History Main / PrayerIsALastResort

12th Mar '16 10:51:46 AM Fireblood
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** Justified, in that in the original stories Crom ''will'' kill people who pray to him for direct aid.

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** Justified, [[JustifiedTrope Justified]], in that in the original stories Crom ''will'' kill people who pray to him for direct aid.



* There is a joke about someone praying to God when about to be devoured by a bear, asking to make the bear a Christian. [[spoiler:[[CrossesTheLineTwice The bear says "thank you for]] [[BlackComedy this meal I am about to receive."]]]]

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* There is a joke about someone praying to God when about to be devoured by a bear, asking to make the bear a Christian. [[spoiler:[[CrossesTheLineTwice The bear says "thank "Thank you for]] [[BlackComedy this meal I am about to receive."]]]]



* There is an old saying: "There is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole." The traditional response is "That's not an argument against atheism, it's an argument against ''[[WarIsHell foxholes]]''."

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* There is an old saying: "There is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole." The traditional response is "That's not an argument against atheism, it's an argument against ''[[WarIsHell foxholes]]''."" Of course, it's not true literally. There's even an organization for atheists serving in the US military called "Foxhole Atheists".



* Lampshaded by Creator/HBeamPiper in the story "A Slave Is a Slave". After a [[StrawmanPolitical strawman liberal]] character has misquoted the Literature/{{Foundation}} line about "the last refuge of the incompetent", the viewpoint character muses that it is true in that "only an incompetent waited until the last resort to use force, and by then it was usually too late to use anything, even prayer."
* Played with in the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Discworld/GoingPostal''. Once when Moist von Lipwig, con artist turned postmaster, is in dire need of money to repair his post office which has just been burned down, he pretends to a) pray for divine guidance and b) get it before "discovering" his stash of loot from his conman days. Later, when he is in dire straits again, another character semi-sarcastically suggests he should go up to the roof of the Post Office and pray, which he eventually does -- which is the cue some potential allies take that he's serious about wanting to help.

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* Lampshaded {{Lampshaded}} by Creator/HBeamPiper in the story "A Slave Is a Slave". After a [[StrawmanPolitical strawman liberal]] character has misquoted the Literature/{{Foundation}} line about "the last refuge of the incompetent", the viewpoint character muses that it is true in that "only an incompetent waited until the last resort to use force, and by then it was usually too late to use anything, even prayer."
* Played with {{Played with}} in the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Discworld/GoingPostal''. Once when Moist von Lipwig, con artist turned postmaster, is in dire need of money to repair his post office which has just been burned down, he pretends to a) pray for divine guidance and b) get it before "discovering" his stash of loot from his conman days. Later, when he is in dire straits again, another character semi-sarcastically suggests he should go up to the roof of the Post Office and pray, which he eventually does -- which is the cue some potential allies take that he's serious about wanting to help.



* Subverted in ''ASongOfIceAndFire''. Arya Stark is captured by the [[TheDreaded Mountain That Rides]], who selects a random prisoner each day for torture, interrogation and death. Nothing saves the victims; not resistance, co-operation, bribery or professions of loyalty. As a wannabe BadassPrincess, this passive role infuriates Arya and so originates the PrayerOfMalice that she keeps up throughout the series; a recitation of the names of those she plans to kill ''herself''.

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* Subverted {{Subverted}} in ''ASongOfIceAndFire''. Arya Stark is captured by the [[TheDreaded Mountain That Rides]], who selects a random prisoner each day for torture, interrogation and death. Nothing saves the victims; not resistance, co-operation, bribery or professions of loyalty. As a wannabe BadassPrincess, this passive role infuriates Arya and so originates the PrayerOfMalice that she keeps up throughout the series; a recitation of the names of those she plans to kill ''herself''.



