Lessons on prayer from the movie Lucy

Over the weekend, I finally got to watch the movie Lucy, an interesting science fiction action piece starring the lovely Scarlett Johansson, legendary Morgan Freeman and helmed by French director Luc Besson. Whenever I need to be immersed in something huge, loud and “visually rich”, I look no further than Luc Besson’s work for a fix.

Lucy is built upon a dramatic premise that has fascinated me for a while: what would happen if human beings could explore the full capacity of their brains? I’ve never known if this is true or not but, growing up, I used to hear all my geek friends say that we humans only ever fully make use of somewhere between 4 and 10% of our cerebral regions. Now, a lot of neuroscientists have disputed this claim and it looks like the 10% theory has been dismissed as a myth. This doesn’t stop Besson from exploring it cinematically and I think, though the story isn’t watertight by a long shot, it still makes for great entertainment.

So, coming to the title of this post: Lessons on prayer from the movie Lucy. What exactly is that about?

In the first act of the movie, the lead and title character is forced by her new boyfriend to act as a drug mule without her knowledge. He asks her to carry a locked briefcase with unknown contents to his employer, a shady and ruthless mob boss by the name of Mr. Jang. She enters the building where she must meet Jang and asks the attendant at reception to alert him of her arrival. The situation suddenly becomes hostile when a group of armed and very unfriendly-looking guys come down to Lucy and seize her. Within seconds, they whisk her off to the room where she finds that Jang has just tortured and killed a couple of guys. I assume they’re mules too. Very quickly, she realizes that she may not make it out of this alive. In that moment, she does something that I have observed as a regular occurrence in movies when people are in trouble – she pleads to God for help.

Isn’t it crazy how often that happens in movies, especially when danger lurks or when death looms? Our favorite characters, who have been pretty self-sufficient and heroic up until that point, all suddenly seem inspired to pray. I’m not suggesting this happens in all movies but it’s frequent enough to be noticeable. I’ve noticed it in real life too. Whenever tragedy strikes, perhaps in the form of a natural disaster or a major road accident or plane crash which claims the lives of hundreds or even thousands, we all seem to turn to God. It may not even be some huge, widespread calamity. Sometimes, when a loved one has been badly hurt or is in danger and hope is fading fast, we pray. We all of a sudden stop talking about ‘The Universe’ or ‘The Great Cosmic Energy’ or even ‘Mother Nature’. We say ‘God’. Why is that?

Like our screen heroes, we have a tendency to think we can do it all and fix it all ourselves and yet, when things go horribly wrong, we suddenly call upon this God that we have been doing everything in our power to discount and ignore. In our human relationships, we know how much of a put-off it can be when people only ever come to us when they need something. Could it be that we are exactly the same way when it comes to God?

What’s it like for you? Perhaps you do believe in the existence of God but you only ever really look for him when you are in trouble or you have dug yourself into a hole you can’t get out of. There is so much more to relationship with God than a crutch that we lean on when we’re down and out.

We’ve got a video that talks exactly about such a relationship with God and how you can discover it for yourself. Check it out by clicking on the ‘Continue’ prompt.

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