Prayer is the focus of much of the High Holy Days. Our communal, organized prayers are supplemented by private, personal prayers we offer spontaneously throughout out lives. Movies are filled with such moments of “prayers of desperation.” Most famously, there is George Bailey’s prayer in It’s a Wonderful Life.
George’s life has always been deeply troubled. His brother nearly drowned and George lost his hearing in his left ear in saving him. Family illness, his brother’s goals, the evil Henry F. Potter, and his foolish foolish Uncle Billy are some of the woes he faces. In a moment of hopelessness, George offers off a short prayer…
“God. Oh, God. Dear Father in Heaven. I’m not a praying man, but if You’re up there and You can hear me, show me the way. I’m at the end of my rope. Show me the way, God.” (Watch Jimmy Stewart’s acting brilliance on this scene on YouTube)
George’s prayer is simple and meaningful. He is giving his all. He hopes for some guidance and encouragement from God. “God helps those who help themselves.”
That encouragement is out there. We need to search for it, be open to it, and act on it when we find it. Prayers comes in many forms, but we need to act on our prayers, our they are truly in vain.
PS Some think George Bailey really was wishing something else in his heart of heart in his prayer.
#BlogElul is the brainchild of @imabima who blogs at imabima.blogspot.com. For the 30 days of Elul, the spiritual preparation before the Jewish High Holy Days, many Jews will be reflecting on the themes of the season. My posts will all be through the lens of movies. You can see all the themes in the graphic. Follow all the other excellent postings through Twitter at #BlogElul along with related items #Elulgram and #PopCultureElul.