The 43-year-old actress stars in new movie Miracles From Heaven, based on Christy Beam's memoir about her daughter's near-death experience and subsequent battle against a digestive disorder.

Jennifer grew up in a very religious household and did her best at the beginning of her daughters Violet and Seraphina and son Samuel's lives to give them the right start by baptising them at the same church she used to go to in West Virginia.

However, as the trio, whose father is Ben Affleck, have grown up, Jennifer admits she had been hoping they would naturally pick up her spiritual side, but now realises that was perhaps naive.

"I think I had become complacent in raising my children, almost as though (I thought) they were going to receive the ground beneath their feet that heaven had given me through osmosis," she told USA Today.

When she got back from the set after finishing filming, Jennifer raised the issue of religion with her brood, with all three children telling her "we want to go to church".

"I was floored, and I immediately looked up the local United Methodist church," she continued. "We went there next Sunday, and it turned out to be the perfect environment. We've gotten so much from it; it's like a gift Christy gave me."

Despite the obvious religious tone of the film, Jennifer insists the whole crew were determined not to "preach" through the movie. Instead, she believes the finished message of the film is one of hope.

"We were careful not to preach," she said. "That's not Christy's message whatsoever, to tell you what to believe or how to practice. ... Even if you drop faith out of the movie, there's the message of hope, the idea of keeping your head up and knowing you can push through to the other side of a challenge."