* ''Series/TheDukesOfHazzard'': In the Season 5 episode "Witness: Jesse Duke," Uncle Jesse, a witness to a bank robbery, has suffered a concussion and lost his eyesight (temporarily, as it turns out). When all available treatments are showing no signs of restoring his eyesight, Daisy breaks down in tears and starts a tear-wrought prayer to God to restore her beloved uncle's eyesight. Unlike many TV episodes, where this trope is used by a scoundrel to worm his way out of a situation he caused, prayer as a last resort is portrayed positively here: A family that, when the chips are down and all else has failed, turns to God and trusts in Him for things to be made right.

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* ''Series/TheDukesOfHazzard'': In the Season 5 episode "Witness: Jesse Duke," Uncle Jesse, a witness to a bank robbery, has suffered a concussion and lost his eyesight (temporarily, as it turns out). When all available treatments are showing no signs of restoring his eyesight, Daisy breaks down in tears and starts a tear-wrought prayer to God to restore her beloved uncle's eyesight. Unlike many TV episodes, where this trope is used by a scoundrel to worm his way out of a situation he caused, prayer as a last resort is portrayed positively here: A a family that, when the chips are down and all else has failed, turns to God and trusts in Him for things to be made right.



* ''This is the Life'' and other Christian anthology series from the 1950s through early 1990s: Once again, prayer is often a sign of strength, an admission that secular ways of resolving conflict isn't always the right way (in fact, it is often the wrong way), and that by trusting God and His guidance, and walking in His ways, it may not make things "all better" but it will make us better people.

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* ''This is the Life'' and other Christian anthology series from the 1950s through early 1990s: 1990s. Once again, prayer is often a sign of strength, an admission that secular ways of resolving conflict isn't always the right way (in fact, it is often the wrong way), and that by trusting God and His guidance, and walking in His ways, it may not make things "all better" but it will make us better people.



* In ''Series/TheXFiles'' season 7 pilot, all Scully can do for a dying Mulder is to pray. It helps. (This particular season-finale/season-opener trilogy was huge on hinting that Mulder is Jesus in purgatory, suffering for humanity whose sacriffice might save us.)

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* In the ''Series/TheXFiles'' season 7 pilot, first episode, all Scully can do for a dying Mulder is to pray. It helps. (This helps (this particular season-finale/season-opener trilogy was huge on hinting that Mulder is Jesus in purgatory, suffering for humanity whose sacriffice sacrifice might save us.)us).



* {{Discussed}} in one of ''Series/{{Roseanne}}'''s final episodes. The family is gathered together with pizza after going through several recent cataclysms, most notably the premature birth and miraculous survival of Darlene's baby. Roseanne notes that while they should say prayers before eating, rather than always waiting until something bad happens before turning to God.
* In the ''Series/AttackOfTheShow'' skit "Bustice and Power Girl Save The Nuclear Power Planet", said plant is about to go into meltdown, despite everything a pair of badly-acting whitecoated technicians can do to stop it.

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* {{Discussed}} in one of ''Series/{{Roseanne}}'''s final episodes. The family is gathered together with pizza after going through several recent cataclysms, most notably the premature birth and miraculous survival of Darlene's baby. Roseanne notes that while they should say prayers before eating, rather than always waiting until something bad happens before turning to God.
* In the ''Series/AttackOfTheShow'' skit "Bustice and Power Girl Save The Nuclear Power Planet", said plant is about to go into meltdown, despite everything a pair of badly-acting whitecoated white-coated technicians can do to stop it.



* Subverted in Music/SteveEarle's "Tom Ames' Prayer", about a bankrobber who finds himself "trapped in an alley in Abilene with all but four shells spent" and turns to God for the first time in his life... only to wind up bragging at length about that time he saved himself from hanging and concluding:

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* Subverted in Music/SteveEarle's "Tom Ames' Prayer", about a bankrobber bank robber who finds himself "trapped in an alley in Abilene with all but four shells spent" and turns to God for the first time in his life... only to wind up bragging at length about that time he saved himself from hanging and concluding:



