Pastor Sean Palmer taught us on theological foundations about prayer and our relationship to God, as reflected in the film Bruce Almighty. In the Scriptures we find that we are called to relate to God as Divine Friend. Prayer is the means by which we honestly communicate with the Divine Friend, and line up our wishes ever more with God's wishes.
2 Chronicles 20: 7
“An event comes along in life which we call an inciting incident. Either by choice, accident or both, life is thrown out of balance. That imbalance arouses in the protagonist a desire to put life back on an even keel. To do that, they conceive of something that they need, an object of desire so to speak, that they feel would restore life’s balance. That’s what causes us to think, feel, and change—an inciting incident!”
- Robert McKee
“Well, I answer with Elijah, Jonah, and Job. And I answer it with my understanding of what God seeks with all of us, which is relationship. Relationship demands honesty. And while I don't think we're ever to live in our anger and our rage, to express it is to express a step along the journey. Bruce raged at God, and a few weeks later he got a chance to see how silly and self-indulgent that was. But had he not raged, had he not been honest, who knows whether he could have taken the steps that he did.”
- Tom Shadyac
“Yes…here comes the big controversy.…The word in that sentence is that you “keep” looking up. It’s not that you look up—I think looking up is essential, because I believe it’s a reality. It’s in your blood, your DNA, and it’s in mine. However, to keep looking up means that we expect God to do everything for us. There’s a story about a nun who went to God and asked, “Why God don’t you do something about the poor and the sick?” And God said, “I did, I made you. Jesus went up, leaving us as his hands, his feet, his heart—an expression of love.”
- Tom Shadyac
“He went to an awful lot of trouble, I can tell you that. I’ve been the one on the ground struggling, asking God why don’t you answer this prayer. I couldn’t get work ten years ago—I couldn’t get arrested. I remember I had an opportunity to direct an episode of this show, “She’s the Sheriff,” and I thought for sure it was going to happen, but it didn’t. I was screaming “why, why, why?” Of course, in hindsight, I can see why. I was learning to die to my own way and to embrace the divine way. I think God goes to an awful lot of trouble with most of us.”
- Tom Shadyac
Pastor Sean challenged us about the essence of prayer being a lining up of our will and God's will. He challenged us that the Scriptures reveal God's relationship to us as Divine Friend.
Consider meditating on this thought this week. Do you see God as Friend? Imagine your relationships with your closest friends, and the sort of conversations you have with them. Imagine the ways in which their wishes become your wishes. Our challenge this week is to see, relate to, and love God evermore as a Friend. Spend a few minutes in this meditation, and practice praying with the sort of simplicity by which you normally relate to friends.
Faith's Review And Expectation
Psalm 66 (You Are Great)
Be Thou My Vision
May You Find A Light