This week, the documentary Hear from Heaven premieres worldwide, released free online by faith-based nonprofit Eyes of the Heart Films.
The film centers on Christina Marie Bennett, a young black woman whose mother had an appointment at Planned Parenthood to abort her but walked out. Today, Bennett serves at a pregnancy care center in Connecticut and speaks nationwide as a pro-life activist.
Filmed in five states and featuring interviews with Alveda King, Matt Lockett, Catherine Davis, Lou Engle and other leaders, Hear from Heaven gives a peek into the real-life stories—and undeniable results—of the Christian prayer movement to end abortion during its 36-minute running time.
A filmmaking team married for 11 years, Matt and Cara Hunter of Atlanta, Georgia, take a radical approach to creating movies. In the pre-production stage, most directors research the issue, scout locations and line up funding. The Hunters did that for Hear from Heaven, but they also spent eight months in intensive prayer.
Before the film premiere in Washington, D.C., the documentary producers sat down for an interview to share their journey.
Bound4LIFE: Where did the concept for this film originate?
Cara Hunter: When we heard Christina Marie Bennett share her story years ago, we were so gripped by it. She was almost aborted and rescued through a providential series of events.
Years later, when we started making films, the Lord brought her back up in our minds and laid it on our hearts to tell her story. We contacted her about doing it, and she was really excited about it. At the same time, she was on her way to Alabama for the march to shut down an illegal abortion center in Selma.
We decided to just hop on the bus with them, ride along and see what the Lord had for us. There's something about the city of Selma; God is really doing a shifting. We didn't expect that when we went down there; we thought it was just going to be a normal protest march across a bridge, and it was not that at all. It was very profound.
Hear from Heaven quickly turned into a bigger picture of God's heart for life and the power of prayer to end abortion. The film follows Christina's story and uses that as a centerpiece to explore God's heart for the ending of abortion
Bound4LIFE: What did you discover personally in making this film?
Matt Hunter: We learned in a new way that God's heart is broken over the millions of lives in the womb lost to abortion. And the right response is prayer, to partner with His heart. We cry out as Jesus urges us to, "On earth as it is in heaven."
Cara Hunter: The main premise of the film is that prayer is God's answer for the problem of abortion. There's so much noise, so many voices, so many opinions—but at the core of God's heart is: Prayer is the answer He has given the church. The film is a prophetic proclamation to the church to wake her up again, to pray for this.
It's our job, it's our position as His church to enter into this place of intercession to end abortion. Prayer is the key to really ending this.
How that's displayed in the film is really the story of Bound4LIFE and the dream that God has given. It's so noticeable when we were filming outside an abortion center. You have other groups that have their signs and stuff, and that's all needed and awesome too.
But the wisdom of the Lord is on the Life Tape—how people all across our nation stand in Silent Siege to intercede for women and children. It's a profound image and approach to ending abortion, and we have it woven throughout the film.
Bound4LIFE: How did your understanding of the life issue grow over the past three years?
Cara Hunter: It's hard to explain in words how God opened up our hearts in a deeper and more profound way. Something about seeing it, hearing it, feeling it—the whole experience that film does, it really brings it alive in a deeper way.
In the midst of this creative process, we encountered God's passion for life. There's a scene in the film where Christina raises a gavel in front of the Supreme Court as she prays. As I was editing the film, that still, small voice of the Holy Spirit spoke to me: "I saw that, and I remember it for eternity."
This issue of life really is on God's heart. The prayers being lifted up for the ending of abortion are not just going out into some never-never land—they are reaching the very throne of God. There's a tipping point coming.
Matt Hunter: It is really easy to live a normal routine without the issue of life at the forefront of your face. Even though we've been pro-life for a long time, having this story in our face has intensified our prayer life. You can't look away.
When you're sitting working on this for hours and hours a day, you're faced with the reality of it—it brings you to a deeper level of intimacy. We were weeping [while] editing our own film.
Bound4LIFE: How does your purpose in film-making differ from others producing documentaries?
Cara Hunter: We are not creating films just for entertainment, like most media produced in Hollywood. Our goal at Eyes of the Heart Films is to get the heart of God and declare it through film, because we feel that Jesus is worthy of being declared rightly through artistic filmmaking and media.
Matt Hunter: Prophetic filmmaking is going into the secret place of prayer, hearing the voice of the Lord over an issue and bringing that message into the format of a documentary film. That's a simple explanation.
Bound4LIFE: Now, when a pastor brings up social issues from the pulpit, controversy is sure to follow. Why should the church engage in pro-life advocacy?
Cara Hunter: In the film, we interview Reverend Pat Mahoney of Church on the Hill D.C., who has this amazing question. He asks: "How can the church expect to experience revival when we're murdering our children?"
God has ordained good for us: healing, power, signs and wonders. Yet when we have the bloodguilt of millions of babies on our hands, a day of reckoning is coming for the Body of Christ. In order to walk in our fullness as the church, we have to address these issues.
Mahoney also said, "There should be a sign outside every abortion center saying, 'Open by permission of the church.'" It's so true, because it is our problem. It's our issue and God has given us the answer: going to the place of prayer.
Hear from Heaven is a call for the church to pray, and to encourage those who are already praying to keep going.
Josh M. Shepherd serves as communications manager at Bound4LIFE International, a faith-based pro-life group. He previously worked on staff at The Heritage Foundation and Focus on the Family. Josh and his wife Terri live in the Washington, D.C., area.
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