Star Wars immortalized the phrase: "May the Force be with you." But this statement has bothered me ever since I began the process of knowing Jesus Christ.
How should I type "the Force," for example? Is it "the Force" or "the force?"
What does "May the Force be with you" mean? Is it a statement of faith in the Force, or a prayer request addressed to the Force, as if the Force is listening?
When someone sneezes, we say "Bless you," which is short for "God bless you," which implies "I am praying right now to God that He will bless you." So the phrase "bless you," at it's roots, is both a statement of faith and a prayer.
Toward the end of Episode IV (the original from the 1977), Luke is upset with Han Solo for leaving the Rebellion so he can go spend his reward money. In an attempt to reconcile the situation, Han Solo says, "Hey, Luke... may the Force be with you." Translation: "Luke, regardless of my general selfishness, I am praying right now that the Force will help you blow up the Death Star." Han's "prayer" is also meant to reassure Luke that there is a larger Purpose at work, call it "Fate" if you want, that makes the Rebellion's efforts worthwhile.
Notice what happens soon after Han Solo "prays" ... he ends up doing something totally out of the ordinary: he risks his life to save Luke and the entire Rebellion in one fell swoop. This is a realistic portrayal of prayer. The more we pray, the more we will be transformed by God's presence. The more we spend time with God, the more He will transform our hearts and minds.
Whoever prays persistently will think more and more like Jesus Christ. If you, for example, ask God consistently to bring about some positive change, He will most likely turn you into a zealously effective agent for bringing about that very change.
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."
-- Jesus to his disciples (Matthew 7:7)