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Emergency Multifaith Prayer

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Father Time would have helped him if he'd asked, but alas.
"Buddha, Zeus, God! One of you guys, do something! Help! Satan, you owe me!"
Professor Farnsworth in Futurama, "The Farnsworth Parabox"

When times are truly desperate and Prayer Is a Last Resort, someone will not only pray, they'll pray to any god or gods out there, in order to cover all their bases.

A particularly Crazy-Prepared person might even carry around holy symbols and relics of multiple faiths, and have memorized prayers to go with each one, just in case they ever need divine help.

If All Myths Are True then presumably somebody up there might deign to make it an Answer to Prayers. The character might even play Religious Russian Roulette, offering to believe in whichever deity gets the job done.

Compare Pascal's Wager, which posits faith as the rational option, owing to expected payout. Often overlaps with Silly Prayer.

If an entire belief system works on this principle, you have an Interfaith Smoothie.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Angel Densetsu has a weird Calling Your Attacks variant. Heizo, Ryoko's Boyfriend-Blocking Dad, thinks that his daughter's love interest Seiichirou Kitano is a literal devil, and at one point tries to beat him to a pulp under the guise of martial arts training in his karate dojo. The various names he gives to his attacks during this fight are an eclectic mix of Buddhist and Christian, the last of which is a "Hallelujah Punch."
  • Delicious in Dungeon: Attacked by intangible ghosts which none of the party can fight, Team Chef Senshi whips up some emergency multifaith holy water to drive them off by throwing together materials some culture, somewhere, considers capable of exorcisms: water, alcohol (a historical disinfectant and offering to gods), treasure bugs (substituting for scarab beetles), salt, sugar (since it looks the same as salt), assorted herbs, and monster innards, all boiled with candle flames. Then he pours the concoction into a jar, ties it with rope, and starts swinging it like a flail to bash ghosts. It works. After driving off the ghosts, Senshi discovers their Ghostly Chill has turned his holy water into slush, so he serves it up as sorbet, leading Marcille to wonder if they should really be eating something so demonstrably holy.
  • The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya: In the film adaptation, when Kyon realizes he is stuck in an alternate universe where Haruhi is not present and the SOS Brigade doesn't exist, begins crying out to Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammed (and H. P. Lovecraft) to save him.

    Comic Strips 
  • Willie and Joe has one strip where Joe asks an allied Arab or Indian soldier if he knows any good Muslim prayers; as Joe puts it, "I don't wanna miss any bets."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Hellboy (2004), the titular character has a revolver known as the "Good Samaritan" that fires oversized rounds. Hellboy packs his standard rounds with materials that are harmful to a wide variety of supernatural threats: holy water, silver shavings, bits of white oak, etc. The gun itself was forged from a combination of Irish church bells, cold iron, silver, and other metals, and the grip contains fragments of the True Cross.
  • The Mummy (1999): When facing Imhotep approaching him, Beni starts praying using Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, and Hindu icons and prayers. It's not until he reaches Judaism that Imhotep recognizes the Hebrew language as "the tongue of the slaves" and spares Beni's life in exchange for his services.
  • The titular hero of Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby does this when he thinks he's on fire.
    Ricky Bobby: Help me, Jesus! Help me, Jewish God! Help me, Allah! Help me, Tom Cruise!
  • During a tense moment in Mad Max: Fury Road, one of the runaway brides begins muttering to herself and making gestures. When asked what she's doing, she states she's praying.
    Praying to who?
    Praying to anyone who's listening!
  • In The Siege of Firebase Gloria, Sergeant Major Hafner explicitly recommends this to the Soldiers and Marines defending the titular firebase.

  • in the Discworld, which at the last count had nearly four thousand Gods - and all of them exist - the multi-faith prayer isn't just pragmatic, it's unavoidable.
    • The Last Hero's narration remarks that "oh, Mighty One!" is the Disc's religious equivalent to "to whom it may concern".
    • One application is in the warding-off of vampires. If you can avoid your pursuing Vampire for long enough, sooner or later you will find a holy symbol that works. Paranoid people tend to wear as many as possible at once, like a religiously-themed charm bracelet.
    • Going Postal: When Moist von Lipwig is standing on the gallows for what he believes will be his execution, he delivers a "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner that impresses the hangman:
    Moist: I commend my soul to any god that can find it.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Inverted by The Dreaded pirate Euron Greyjoy as a Blasphemous Boast:
    Euron Greyjoy: I am the godliest man ever to raise sail! You serve one god, Damphair, but I serve ten thousand. From Ib to Asshai, when men see my sails, they pray.
  • Spy School: Resident Dirty Coward Murray Hill pulls one of these when he’s in danger of dying from a missile strike in Spy School Goes South, praying to any god he could come up with, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Shintoism, and Zoroastrianism.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Big Storm Episode of Superstore, Tornado, Glenn, a Christian, prays in the tornado. When that doesn't work, he tries many other gods and is quite surprised and confused when the storm stops after praying to Allah.
  • Downplayed in Kaamelott, where King Arthur (who was sent away from Britain and raised by the Romans before becoming king) still prays to Mars, despite being a Christian. The Lady of the Lake calls him out on it, but he turns it right around by pointing out that neither the local gods she represents nor God have been much help either concerning this whole "quest for the Grail" thing. Among others, they've yet to give a clear definition of what it is (it might be a cup that held Jesus' blood or a burning stone) or where they're supposed to look.
  • When Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer is suffering from Laser-Guided Amnesia and is hiding from vampires, he starts saying the prayers of every religion he can think of — because he can't remember which one he actually follows.
  • The True Blood minisode "Jason" has the title character (who is not the most astute in religious matters) begging for help from God, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Allah, "Confusion" note , Buddha, Scientology, aliens, and "that lion from Narnia."
  • Criminal Minds: Not prayer exactly, but when Garcia receives her remote back from Mateo Cruz in the episode "Angels," she declares "Thank you, Jesus, Buddha, and Allah! I like to cover my bases."