* In ''Webcomic/ExterminatusNow'', FlatEarthAtheist Eastwood begs the god of law Tyrus for help when he is cornered by a gigantic spider demoness who has insinuated that she is going to rape and eat him (Eastwood is especially terrified due to his severe arachnophobia). Prayer really is the last resort here since he tried [[AteHisGun eating lead first]] -- it failed since he was already out of bullets. He is immediately struck with inspiration (which he initially mistakes for a fatal stroke -- which he still thinks is better than being on a horny giant spider demoness' menu) [[spoiler:and saves the day.]]

to:

* In ''Webcomic/ExterminatusNow'', FlatEarthAtheist Eastwood begs the god of law Tyrus for help when he is cornered by a gigantic spider demoness who has insinuated that she is going to rape and eat him (Eastwood is especially terrified due to his severe arachnophobia). Prayer really is the last resort here since he tried [[AteHisGun eating lead [[BetterToDieThanBeKilled shooting himself first]] -- it failed since he was already out of bullets. He is immediately struck with inspiration (which he initially mistakes for a fatal stroke -- which he still thinks is better than being on a horny giant spider demoness' menu) [[spoiler:and saves the day.]]



* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'' animated series, Huey exhibits this trope. After [[spoiler: all his plans to save an innocent black man from execution have apparently failed]], at the last minute, he breaks down and prays; saying that he's never prayed before, and isn't sure who he's praying to, but that he knows the world isn't supposed to be like this. [[spoiler: Moments later, as they're about to flip the switch for the electric chair, lightning strikes Reverend Ruckus ([[TemptingFate just as he dares God to strike him with lightning if any of his racist preaching doesn't come from God himself]]), then the governor calls off the execution as one of Huey's plans (Threatening to expose the governor's gay affair, not knowing about one but figuring there was about a 5% chance that one existed) comes to fruition.]]
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy,'' Brian, a notoriously outspoken atheist prays to god when he thinks the world is ending. When it turns out that the whole thing was a hoax he stalks off to the soup kitchen, mumbling that he made a promise to Someone.

to:

* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'' animated series, Huey exhibits this trope. After [[spoiler: all his plans to save an innocent black man from execution have apparently failed]], at the last minute, he breaks down and prays; saying that he's never prayed before, and isn't sure who he's praying to, but that he knows the world isn't supposed to be like this. [[spoiler: Moments later, as they're about to flip the switch for the electric chair, lightning strikes Reverend Ruckus ([[TemptingFate just as he dares God to strike him with lightning if any of his racist preaching doesn't come from God himself]]), then himself]]). Then the governor calls off the execution as one of Huey's plans (Threatening (threatening to expose the governor's gay affair, not knowing about one but figuring there was about a 5% chance that one existed) comes to fruition.]]
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy,'' Brian, a notoriously outspoken atheist atheist, prays to god when he thinks the world is ending. When it turns out that the whole thing was a hoax he stalks off to the soup kitchen, mumbling that he made a promise to Someone.



* The FamousLastWords of Creator/{{Voltaire}} were a play on this trope. He was asked to turn to God and renounce Satan on his deathbed, and he replied "Now is not the time to make new enemies." Voltaire was not an atheist, but he was very unconventional in his beliefs in God.

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* The FamousLastWords of Creator/{{Voltaire}} were a play on this trope. He was asked to turn to God and renounce Satan on his deathbed, and he replied "Now is not the time to make new enemies." Voltaire was not an atheist, but he was very unconventional in his beliefs in God.a deist, believing God did not intervene, which went against the traditional dogma.
18th Feb '16 7:10:54 PM M84
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* In ''Webcomic/ExterminatusNow'', FlatEarthAtheist Eastwood begs the god of law Tyrus to help when he is cornered by a gigantic spider demoness who has insinuated that she is going to rape and eat him (Eastwood is especially terrified due to his severe arachnophobia). Prayer really is the last resort here since he tried [[AteHisGun eating lead first]] -- it failed since he was already out of bullets. He is immediately struck with inspiration (which he initially mistakes for a fatal stroke -- which he still thinks is better than being on a horny giant spider demoness' menu) [[spoiler:and saves the day.]]

to:

