Can our prayers affect the past?
First off, I’m not omniscient, and I don’t/never will have all the answers. This blog is the exploration of this question and an opinion on it, “Can our prayers affect the past?”
This thought just materialized into my mind one Sunday morning as I was walking to my car after service. When I asked a friend this question, she responded with: “Yes, because we can pray for forgiveness for our past sins.” I fully agree with her, for the blood of Christ ransoms us from all sins–past, present, and future. However, this fact also provides evidence that we can take this thought a step further.
Take into consideration:
1. God is a deity not dominated by time; He created time.
2. Prayer is powerful.
3. We pray for the present and the future. (We can even pray with the possibility to change God’s mind (Genesis 6:6, Exodus 32:14, Jonah 3:10, Luke 18:1-8)).
This is a trippy thought I know, for we as humans, it’s difficult for us to think of time more than a straight line–a chain of cause and effect. So, if it occurred in the past, why should I pray for it now, since it already happened? But what if, the prayers we prayed for today or tomorrow, planted the seeds that shaped the events of our history? At the end of Miracles, C. S. Lewis writes:
The event has already been decided – in a sense it was decided ‘before all worlds’. But one of the things taken into account in deciding it, and therefore one of the things that really cause it to happen, may be this very prayer that we are now offering. Thus, shocking as it may sound, I conclude that we can now at noon become part causes of an event occurring at ten o’clock [in the morning] … . My free act [of prayer] contributes to the cosmic shape. That contribution is made in eternity or ‘before all worlds’; but my consciousness of contributing reaches me at a particular point in the time-series.
What if our prayers today: planted the need to research a cure for cancer? was the reason that a loved-one was not on a train that wrecked? or gave Moses the strength that he needed to continue to lead the Israelites? Like I said, it’s a foreign concept to think about. But what would happen, if we believe what we pray today, affects yesterday? How will this change our train of thought, or open our eyes wider to the power of pray?
Though strange, I personally believe that it’s possible, for we worship a God who is omnipotent; and we truly do not, nor do I think we will ever, understand the power of pray.
What do you think?