Time Travel and The Omnipresent Nature of Love
“While God placed us in a world defined by measurements, He breathed His Spirit, His measureless love, into us. So, while we live in the insecurities of this earth, we have been invited to live from the confidence of heaven.” (From Prone to Love)
In the year 2000, the Department of Medicine at Beilinson Campus in Petah-Tiqva Israel conducted a study “to determine whether remote…intercessory prayer, said for a group of patients with a bloodstream infection, has an effect on outcomes.”
It was a double-blind, parallel-group, randomized controlled trial of remote intervention, and it took place at the Rabin Medical Center, the university hospital.
The subjects were 3393 adult patients whose bloodstream infection was detected at the hospital.
The patients were randomly placed into a control group and an intervention group. Then a remote intercessory prayer was said for the well-being and full recovery of the intervention group members.
No prayers were said for the control group.
Don’t get mad at me, I didn’t set the study up.
There were three “main outcome” measurables for the study; they wanted to know if remote intersensory prayer would have “any effect on mortality in hospital, length of stay in the hospital, and duration of fever.”
After they had prayed for the control group, they compared the control group with the intervention group and discovered that while the mortality rate was only slightly better for the intervention group, “the length of stay in hospital and duration of fever was significantly shorter in the intervention group than in the control group.”
Here is their finding, “Remote…intercessory prayer said for a group is associated with a shorter stay in the hospital and shorter duration of fever in patients with a bloodstream infection and should be considered for use in clinical practice.”
That’s a pretty cool conclusion from a pretty awesome study.
But it’s not really all that surprising, at least, not to me. I mean, essentially, they wanted to know if prayer works.
Turns out it does. Go figure.
But if you were paying close attention, you may have noticed the ellipses…
The three dots I used when describing this study.
That’s because I withheld the most amazing part of this study for emphasis. I wanted to direct your focus to the most profoundly unique aspect of the research.
You see, this wasn’t just a study “to determine whether remote…intercessory prayer” had an impact on sick people. No, this was a study “to determine whether remote, retroactive, intercessory prayer” had any impact on sick people.
The study was done in the year 2000.
But the cases were pulled from the years 1990 through 1996.
That’s right, this study was about time travel. Yeah, you almost need a flux capacitor to understand it.
The scientists wanted to know if prayer said in the year 2000 had an effect on the health of patients 6 to 10 years earlier. This wasn’t just a study to see if a prayer said today transforms the future, this was a study to see if a prayer said today impacted the past.
And it turns out it does. Wow.
Here is the complete finding, “Remote retroactive, intercessory prayer said for a group of patients is associated with a shorter hospital stay and shorter duration of fever in patients with a bloodstream infection, even when the intervention is performed 4-10 years after the infection.”
This was a study in the time travel omnipresent nature of Love, and its findings were an invitation to rethink prayer and also, well, everything else. And for weeks I was giddy with what this study revealed. I would tell anyone who would listen about it, my family, ten times over.
I remember catching my youngest, Eva, in the kitchen one morning a few days after learning about this study and realizing she hadn’t heard yet.
So I presented her the story just as I have done with you and then said excitedly, “Can you believe it?!”
She smiled, “Yeah dad, that’s kinda cool, I guess.”
“You guess?!” I said, sarcastically. “I don’t think you understand.”
She probably did, but she was thirteen, so she couldn’t show too much excitement, that’s an unspoken rule for thirteen-year-olds. And the rule for dads of thirteen-year-olds is to get even more excited and make them stay and listen to your world-transforming explanation.
“So, Eva, God is love, right?”
“Yeah, Dad, I know,” she said rolling her eyes humorously.
I nodded and then started my preach, “Yeah! And LOVE is before the beginning and without end! And everything between! Love is infinite, has always been, and always will be. And Love wins even when Love doesn’t play the winning or losing game. And the width, length, height, and depth of love surpasses knowledge—that means we can’t come up with words or measurements to define or confine it because Love is beyond our best definitions and is immeasurable.” (See Ephesians 3;16-20).
