”. As she puts it: "in order to stand up and fight the enemy, you need to get on your knees and pray.”
How does the film end? I would encourage you to watch it and find out. Why? Because we all have people in our lives who need an intense amount of prayer. Maybe it’s a loved one who has fallen away from the Catholic Faith completely or is on the way out.
Hence, this week’s challenge is to pray for that person each day. We are continuing our discipleship of intercessory prayer. But this week’s focus is on someone in deep spiritual need.
I would also encourage you to create your own “War Room”. It could be a special place or perhaps just a particular time of day that you spend in intercessory prayer. Bring this sister or brother in spiritual need to that place or time each day in prayer for that person. Try spending some quiet time in the presence of the Lord if that is possible. Really focus on that one person for whom you are praying. Take that person to Christ in prayer. Prayer is not the only thing you can do for that person but it’s the most important thing you can do. It’s also the place where you’ll be given divine light as to anything more you can or should do – and then the grace, strength, and courage to go and do it. So, enjoy your week in the War Room.
I’ll see you again when you emerge next week. In the meantime, may God bless you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Yours in Christ,
+ Earl Boyea
Bishop of Lansing