Lost Without You adds to this discussion, asking important questions about the purpose of prayer and its ability to transform hearts by allowing us, for the first time, to see inside several important prayers that take place throughout the film. Today we'll only be tackling the prayers themselves, as they will aid in an even deeper discussion on the topic still to come.
It all begins with Topper's letter, the tone and content of which very much resembles a prayer in and of itself.
We didn't realize it at the time, but Topper's letter gives us a glimpse into what might have been said in two important prayers that took place during this film---Shane's and Oliver's, who both heard the content of Topper's letter early on.
God, It's Me, Shane
But when Shane finds all other avenues exhausted, scared, unable to assist Dale in search preparations, and awaiting Norman and Rita's arrival on the scene, she slips away to a quiet corner of the woods and attempts what once seemed to her impossible. It's as if, despite her own acknowledgement of her ignorance when it comes to prayer, Shane attempts it anyway, recognizing it as the only thing she hasn't tried to do yet, hoping it might be the thing that finally brings Oliver and Joe home.
Like Topper's letter, we might have expected Shane to begin her prayer "not asking anything for [herself]," but simply "wanting to help [Oliver]," perhaps in her vulnerability even admitting she would "do anything to be with [him] now."
Much like Topper found himself unable to physically be with Sandy, Shane faces a similar obstacle, perhaps asking God to be with Oliver and Joe, and "do everything [He] can to save [them]."
God, It's Me, Oliver
Thinking he "might not see the sunrise," Oliver definitely prayed that he and his father might be spared. But he also specifically prayed to "live long enough to...tell [Shane] that he hopes [their] first date isn't [their] last, that life is too short to drink only Yoo-Hoo, and his read[iness] to try a bee-pollen, ginger and [kombucha] smoothie." These "little things," like Topper's t-shirt Sandy always stole, were pieces of his last discussion with Shane before he went missing, and were perhaps the few moments he held onto when things seemed to be at their darkest.
So next time you go to pray, think of it as a letter to God. At a very basic level Shane and Oliver's prayers demonstrate that our they don't have to be fancy or particularly eloquent in order to have have them answered. They also reveal something else important---that God wants to answer.
Like I mentioned before, there are even more important lessons to be learned about prayer in the context of this story that will have us digging even deeper into the messages of Lost Without You---so stay tuned for that!
Setting Things Up,