The good news is, President Obama didn't cancel the National Day of Prayer, as was alleged by e-mails sent by a few of my dimmer relations over the last few years. The bad news is, it's still pretty goddamned hard to find an appropriate bit of Scripture when you're in a rush.
You can always use George Carlin's reliable "Hail Mary for when you're falling from a truck," or Homer Simpson's "Save me Jebus!" But these are pretty generic. What we need are some quick prayers for those situations we may not commonly find ourselves in, when the Lord's Prayer (or salah, or Birkhat Ha‑Gomel) just won't cut it. For example:
Prayer For An Impromptu Funeral of Someone You Really Didn't Care For -- National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
Ah, the `80s. When desecration of a corpse was still funny. In my weaker moments (and I have a lot of them), I like to imagine giving this particular eulogy at Strom Thurmond's funeral.
Prayer For When You're Being Pursued by Angry Rednecks -- The Blues Brothers (1980)
Short, but oh so sweet. Though I have to admit, I haven't been able to determine which specific saint Elwood is referring to (at the 0:42 mark). My money's on Mechthild of Magdeburg, because those Germans make some sweet cars.
Prayer For When Your Ho Doesn't Know Her Place -- The Boondocks
There are a lot of self-styled pimps out there, all of whom I'm sure have a full understanding that the expression refers to a coward that exploits and beats women, yet still maintains a unique sartorial philosophy. This here's the prayer for them.
For When You're Outnumbered by Thulsa Doom's Forces -- Conan the Barbarian (1982)
Oh man, I was just defending the Eye of the Serpent while simultaneously trying to avenge the death of my lover Valeria the other day, and I thought, "I really need to appeal to Crom for success while at the same time maintaining my lone-warrior cred." Next time I'll be ready.
Prayer For When You Want to Rip Someone's Heart Out And Show It To Him Before He Dies -- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
Traditional Hindu mythology tells us Kali is the goddess most associated with motherhood and the passage of time. And that's just what Mola Ram wants you to think.
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