The Scriptwriter and the Timelessness of Prayer
Okay, I’m going to be really, really honest with you. What I’m going to say, I’d like to keep this between us, okay? I’m trusting you here . . .
I’ve had my doubts about prayer.
When I first hit my health issues, I thought, “I don’t know whether to ask people to pray for my healing . . . or not.” On one hand, I read that “Prayer doesn’t change anything but ME.” That’s pretty fatalistic. On the other hand, I read Jesus’ parable about the persistent guy, knocking and knocking and knocking and ultimately, the master comes to the door and gives him what he’s asking for. When I hear people refer to an answered prayer with “It worked,” I think “Wow, they think they talked God into doing what they wanted.” As if prayer is this process where if enough of us gang up on God, He’ll somehow give in and give us what we want.
Then I read Scripture that says, “God does what He pleases,” and “The rain falls on the just and the unjust.” On the other hand, God changed His mind at least once (see Exodus 32:14). If He’s changed His mind before, that means He can again . . . if he wants to.
I think that’s at least four “on the other hands!”
The other day, I read a C.S. Lewis devotional that blew my mind. Shifted my paradigm. Answered this huge question for me. I’ll try to explain.
God is timeless. His timelessness is what we least understand about Him. It’s what’s most different between God and people.
God is the Scriptwriter of all history. Before He formed me, He knew me. He knows how everything turns out because He wrote the script. From our limited perspective, we live, act and decide with free will. But at the Ultimate, “God” level of things, He foreknew what we were going to do because He wrote the script.
When we pray, He hears our prayers and takes our prayers into account as He writes the script. So even though the script was written eons ago, every single prayer we utter enters in to the mind and heart of the Scriptwriter. He gives (or gave) it consideration as He was writing the script of our lives and of history.
Conceptually, a prayer for an event that already happened wouldn’t be wasted. But that’s where compassion and hope come in. God loves us so much, He wouldn’t want to see His children pour out their hearts in prayer for something that’s already come to fruition. That would be dumb. He knows we thrive when we have hope and die without it. It only makes sense to pray for present and future things . . . where there’s hope.
So as I pray, I know I’m speaking to the Scriptwriter. He’s going to listen to my prayers and take them into consideration as He develops the characters, plots and outcomes. No prayer is ever wasted . . . I should pray about everything that matters. He loves me, so if it matters to me, it matters to Him. After I pray, I have to trust His judgment.
I’m glad I know the Scriptwriter. I’m grateful He’s written me into His story. I know how His story ends.
I trust He’ll take care of me until then.
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