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Shirer catches fire!

Speaker and writer makes film debut in ‘War Room’

Kam Williams
Shirer catches fire!
Priscilla Shirer. (Photo: CTMA photo)

A graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary with a master’s degree in Biblical Studies, Priscilla Shirer speaks at corporate conferences, organizations and before Christian audiences across the United States and around the world. After ten years as a trainer and motivational speaker with Ziglar Training Systems, she and her husband Jerry founded Going Beyond Ministries.

Shirer now serves in full-time ministry — speaking, writing and via video and audio — to nurture women spiritually. She is also the author of “Life Interrupted,” “The Resolution for Women” and numerous other spiritual books.

Here, Schirer talks about making her acting debut in the faith-based film War Room.

What interested you in War Room?

Priscilla Shirer: I was initially drawn to this film because of the people who were behind it. The Kendrick brothers [Alex and Stephen] are such men of integrity. Their previous work is not only an accurate indicator of their character but also of their authentic desire to use their films to affect life change. They are so talented. Their writing and commitment to excellence is obvious. Then, when I read this script, I was thrilled to see such emphatic emphasis on the power of prayer.

How would you describe the film in 25 words or less?

PS: “War Room” will unveil the real enemy hiding behind some of life’s pressing problems, then remind you to go to battle with a weapon that works: prayer. That might be a few more than 25 words, but I tried. [Laughs]

Your character Elizabeth’s husband, Tony, is abusive, emotionally-unavailable, a liar, a philanderer and a crook. What redeeming qualities does he have to make the relationship worth all the angst?

PS: Tony is a good provider. He takes that role very seriously and prides himself on it. Sadly, he often does so at the expense of the health of his marital and parental relationships. The arc of his character and the story also show that he has a heart that becomes tender. When convicted, he responds instead of ignoring and refusing to obey God’s leading. Tony is willing to do whatever it takes to make things right. Often in relationships, “willingness” is the determining factor of whether or not a relationship can survive. And Tony is willing.

What message do you think people will take away from the film?

PS: I believe that people will leave the theater with a renewed desire to prioritize their prayer lives. They’ll become aware, maybe even for the first time, of the enemy’s tactics and schemes. Then, they’ll want to craft their own war rooms and strategies to claim victory in their lives.

You are a wife, mother, author, minister, inspirational speaker and now an actress. How do you juggle all those responsibilities?

PS: Balance is a constant struggle for me. Just like it is for any working mother. Most often, just when I feel like I’ve gotten a handle on things, they change. The children get older, their activities vary, my own schedule shifts and our travel or work demands escalate. So, I’m learning that the only way to balance my life is to consistently ask the Lord what His priorities are for me and my family during that particular season and then discipline myself to orient everything around those priorities. This requires saying “no” to a lot of opportunities and invitations, both personal and occupational, that might jeopardize His priorities for this season.

It’s not always easy but it is always worth it. Every “no” is a simultaneous “yes” to another area of your life.

Was there a meaningful spiritual component to your childhood?

PS: Yes, my parents incorporated devotions into our regular family rhythm. After dinner (which we had together on most nights) Dad would open the Bible, read a passage, explain it, and then we’d pray together. We were just like all kids — chuckling, yawning and wishing we could be excused from the table — but he did it anyway. I’m so grateful.