* In ''Webcomic/ExterminatusNow'', FlatEarthAtheist Eastwood begs the god of law Tyrus to for help when he is cornered by a gigantic spider demoness who has insinuated that she is going to rape and eat him (Eastwood is especially terrified due to his severe arachnophobia). Prayer really is the last resort here since he tried [[AteHisGun eating lead first]] -- it failed since he was already out of bullets. He is immediately struck with inspiration (which he initially mistakes for a fatal stroke -- which he still thinks is better than being on a horny giant spider demoness' menu) [[spoiler:and saves the day.]]
18th Feb '16 7:10:31 PM M84
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* In ''Webcomic/ExterminatusNow'', FlatEarthAtheist Eastwood begs the god of justice Tyrus to help when he is cornered by a gigantic spider demoness who has insinuated that she is going to rape and eat him (Eastwood is especially terrified due to his severe arachnophobia). Prayer really is the last resort here since he tried [[AteHisGun eating lead first]] -- it failed since he was already out of bullets. He is immediately struck with inspiration (which he initially mistakes for a fatal stroke -- which he still thinks is better than being on a horny giant spider demoness' menu) [[spoiler:and saves the day.]]

to:

* In ''Webcomic/ExterminatusNow'', FlatEarthAtheist Eastwood begs the god of justice law Tyrus to help when he is cornered by a gigantic spider demoness who has insinuated that she is going to rape and eat him (Eastwood is especially terrified due to his severe arachnophobia). Prayer really is the last resort here since he tried [[AteHisGun eating lead first]] -- it failed since he was already out of bullets. He is immediately struck with inspiration (which he initially mistakes for a fatal stroke -- which he still thinks is better than being on a horny giant spider demoness' menu) [[spoiler:and saves the day.]]
18th Feb '16 7:09:10 PM M84
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to:

* In ''Webcomic/ExterminatusNow'', FlatEarthAtheist Eastwood begs the god of justice Tyrus to help when he is cornered by a gigantic spider demoness who has insinuated that she is going to rape and eat him (Eastwood is especially terrified due to his severe arachnophobia). Prayer really is the last resort here since he tried [[AteHisGun eating lead first]] -- it failed since he was already out of bullets. He is immediately struck with inspiration (which he initially mistakes for a fatal stroke -- which he still thinks is better than being on a horny giant spider demoness' menu) [[spoiler:and saves the day.]]
7th Feb '16 2:09:03 PM Angeldeb82
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* PatchAdams.. [[RageAgainstTheHeavens Sort of.]]

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* PatchAdams..Film/PatchAdams.. [[RageAgainstTheHeavens Sort of.]]



* Arnie also prayed toward the end of ''Film/EndOfDays'' [[spoiler: and since he's fighting off DemonicPossession from Satan himself, it's appropriate.]]
* In ''Film/{{United 93}}'', a [[TearJerker Tear Jerking]] and RealLife example is given when Todd Beamer recites the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm with GTE airphone supervisor Lisa Jefferson before they storm the cockpit. A few other passengers join in, too.

to:

* Arnie (as Jericho Cane) also prayed toward the end of ''Film/EndOfDays'' [[spoiler: and since he's fighting off DemonicPossession from Satan himself, it's appropriate.]]
appropriate]].
* In ''Film/{{United 93}}'', a [[TearJerker Tear Jerking]] {{Tear Jerk|er}}ing and RealLife example is given when Todd Beamer recites the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm with GTE airphone supervisor Lisa Jefferson before they storm the cockpit. A few other passengers join in, too.
29th Jan '16 11:30:53 AM AHI-3000
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* In one episode of ''TheBoondocks'' animated series, Huey exhibits this trope. After [[spoiler: all his plans to save an innocent black man from execution have apparently failed]], at the last minute, he breaks down and prays; saying that he's never prayed before, and isn't sure who he's praying to, but that he knows the world isn't supposed to be like this. [[spoiler: Moments later, as they're about to flip the switch for the electric chair, lightning strikes Reverend Ruckus ([[TemptingFate just as he dares God to strike him with lightning if any of his racist preaching doesn't come from God himself]]), then the governor calls off the execution as one of Huey's plans (Threatening to expose the governor's gay affair, not knowing about one but figuring there was about a 5% chance that one existed) comes to fruition.]]

