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How Can God Hear and Respond to All Prayers - Simultaneously

by Dr. Hugh Ross, M.Sc., Ph.D. (from his book "Beyond The Cosmos")


Anyone who has tried to listen to two or three conversations at once can understand this question. How can God hear and respond to my prayers while millions or even billions of other people are praying at the same moment around the world? Our experience with time and attention tells us that no one can tune in to billions of voices at the same moment much less respond to them all. As one third-grader stated the situation, a billion simultaneous calls would jam up God's phone line.

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Figure 1: Infinite Time at an Instant of Time

In a plane of time , time line A can proceed for as long as one desires while in an independent dimension or line of time, B, time is not progressing at all. The first time line, A, simply needs to be perpendicular, or at a right angle (in Euclidean geometries), to the second line, B.


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Figure 2: Listening to Six Billion Simultaneous Prayers

In a time line perpendicular to ours, God, for example, could divide up two billion hours into six billion twenty-minute segments. What is a mere instant for us could be two billion hours, or even an infinite amount of time for Him. Thus, God can easily pay attention and respond to the entire human race praying to Him at the same time.

Because of our confinement to a single, unidirectional, unstoppable time line, we humans are forced to communicate with other individuals (or groups) sequentially. But God does not live with such confinement. In a two-dimensional time plane such as the one described above, His capacity to communicate with any number of individuals simultaneously can be demonstrated. In this plane, God can extend a time line perpendicular, or at right angle, to our time line at any given moment along our time line (see figure 1). On this perpendicular line, God can give individual, undivided attention to any number of prayers simultaneously. None of us have any need to worry that our communication with Him will be drowned out by the communication of others (see figure 2).

Operating in a time plane is one provable way God could give individual attention to six billion simultaneous prayers, But as the Master and Creator of at least ten space-time dimensions, He obviously would have many more options.

This simple illustration goes far in reassuring us that God really is attentive to us at every moment, in every situation. It give new meaning to King Davids's expression of joy and wonder:

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber
      The grains of sand
. (Psalm 139:17-18, NIV)



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Hugh Ross M.Sc, Ph.D. is the President of: reasons to believe


Ross Hugh, Ph. D., "Beyond The Cosmos" NavPress, 1996 Reasons to Believe, p.63-65