None of this was new to Eva but I had to lay the groundwork. She nodded and gave me the thirteen-year-old ‘that’s great, Dad,’ smile.
I continued, “God, who is Love, created time and space and He is both in and outside of time and space, right?”
Eva nodded again.
“Ok, so this is what happened. There are these sick people between the years 1990 and 1996. And God is with those folks, but also with the researchers who are praying in the year 2000. And, so, God hears their prayers in 2000 and goes, “Yeah, that’s pretty cool” and then applies their prayers to the sick people in 1990-96!” I look at Eva, put both hands to my head, and then made the ‘mind blown’ action with my hands. “It’s time travel, Eva! TIME TRAVEL. That’s crazy! Right?”
Eva nodded with more excitement, my enthusiasm was catching on.
“That IS pretty cool,” she said.
Then my eyes lit up even more. “Hey, let’s try it.”
She looked at me with amusement and confusion.
Then I closed my eyes and said, “Father, I pray over my torn ACL from 5 years ago. I pray for a full recovery. I pray that you would provide both financially and relationally. I pray that event would provide a catalytic and graceful transition season that empowers us to launch A Family Story Ministries. I pray for grace and deeper trust, for provision and time to write my book, God Is Not In Control. I pray that event is reconciled and we, as a family, experience joy and life and wonder as we discoverer more who You are and grow in Your measureless love. In Jesus name, amen!”
Then I opened my eyes, looked at Eva, and did a squat. “My knee feels great!” I said and gleam in my eye. Then I picked up the book that had been on the counter, God Is Not In Control, and held it up to show her, wonder in my eyes. “It worked! I time-traveled, Eva!”
She laughed and shook her head, “Uh-huh, yeah, Dad, it worked.” Then she left the kitchen and it wasn’t just because her cousin was waiting for her to join him in their Mindcraft world, no, I knew it was also so she, like me, would further contemplate the profoundly deep revelation available from the findings of this study.
What if we have been invited to live from the measureless omnipresent love of God that dwells within us?
What if when Jesus walked the earth He redeemed our narrative so we could live in the finite from the infinite. What if Jesus was the revelation of another way of thinking and perceiving, the re-introduction to our native tongue? What if He made it possible for us to be re-born so we might re-discover?
What if today, while I write, I am also in the “cloud of witnesses” cheering on myself, my family, my friends, and the sons and daughters of God as we awaken to love? What if, while you read this, you are also seated in Christ at the right hand of my Father? (See Heb 12:1 & Eph 2:6)
What if every prayer, every promise, every dream, every hope has its beginning and end in the measureless, retroactive, proactive, reconciling, omnipresent love of God?
When I first read about the impact of remote retroactive pray I was giddy. You see, I was born to be loved and to become love, and another way of saying, I was made for time travel.
And so were you!
I wrote this story to mess with your thinking, to help you recognize your heart is burning, to remind you of your union, to further awaken you to the sacrificial resurrection authority of measureless love, to encourage you regarding what is possible as you become like Jesus.
My heart is that we would trade a finite perspective with an infinite revelation, the good news, Christ in us reconciling and restoring and healing and transforming…
Jesus prayed we would be one, just as He and the Father were one. Then He revealed that there is no darkness light can’t penetrate, no brokenness that cant be made whole, no consequence of sin that justice can’t restore.
I told Eva that day in the kitchen, “We are one with Love! Eva, we are time travelers awakening to Love’s measureless reconciling grace, hope, kindness… yesterday, today, and forever! Isn’t that incredible?”
She nodded and grinned, “Yeah, Dad, it is.”
For more on the study of the effects of remote retroactive prayer CLICK HERE
Jason Clark is a writer, producer, speaker, and lead communicator at A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children, Madeleine, Ethan, and Eva.