June 6, 2017
Prayer can be expressed by anyone and can take place everywhere, even in movie theaters.
What is your working definition of prayer?
In Reply to Eric Van Dyken (comment #30427)
This might serve as one, drawn from the first chapter of the book: "Prayer is a human instinct, an urge that lies deep within us. Religion came along to nurture, codify, and enrich it. Christians look to the Lord’s Prayer, given by Jesus, as one model for structuring communication with God (Mt 6:9-13). A testimony of praise and an expression of yearning, a confession of sin and a pledge of obedience, the Lord’s Prayer addresses both the nature of God and our desire to be in relationship with him. It is a beau- tiful encapsulation of our instinctual desire to seek the divine."
I also reference this quote, attributed to 19th-century Russian Orthodox bishop Theophan the Recluse: “Prayer is the raising of the mind and heart to God—for praise and thanksgiving and beseeching him for the good things necessary for soul and body.”
As an aspiring film director, the thought of doing what I love while also serving God has been a constant challenge in my mind. Making films is my passion, but not necessarily Christian films. There are a few good ones, but most the times they come off as cheesy or a bit too preachy. Seeing that you can weave prayer into any film is a fantastic topic and I am excited to read the book.
As an early reader of your book, Josh, I must say that the first chapter itself is worth price of admission, as you thoughtfully and powerfully lay out the premise. I appreciated your delineation of the types of prayer in the subsequent chapters as well---a solid theological discussion, a good reminder of what prayer is to many people, in and for many situations. And yes, the movies---like any art, literature, music---function as prayers themselves. Thank you for this work.
Your take on Field of Dreams, Shoeless Joe's challenge to Ray, and your image of obedience not being like a rigged slot machine, reminds me of the statement of the old anonymous rabbi: "the rewards of living a good life are . . . having lived a good life."
Thanks Kyle and JCarpenter!
Thank you Josh for sharing your deeply spiritual insights with all those who can read. I am a 74 year old who is not in touch with all the latest, but am inspired by you to watch any movie, old or recent, with a discerning mind set.God does not only move in mysterious ways,he also speaks in mysterious ways and in unexpected places. Thank you for encouraging me to live out what I believe:God is very present in the world that he has created and still loves.I just need to keep my eyes, ears, and mind open.
I'm a fairly new subscriber and must create more time to read Mr. Larsen's blogs and comments. I grew up memorizing the entire Heidelberg Catechism and was delighted to read his quote of Question 86. Now, at age 73, I no longer remember it word for word,but it certainly helped me define my faith and my lifelong walk with Christ. Thank you, thank you for your columns, Josh Larsen.
I'm glad I could bring new relevance to the Heidelberg for you, Margaret. And thanks for the kind words Dora!
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