A number of years ago the movie Shadowlands, starring Anthony Hopkins as C. S. Lewis, was released worldwide. In the film, Lewis returns to Oxford from London. He had married Joy Gresham, an American woman, in a private Episcopal ceremony performed at her hospital bedside. She was dying from cancer, and a relationship that began with letters back and forth had blossomed into deep love. When Lewis arrives at Oxford he is met by Harry Harrington, an Episcopal priest, who asks what news there is. Lewis hesitates, then, deciding to speak of the marriage and not the cancer, he says, “Ah, good news, I think, Harry. Yes, good news.”

Harrington, not aware of the marriage and thinking that Lewis is referring to Joy’s medical situation, replies, “I know how hard you’ve been praying. . . . Now, God is answering your prayer.” “That’s not why I pray, Harry,” Lewis responds. “I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God; it changes me.” — Michael Catt, The Power of Purpose: Breaking through to Intentional Living (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2017).