"I Already Have."
Spoken confidently, but barely above a whisper in an effort to comfort Shane, Oliver's simple statement about prayer reminds us that prayer should not be a last resort, but a first line of defense. Prayer is our direct line to God, who loves nothing more than to shower His children with "peace that passes all understanding" (Phil 4:7) allowing us to live above our circumstances and life's trials.
Notice how steady and calm Oliver appears throughout the episode. Even as he determines that thirteen hours of air amounts to three hours, twenty minutes breathing time for each of them, he finds "a certain clarity" in his circumstances to not only write a letter to Holly, but repeatedly calm Shane's anxious spirit by directing her attention away from the looming circumstances and towards the letters at hand.
I also find it interesting that we never see Oliver pray the prayer that provided him such peace in the vault, and I think the message one can extract from this point is that prayer doesn't have to take place in complete silence, isolated from other people. Of course, there are times for that kind of prayer, but in this case it reminds us that calling out to God for help can happen anywhere, at any time, and we can fully expect that He will hear our petitions---even when that place is in the middle of a packed auditorium...
"...That Thing You Do..."
I almost had to laugh when Shane grabbed Oliver's hand during that critical moment when Rita needed to remember that thirteenth unique mode of transportation. Did you notice that Shane appealed to Oliver to pray even before Rita began answering the question? Granted, it was also right after Norman alerted them to the fact Rita only memorized twelve unique modes of transportation, but it's clear Shane's time in the vault taught her that valuable lesson about prayer as a first line of defense like we just discussed. Oliver had a chance to pray before Rita even needed that answer.
So whether you just need a little extra grace to deal with that co-worker that rubs you the wrong way, or you're praying diligently for that invitation to the set of Signed, Sealed, Delivered, "let all your petitions be made known to God" (Phil 4:6). He cares about all things---big or small---and we should always remember that!
Now we could have a whole discussion about what it means when God doesn't answer us right away, or things we pray for don't go the way we hoped--- but that discussion will have to wait.
For today, just remember that prayer should be our first course of action in all things, big or small, because it's our direct line to God, and no matter what we ask, He hears all our petitions.
Making My Requests Known,