to:

* In one episode of ''TheBoondocks'' ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'' animated series, Huey exhibits this trope. After [[spoiler: all his plans to save an innocent black man from execution have apparently failed]], at the last minute, he breaks down and prays; saying that he's never prayed before, and isn't sure who he's praying to, but that he knows the world isn't supposed to be like this. [[spoiler: Moments later, as they're about to flip the switch for the electric chair, lightning strikes Reverend Ruckus ([[TemptingFate just as he dares God to strike him with lightning if any of his racist preaching doesn't come from God himself]]), then the governor calls off the execution as one of Huey's plans (Threatening to expose the governor's gay affair, not knowing about one but figuring there was about a 5% chance that one existed) comes to fruition.]]
24th Nov '15 8:16:34 PM Llygodenfawr
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* ''Film/TheMummy1999'': Benny resorts to desperately running through prayers and religious icons when faced with the resurrected Imhotep. He gets nothing out the cross, the representation of the Buddha or the Muslim crescent. But he's saved when he breaks out the Star of David and mumbles in Hebrew- Imhotep recognizes "the language of the slaves."

to:

* ''Film/TheMummy1999'': Benny resorts to desperately running through prayers and religious icons when faced with the resurrected Imhotep. He gets nothing out the cross, the representation of the Buddha or the Muslim crescent. But he's saved when he breaks out the Star of David and mumbles in Hebrew- Hebrew -- Imhotep recognizes "the language of the slaves."
24th Nov '15 7:41:27 PM Llygodenfawr
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TruthInTelevision, if the person doesn't regularly pray, and feels they have exhausted all other options. There are other cases such as people who pray regularly. These people usually do so as a first response, and then try to resolve the issue if that doesn't work or just praying for their attempts to succeed- and this is seen as normal among such people. Then there are the people whose first response is to pray for the strength to solve their problem themselves. Such people would include the GoodShepherd, the ReligiousBruiser, ThePaladin, [[RealMenLoveJesus other manly and religious men]] etc.

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TruthInTelevision, if the person doesn't regularly pray, and feels they have exhausted all other options. There are other cases such as people who pray regularly. These people usually do so as a first response, and then try to resolve the issue if that doesn't work or just praying for their attempts to succeed- succeed -- and this is seen as normal among such people. Then there are the people whose first response is to pray for the strength to solve their problem themselves. Such people would include the GoodShepherd, the ReligiousBruiser, ThePaladin, [[RealMenLoveJesus other manly and religious men]] etc.
4th Oct '15 4:22:47 PM TheAmazingBlachman
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* On September 11, 2001, the final words that GTE airphone supervisor Lisa Jefferson had with United Airlines Flight 93 passenger Todd Beamer were the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm. The passengers stormed the cockpit minutes later and crashed the hijacked plane into a rural field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

to:

* On September 11, 2001, the final words that GTE airphone supervisor Lisa Jefferson had with United Airlines Flight 93 passenger Todd Beamer were the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm. The passengers stormed the cockpit minutes later and crashed the hijacked plane into a rural field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.Pennsylvania.
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12th Sep '15 7:08:29 PM ChaoticNovelist
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* There is a joke about an atheist (but in some versions, [[SubvertedTrop a priest]]) praying to God when about to be devoured by a bear, asking to make the bear a Christian. [[spoiler:[[CrossesTheLineTwice The bear says "thank you for]] [[BlackComedy this meal I am about to receive."]]]]

to:

* There is a joke about an atheist (but in some versions, [[SubvertedTrop a priest]]) someone praying to God when about to be devoured by a bear, asking to make the bear a Christian. [[spoiler:[[CrossesTheLineTwice The bear says "thank you for]] [[BlackComedy this meal I am about to receive."]]]]
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