This past week, I was finally able to see the movie, War Room. My wife and I loved the movie. To date, it is the best movie produced by the Kendrick brothers. I cried during certain scenes of the movie and it wasn’t even a sports movie, although it was, in part, a father movie.
The central message of the movie was the importance of prayer and letting God do His thing. However, one of the vital components of prayer that was illustrated in the movie was the value of persistent, deep abiding prayer. Tim Keller would call it “hole-boring” prayer.
The 20th century Norwegian pastor Ole Hallesby likened prayer to mining as he knew it in Norway. Demolition to create mine shafts took two basic kinds of actions. There are long periods of time, he writes, "…when the deep holes are being bored with great effort into the hard rock."
To bore the holes deeply enough into the most strategic spots for removing the main body of rock was work that took patience, steadiness, and a great deal of skill. Once the holes were finished, however, the "shot" was inserted and connected to a fuse.
"To light the fuse and fire the shot is not only easy but also very interesting… One sees 'results.' … Shots resound, and pieces fly in every direction." He concludes that while the more painstaking work takes both skill and patient strength of character, "anyone can light a fuse."
Pastor Tim Keller comments: “This helpful illustration warns us against doing only ‘fuse-lighting’ prayers, the kind that we soon drop if we do not get immediate results. If we believe both in the power of prayer and in the wisdom of God, we will have a patient prayer life of ‘hole-boring’.
Mature believers know that handling the tedium is part of what makes for effective prayers. We must avoid extremes – of either not asking God for things or of thinking we can bend God's will to ours. We must combine tenacious importunity, a ‘striving with God,’ with deep acceptance of God's wise will, whatever it is.”*
War Room was full of sound counsel in the midst of practical, everyday challenges. However, it’s greatest contribution to our lives would be to motivate us into a life of “hole-boring” prayer… the kind of prayer that can move mountains and penetrate the hardness of heart that persists in our own lives and the lives around us.
Something to think about…
*Adapted from Prayer, Tim Keller (Dutton, 2014), page 137.