Friday, May 23, 2014

Retroactive Prayer

Have you ever prayed that something would happen retroactively?

Sometimes I struggle with the concept of prayer in general - if I believe that my God is all knowing, why do I tell him things or ask him for things? I have my own answers to that question, but it is mind bending for me to try and sync my ideas of God with my human interactions with him.

For example, I believe that God is omnipresent, which includes time and space. He can be everywhere, at all times, at any time, and his time is not linear like the way we see time. If he is all powerful, he can be in the past and future right now, and if he has always been and always will be, is there such thing as past, present, and future for him?

When I connect his omnipresence and his omnipotence together, I wonder, can I pray for things that have already happened in my life? Not necessarily that the past would be changed. Usually, this situation comes up when I said I would pray for someone else concerning something that had a deadline (a trip, an illness, an important appointment, etc.), but I forgot to do it before that appointed time arrived. Although I don't believe that God needs my individual prayers in order to care for that person, I still want to keep my promise to pray for them and intercede for their needs before Christ.

So what do you think? Is it pointless to ask God to affect something that happened in earthly past, but may not be "in the past" in his realm at all? If he is all powerful, it couldn't hurt, right? I don't know, maybe it's a crazy idea - maybe it's better to just pray for those in my life or about a particular situation after it's happened in earthly time and rely on the power of Christ to resolve the situation if it's still something that is troubling after the "prayer deadline" has passed.

On a somewhat different subject, do you make an effort to be extra reverent when you pray? Do you clean up your language and grammar when you talk to God? Do you consider it irreverent to pray on the toilet, for example?

I take care not to say things that I think would hurt or offend God, but in general, I talk to him (when I pray alone) the way I would talk to my husband - honestly, openly, sometimes angrily, sometimes in the midst doing very human things.

I am curious to know if any of you have particular prayer habits or beliefs? Perhaps those that you question the sanity or effectiveness of? Tell me about them!

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