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Prayer and Fasting

MOVIES THAT INSPIRE

The 33 (mature audiences)

War Room

Have you ever faced the impossible?

One of the greatest miracles is portrayed in The 33, a movie based on the true story of thirty-three miners trapped 2,300 feet deep in a north Chilean mine in 2010. They’re faced with only three days of food, practically no water, and a piece of rock the weight of two Empire State buildings sealing their exit and pressing down on their location for sixty-nine days.

One miner, Mario Sepúlveda (Antonio Banderas) extols them to fast and hope. Another of the men is an evangelical minister, José Henríquez (Marco Treviño), who prays in the name of Jesus, leads an alcoholic miner to Christ, and, along with Mario, gives the miners hope. On the day their food runs out, they have visions of the sacrament of communion.

While The 33 shows the most extreme of circumstances, War Room portrays a more common but still often intractable and impossible problem—a marriage destroyed by selfishness, infidelity, and deception. A wonderful, wise, older woman named Clara (Karen Abercrombie) helps a disgusted and distraught wife, Elizabeth (Priscilla Shirer), learn the power of sacrifice and prayer to reunite with her husband, Tony (T.C. Stallings).

When faced with the incurable and impossible, Jesus said that these problems and demons can only be cast out with praying and fasting. In Matthew 17, the disciples are asked to cure a boy with seizures, perhaps epilepsy, but they can’t. “The disciples approached Jesus privately and said, ‘Why couldn’t we drive it out?’ ‘Because of your little faith,’ He told them. ‘For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. [However, this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting]’ ” (Matthew 17:19–21 HCSB).

In 1990, Dr. Bill Bright called together many Christian leaders and asked them to fast and pray for the country for forty days. I thought to myself, Fast? I’m a teddy bear. You think teddy bears want to fast? This is ridiculous. I enjoy food. I’m not gonna do this.

Then about a month later, my pastor called on all the congregation to fast and pray for forty days. This time I thought, I don’t want to do this, but this is getting too close for comfort. Then I got an audiotape in the mail calling me to fast and pray for forty days.

So I fasted and prayed for forty days, and miracles happened. We produced a big event in Hollywood called the Annual Movieguide® Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry to encourage Hollywood leaders to produce more movies with faith and values. I didn’t expect anyone to show up, but God filled the room with many Hollywood executives. The next year we did a bigger gala, so I started fasting and praying for forty days each year, and then I ate a lot during the rest of the year to make up for it!

What then happened was amazing (the incredible statistics are given at the beginning of this book, in “Glad to Have the Light: Of the Bible and the Screen”). God answered our prayers!

If you have an impossible problem, try what Jesus Christ suggested: fast and pray. You can cast out the demons of our age by fasting and praying in the name of Jesus.

FILM TO FAITH

Watch one or both of these movies:

  • The 33 (mature audiences)
  • War Room

Ask:

  • What was the impossible problem the hero or heroine was facing?
  • How did they come to the decision to fast and pray?
  • How did God move to solve the impossible problem?
  • What has God done when you fasted and prayed?
  • How have impossible problems been resolved in your life when you fasted and prayed?

Father, I am facing an impossible problem, (explain to God what your problem or situation is). Help me focus on you and your solution through fasting and prayer. I am weak, but you are strong. Help me fast and pray, and deliver me from my problem in Jesus Christ’s name by the power of the Holy Spirit.

LOOKING AHEAD

Do you have a vision to do great things, but find yourself struggling against the world, the flesh, and the evil in your life? See the next devotion.

This excerpt is from Reel to Real: 45 Movie Devotions for Families by Ted Baehr. Used with permission of BroadStreet Publishing Group.

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