If Augustine was right in suggesting that God created and is thus outside of time; can I pray for his conversion to Christianity in the same light as I pray for the conversion of Richard Dawkins? Meaning can I intercede for “past” events?
I asked this question to the group eating brunch at our house after church on Sunday. From that discussion (of which there were a variety of opinions) I came up with a range of consistent options that differ in how they view prayer* but keep the original proposition that the past and future the same:
A-If we view prayer as having no influence on God’s Will then we shouldn’t pray to change things in either the future or the past, but rather to see and be apart of God’s will no matter what happens or has happened.
B-If we view prayer as voicing our desires to God (the way in which we would like things to be, knowing that they might not correspond to God’s will due to our limited perspective); then we could voice desires for both the past and the future (no matter what the actual outcome of the past actually is).
C-If we view prayer as having the ability to change the outcome of things; then we pray for both past and future outcomes, but when praying for the past we pray for the way things actually happened (believing that we shaped the past just as we shaped the future).
I actually find a well rounded view of prayer through a combination of the above. “A” keeps us in perspective with God’s will, “B” deepens our relationship with God by strengthening our honesty with Him, and “C” lets us embrace our limited perspective and lets us pray with power and conviction concerning events (accordingly I think past prayers for C don’t work as well unless you slip into 4th dimensional thinking often).
Any thoughts or Scripture references that would support or correct the above train of thought?
*Note that I am just talking about the supplication part of prayer. Thanksgiving, adoration, and repentance are other important aspects of prayer not discussed here.