War Room’s Priscilla Shirer’s Contemplative History, and Why It Matters

John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire has written another installment of his War Room series. His concern is that Priscilla Shirer’s movie fans will purchase her pre-War Room products and be exposed to her contemplative leanings.

Saint Catherine of Sienna prayingFor You have abandoned Your people, the house of Jacob, Because they are filled with influences from the east, And they are soothsayers like the Philistines, And they strike bargains with the children of foreigners. (Isaiah 2:6)

“…I knew the Lord was calling me to experience Him in prayer in a brand new way.” [1] — Priscilla Shirer

Contemplative prayer, which Priscilla Shirer referred to as her “brand new way” some years ago, is in reality an ancient way. It is essentially the same as New Age or Eastern meditation, but disguised with “Christianese” terminology. Those who participate and enter the silence, as it is called, open themselves to great deception.

Now, because of the success of the War Room movie, Shirer is going to have many fans flocking to her website, and purchasing her products. Those who buy Shirer’s book, Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When God Speaks, will discover Shirer’s affinity for contemplative prayer.

Contemplative prayer is a primary factor to consider as we watch the visible church depart from sound doctrine. It is foundational to the International House of Prayer (Mike Bickle) and Bethel Church of Redding, California (Bill and Beni Johnson).

Popular leaders and teachers such as Rick Warren, Beth Moore, and Tim Keller have promoted contemplative prayer.

How was Shirer introduced to this practice?

She writes, “…a friend sent me a book on silent prayer. The book explains how purposeful periods of silent prayer can help believers hear God’s voice. I was very drawn to the spiritual journey of the author, and I read the book twice. As my heart burned within me, I knew that the Lord was calling me to experience Him in prayer in a brand new way.” [2]

Thus fascinated with this newly discovered concept, Shirer then read a Bible verse which she perceived as a Word from the Lord: As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. (Ecclesiastes 5:1, NLT)

“It confirmed the message of the book I had been so drawn to and what I sensed the Holy Spirit was leading me to do.” [3]

She was further amazed to learn that some of the women from her church were going to participate in a “silent prayer retreat. Women would gather to spend 36 hours of silence in anticipation of hearing the voice of God.” [4]

She had read about this in the book on silent prayer, but now here were people actually talking about the same thing. Shirer seems to have taken all this as part of God’s plan.

Priscilla Shirer apparently found the contemplative experience to be powerful and alluring. And then, the most significant of these “coincidences” happened. Fox Network reached out to her. According to Priscilla, “They were creating a program on contemplative prayer called ‘Be Still.’ They asked me to be a part of this project that was designed to help Americans see the importance of spending time before God in stillness. I knew immediately that God wanted me to be a part of the project.” [5]

And so she was, along with Beth Moore. The Be Still video was released in 2006. Nine years later, Priscilla Shirer still has an explanation on her website as to why she chose to be on the DVD.  Continue reading


War Room’s Priscilla Shirer “will become the main character” in the Bible stories she’s reading? By John Lanagan

War Room’s Alex Kendrick and a movie magic medallion By John Lanagan

Why I do not recommend Kendrik Brother’s new film “War Room” part 1  By Elizabeth Prata


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5 Responses to War Room’s Priscilla Shirer’s Contemplative History, and Why It Matters

  1. Jenny September 20, 2015 at 7:30 pm #

    Thankfully, the movie WAR ROOM did not have contemplative prayer in it. A lot of crying out to God which is scriptural and reading God ‘s word. We should never follow after people we like in movies because we like the movie, Beth Moore is not someone that should be followed but she was in the movie. We must test everything by God’s word and seek Him.

  2. Friend September 21, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

    If you have a time, please read AW Tozer’s ‘The Menace of the Religious Movie’.

  3. Dolores June 20, 2017 at 5:17 am #

    I believe that if a born-again Christian has the Holy Spirit and wants to experience God’s presence, wordless prayer is a legitimate practice. Each of us has our own relationship with God, and no one can judge whether a person’s experience is authentically Christian except that person. I have had several powerful touches from God that were life-changing, and he has spoken to me on a number of occasions that I am convinced were really God speaking to me. Before I became a Christian I was an agnostic/atheist/seeker after truth and I spent nearly twenty years seeking truth by reading books on psychology, parapsychology, world religions and mysticism. Only after I had exhausted every other possible source of truth, I turned to the Bible and found what I was looking for. My background research, however, was very helpful to me in enabling me to understand both the similarities and the differences in various belief systems. There are elements of truth in other religious systems, especially the emphasis on love. My skeptical, analytical nature as well as my background also empowered me to recognize deception. A non-Christian is certainly wide open to demonic deception, but the Holy Spirit is charged with leading us into all truth. God has promised to give us wisdom if we ask for it; and he said, “Though it cost all you have, GET UNDERSTANDING”!

  4. Marin April 28, 2020 at 10:01 am #

    So now we judge how fellow believers pray?
    There are times I’m full of things to say – and there are times I’m so overcome I don’t have the words to say, and I sit in silence, trusting the Holy Spirit to step in. There are times I focus more on listening to Him rather than talking all the time, as it is difficult to do both at the same time. So I read verses, ask Him to reveal to me what I am to learn, and then sit in still silence. This is not always easy. Stillness is a discipline.
    I have been richly blessed by how the Spirit has stepped in through my moments of silence. It’s a shame that so many view it as demonic to sit in stillness before His Throne.

    And I am beginning to understand more and more why Hollywood doesn’t even bother to reach out to us anymore. We will pick apart ANYTHING – down to the version of scripture used in the film.

    • Joanna July 8, 2021 at 5:25 am #

      The problem is even Christians can be deceived by another spirit. When we quiet our minds in contemplative prayer, that can lead to thoughts that we believe to be the Holy Spirit. Paul says we are to pray with our minds, not wrangle the mind in order to hear from God. People who believe in contemplative prayer believe that we are to turn inward to the divine in us. This is not biblical. There is no problem to sit in stillness before the Lord. The problem comes in when people decide to go “inward” to be more connected to God/Jesus. There is a further problem when we think that every thought we get during that time is from the Lord. Read your Bible and know what God wants us to do through His Word. I hope you have a blessed day.

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