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If God knows the future, why pray about it?

Posted by whybelieveinjesus on July 1, 2019 at 3:15 PM

Time is a very complex concept and everything we do occurs within some form of timeframe. Because of this, we struggle to imagine how things would be if they were not time-bound. But if God created time, then he can be outside of it. In effect, God is eternally in what we would best describe as the “present”. That means that right now is the present to him (just as it is to us) but so is a year ago, and so is a year’s time. God is permanently there in every period of time.


As a consequence, being eternally in the present means that God hears ALL prayers simultaneously. To us that includes not just prayers that we utter now and those we have said before but even those that we have yet to think of. Because God is aware of our prayers it means that he can take a prayer that we will say next week and attach it to an event that happened a month ago. This means the build-up to a prayer you intend to say is already in motion... you just don’t know it yet.


It can apply to anything we pray, no matter how trivial, but let’s use a dramatic example that’s easy to picture: Imagine you are waiting for your brother to come home from his holiday abroad. You turn on the news and see that there has been a terrible plane crash. You know from the newsreader’s description that your brother was on that plane. You start to pray: “Oh, God, please, no! Let him be OK, please!” But the event has happened. If your brother was going to be injured or killed, it would be done already. But if God is outside of time, then this prayer you make now has been known in advance. Your brother phones you and says, “Hey, it’s me. I’ve been in an accident, but I’m OK. I’ll be a bit late home tonight!” Perhaps if you hadn’t prayed he would not have been OK, because God tells us that prayer changes things, and tells us to pray about everything, not just emergencies. There is nothing too big or too small for us to trouble God with. He tells us:


“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” ~ Philippians 4:6, The Bible


Have you tried praying? What have you got to lose? If you are sceptical, you may say “answered prayers are just coincidences”, but you may find, like the late Archbishop, William Temple, “When I pray, coincidences happen, and when I don’t, they don’t”. So, go on then... give it a go!


Interested in the topic of prayer but not sure what to think? Why not check out this video from Alpha: “Why and How Do I Pray?”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vG1DA62I9k

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