Prayer is one of the most fundamental aspects of Christian life. It’s our lifeline to God, a way of approaching Him with anything and everything. As such, prayer can take on many different forms. It can be a source of comfort, a means of worship, or even an expression of thanksgiving. Regardless of what we say to God, what matters is that we say something.
These days it’s uncommon to see prayer anywhere outside of a church, let alone in movies. Thankfully, there are still a handful of films willing to demonstrate how powerful and moving a conversation with God can actually be. If you’re a Christian looking for inspiration, look no further than the five prayers on this list.
Facing the Giants
In Facing the Giants, a high school football coach named Grant Taylor finds himself at a crossroads in both life and faith. After six years of coaching he has yet to post a winning record, and after a three-game losing streak, his player’s parents have started calling for his resignation.To make matter’s worse, Grant and his wife have been unable to conceive despite years of effort. Weighed down by fear and shame, Grant turns to the words of Psalm 18, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and deliverer…”. In that moment, he surrenders his life completely to Christ, acknowledging that no matter what the future holds, God is still on His throne.
It is a humbling and hopeful reminder to all Christians that God will never leave us in times of strife.
The Book of Eli
From the beginning, it’s clear The Book of Eli is going to be a grim movie. The world has been scarred by nuclear war, bandits roam the desert wasteland, and only a few safe pockets of humanity remain. Amidst all this destruction is Eli, a lone traveler heading west toward an uncertain destination. One night while resting in a small town, Eli is approached by a young woman who has been ordered to seduce him by her cruel stepfather. Instead, something completely unexpected happens.
Eli prays with her. He thanks God for the blessing of shelter, and shares his meal with her. What makes this scene so touching is that the young woman has never prayed before, and while she does not understand what Eli is doing, she senses that it’s important. In that moment, the Holy Spirit can be felt.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
I’ve written before how Christian imagery is everywhere in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The movie begins with a Church deacon saving the protagonist from an early death, and later on, we see several characters struggle with faith as circumstances turn against them. But perhaps the most intimate moment belongs to the movie’s heroine, Esmeralda. After defying the will of a powerful judge, Esmeralda takes refuge in a Church where she’s encouraged to share her troubles with God. What follows is a powerful song not only about the nature of prayer, but about the heart of Christ.
As Esmeralda sings “God Help the Outcasts” Christian viewers are reminded that we were all outsiders before Jesus took us in. Now, as sons and daughters, we are to think less of ourselves and strive to help others the same way Christ helped us.
When Bruce Almighty first came out in theaters, many Christians were angry at the very idea of the film. A story about a man (played by Jim Carrey) who suddenly gains the powers of God could hardly be considered anything short of blasphemy. Yet surprisingly, the movie actually had several valuable lessons about faith, God, and most notably, prayer. In particular, the movie shows the repercussions of when God answers in the affirmative. After losing the woman he loves to his own selfishness, Bruce breaks down and finally admits he needs God in his life.
At that moment, God appears and encourages Bruce to strip away the pretense and offer a genuine prayer. Bruce's response demonstrates what an honest, earnest prayer really sounds like. Part sad, part funny, it’s an example that all Christians can aspire to.
We Were Soldiers
We Were Soldiers is perhaps one of the most tragically overlooked war movies of our time. Set in the early days of the Vietnam War, the film chronicles the lives of American soldiers and their families as they prepare for the oncoming conflict. One of them is a young lieutenant who has just became a father. Worried about the future, and concerned about his place in the battle ahead, he goes to the army chapel where he encounters his commanding officer. After the soldier gives voice to his doubts, the commander suggests that they turn to God.
Together, the two men kneel down and bring their fears to a Heavenly Father. This poignant and dramatic moment is underscored by the soldier’s humility. For they know their true strength and hope is in Christ alone.
What about you? What are some of your favorite movie prayers?
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.
Prayer for Healing
Prayer for Strength
Prayer for Protection
The Prayer of Jabez
The Lord's Prayer
The Prayer of St Francis
A Birthday Prayer
Irish Prayers and Blessings
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