I have a strange prayer habit that believe was passed down to me by my parents. The practice in question is praying for someone at the very moment that they have requested my intercession. For example, my friend goes into surgery tomorrow to remove a kidney and he asks me to pray for him.
I say, “What time does the operation begin?”
He says, “Around 1 pm.”
I say “You got it!”
The next day comes around and it just so happens that at 1 pm I am in the middle of teaching a rebellious group of 30 7th graders. There’s no chance, not even in Mecca, that I’m going to be able to stop for a brief moment of prayer at exactly 1 o’clock.
So after school gets out at 5, I remember that my friend was operated on a hours ago. After kicking myself for loving my job so much, I come to my senses and say a prayer that goes something like this:
Thank you for my friend. May his operation go well and may his guardian angel be close to his side. Also, if you could send my guardian angel to keep the doctors on task, that’d be great too. In your name, Amen.
Did you notice that I framed this prayer as if it were being said just prior to the operation even though it was well after the fact? Why would I do that? Shouldn’t I have used the past tense saying things like “I hope his kidney was removed safely” or “I pray that he didn’t suffer much”?
The answer is simple. Prayer transcends space and time. We can pray for someone after the fact in the same way we can pray for someone who is halfway around the world. When we connect with God, we become part of His spiritual community which knows no limits. Our prayers are not subject to physical laws, they are only subject to spiritual awesomeness.
The next time you feel like “it’s too late” to pray, think again. By connecting to God through prayer, you get to step out of the world to enjoy a bird’s eye glimpse of what eternity looks like.