Who would win in a fight—Superman or Hulk? Batman or Captain America? The Flash or Quick Silver? In 1996 DC and Marvel Comics teamed up to answer these and other similar questions in an epic crossover event. With all of reality hanging in the balance, the heroes of two universes must battle each other for the fate of their own existence. Amid many other matchups, Thor, the mighty Norse god of thunder, is pitted against Captain Marvel, the emissary of the wizard Shazam and embodiment of Olympian power. As you can see in the image to the left, Thor and Captain Marvel stand poised—ready for battle. Their eyes meet. But before any fists fly, both combatants fall to their knees, fold their hands, bow their heads and pray. As both a follower of Christ and a fan of comics, this moment spoke to me. Nestled between mighty mêlées and swashbuckling skirmishes, two of DC and Marvel’s mightiest heroes paused and prayed.
Their actions echo those of Jesus in Matthew 26. On the night before His crucifixion, Jesus prepared Himself for what would be his greatest challenge. In a few short hours, soldiers would lead Him to a place called Golgotha, where He would be crucified. He knew exactly what was coming. Betrayal. Shame. Torture. Trauma. Loneliness. And eventually… death. How could He face such a future without flinching? The answer—He prayed. The Bible says that He went to a remote olive grove called Gethsemane then “Jesus fell to the ground and prayed” (Matthew 26:39 NCV).
Perhaps we could learn from these examples. We each have our own personal challenges and conflicts awaiting us. Before the battle begins, each of us ought to pause and pray. The Bible says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand” (Philippians 4:6 NLT). Prayer may not remove our challenges, but it will give us the power and peace to face them head on.