    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000: The Death Guard fell to Nurgle this way: they were trapped in the Warp and were struck with a plague so horrifying that they eventually broke down and begged the aid of any divinity to spare them. Nurgle (who'd sent the plague in the first place) turned them into Plague Marines, inhumanly tough and pain-resistant abominations that are more cancer than flesh.
  • A weaponized variant appears in Hunter: The Vigil with Task Force: VALKYRIE's Compound Rounds, which are bullets that include trace elements of everything known to be harmful to various supernatural threats. This includes cold iron, salt, gold, silver, wood slivers, holy water, communion wafer crumbs, and various plants and herbs. They do enhanced damage against pretty much every type of creature.

  • ROMEO in the Darkness Side Blue — when they realize that Issei has been cursed, Team Mom Eichi panics, asking where they should go for help — a shrine? A temple? A church? An astrologer? But it's alright, they just consult their local demon king.

    Video Games 
  • In Conquests of Camelot, Camelot's chapel has separate altars dedicated to Jesus Christ and Mithras. You need to pray to both of them or the one you ignored will smite you.
  • In Prison Architect, you can build a Chapel or "Multi-Faith Prayer Room" and hire an NPC to perform Spiritual Guidance services that can calm your inmates. Said NPC is randomly selected from a number of real-life religions and a new one is picked for every service that occurs. A random spiritual leader will also meet with any prisoners you execute.
  • In King of Dragon Pass, certain crisis situations allow the clan to propitiate "appropriate" enemy gods not part of the Orlanthi pantheon. Specifically, Malia, goddess of Disease and a member of the Unholy Trio, and Daga, god of Drought. It has a chance of working, but it's generally a bad idea.
  • In Civilization: Beyond Earth, a technology research quote from the spiritual Kavitha Thakur is a devotional prayer that beseeches Seraphim, Cherubim, Devas, Yakshas, and Fravashi in service to the Lord Creator, implicitly blending this trope with Interfaith Smoothie.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc: At first, the laid-back and ditzy Yasuhiro Hagakure refuses to believe that the Deadly Game he and his fellow students find themselves in is anything more than an elaborate practical joke — until a classmate is brutally murdered in front of him. At that point, the reality of the situation finally sinks in, and he claps his hands and shouts "I'm begging you! God, Buddha, Mother Earth, God of Space, King Neptune, come save me!" In the original Japanese version, Hagakure even prays to King Kai.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama: At the start of "The Farnsworth Parabox", one of Professor Farnsworth's experiments goes horribly wrong and, in agony, he starts begging various deities to help him. Calling in a favor from Satan seems to do the trick, since he survives the ordeal.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "She Used to be My Girl", Lisa is trapped in the trunk of a car while her surroundings are slowly being engulfed by lava after a mountain erupted. Lisa prays to Buddha, Jesus, and SpongeBob. At the end of the episode, Buddha questions if they should intervene. Spongebob tells her off and starts laughing, much to Jesus' disappointment.
    • Another episode has Homer praying to Jesus, Allah, and Buddha while being chased by a rhino.
    • Downplayed example, but in another episode, Todd Flanders, while having a crisis of faith, prays for Ned's life to Jesus and Buddha, just in case.

    Real Life 
  • Elvis Presley was known to wear a necklace with a cross, star of David, and Hebrew Chai symbol on it; when asked about this, he said he didn't want to miss out on Heaven on a technicality.
  • The last act of the Viking King Rollo the Walker (who founded Normandy and who had converted to Christianity for political reasons) before he died was to donate 100.000 silver coins to the Church and to sacrifice 100 prisoners to Odin.
  • Doctor Haing S. Ngor (Star of The Killing Fields) wrote in his autobiography of making a prayer to several deities during his being tortured by the Khmer Rouge.


Video Example(s):


Help Me Tom Cruise!

Ricky Bobby cries out to Jesus, Jewish God, Allah, Tom Cruise (and his witchcraft), and Oprah Winfrey, anyone to help put out the invisible fire!

How well does it match the trope?

4.75 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / EmergencyMultifaithPrayer

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