In the beginning God answered all the prayers that would ever be offered up. God created a universe where everything that is, was and will be is connected and prayer is a way of effectively utilising this unity. So the conscious and subconscious prayers of all creatures, of people of all faiths, of believers and unbelievers, are equally and scientifically valid. If God was to die our prayers would still be just as powerful.



  1. In the beginning God answered all the prayers that would ever be offered up.

    The words carry a suggestion of once for all, set-in-stone that I find troubling, because I believe that God constantly interacts with us, and through prayer, we interact with God and with one another, and that by these interactions, we change God, and we change each other, and we, in turn, are changed.

    However, I agree that “everything that is, was and will be is connected and prayer is a way of effectively utilising this unity.”

  2. Intriguing, MadPriest.

    Intriguing, Grandmère Mimi.

    But thinking about that stuff too long makes my head hurt.
    Ha! My word verification is:


    My kind of trinity! 🙂

    (The Finlay cats definitely approve.)

  3. Forgive my theological inadequacies but where does this come from in a protestant theological construct? I’ve only read similar in a Jesuit context…and I’m not taking the mick…This is germaine to a current essay ubder construction.

  4. I’m afraid I didn’t spell it out enough for Mimi (she prefers lots of sub-clauses). My thought does not exclude God’s subsequent interference otherwise I would have said that. What it does is propose a mechanism where all prayers, “thinking ofs” etc. no matter who offers them up, have the potential to be effective. It’s also a nod to the scientism concept of “the theory of everything,” which I believe may very well eventually bring science and theology back together again.

  5. Tmtim. It comes from me (although I doubt there’s anything unique about it). So I can’t help with your essay question. There’s perhaps a bit of John Hicks in it.

  6. MadPriest, would you consider that God does not know the future, that God knows only the possibilities? That the future doesn’t exist, that only possibilities exist?

    My thinking is more or less from process theology as adapted by me, so if what I say sounds wacky, don’t blame the process theologians, blame me.

    …”the theory of everything,” which I believe may very well eventually bring science and theology back together again.

    I agree. Good heavens! The sky will surely fall.

  7. I don’t believe God knows the future. But I expect, being God and all that, God is pretty good at manipulating the present to make the future into what God wants it to be.

  8. Surely, God has the advantage, but God gave us troublesome humans free will by which we are able to interfere with God’s plan for the best of the possibilities to come to be.

    I’m trying out these thoughts to see whether they’re totally off the wall. I have to be in the mood to think and talk theology, or like Ellie, I get a headache.

  9. I think it’s more simply than being about free will and stuff. The future hasn’t happened yet so it is impossible for anything, even God, to know what is going to happen in the future. As I keep saying, God can only do what is possible for God to do. God cannot do the impossible and is not less than God because of that. If God could do the impossible then it wouldn’t be impossible in the first place.

  10. Yes. I speak of the possible, too.

    Off topic, my theological meanderings on justice and judgment are not yet ready for prime time, but, as I see it, there can be no justice without judgment.

  11. I see absolutely no reason to act justly unless there is judgement. Which, as so many Christians have given up on the idea of judgement, probably explains why there is so much injustice in Christianity. But, I thought you were all for acting justly just for the sake of it, Mimi.

  12. MadPriest, I believe that in my own poor way, I would try to act justly even if it were proved to me that God did not exist. In other words, I don’t try to do good because of fear of judgment, but because I think doing good is the right way to live my life, God or no God.

    However, by faith, I believe that God exists, and if that is true, then God’s justice requires God’s judgment. Does that make sense?

  13. But then there’s the matter of grace and the question as to whether I could even begin to act justly were it not for the grace of God. I doubt that I could, which increases my faith that God’s grace is at work in me.

  14. Oh, my goodness, no. Of course not.

    I’m just saying that there doesn’t have to be a judgment for there to be judgment, that’s all. And I’m not suggesting you think that. I’m referring to the Christians who have given up on the idea of judgement. Personally, I don’t see how that’s even possible. But, you know what they say: denial is not just a river in Egypt.

  15. One word, Mimi: paradox.

    God is omniscient (re the Eternal Future) *AND* we have complete Free Will. There’s no contradiction—but there is a Holy Paradox.

    [One reason that universalism works for me: you can be a Complete & Total A-hole who will NEVER be let into heaven, AND I can know that you’ll (maybe I should say “I’ll”, as perhaps *I* am That A-hole! ;-p) get into heaven. God is merciful—AND pardoxical.]

  16. In the resurrected life, self-knowledge will extend to an awareness of the way one was experienced by others. Through the power of the divine sensitivity each is mediated to the other knowing oneself through the heart of the other. Joys that were given will be experienced; alternatively, the same dynamics mean that pains that were inflicted will also be experienced. In the faithfulness of this experience of the self through the other, there is continued judgment.

    Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki – God Christ Church, p.212

    Of course, this is one short paragraph from an entire book, but I hope it sheds a little light on what I mean when I speak of judgment.

  17. Why would “future” or “past” be relevant terms to God?

    The idea that God either interferes or simply observes fails to take into account the fact that God is All – all possible futures, pasts, presents, all possible universes, and in Whom linear time would have neither purpose nor meaning.