Time-travel is favorite convention of the SF genre. This is in part because it appeals to our sense of adventure. Our unrequited desire to visit periods before (or after) we lived.
But it also appeals to our sense of regret. Our inability of go back and make things right. One of the ironies of life is that we only gain insight through hindsight. But, of course, hindsight lacks the advantages of foresight. We can’t apply our newfound wisdom to the past.
So we content ourselves with the vicarious experience of imaginary characters who travel back in time and get it right things right.
Yet there’s something ultimately unsatisfying about that experience. It just isn’t real. After we finish the bucket of popcorn, see the closing credits, and watch the lights come on, we have to reenter a world of linear time and irreversible succession. A world conditioned by the accidental necessity of the past–where what’s behind us is over and done with.
Yet there’s a sense in which a Christian on his knees is a bona fide time-traveler. Not that he is actually moving through time. But a Christian prays to a timeless God. Since time is no barrier to God, time is not necessarily a barrier to prayer.
We understand this when we pray for the future. Yet there are situations in which we can also pray for the past. Our prayers can affect the past (without changing the past) inasmuch as God has written that into his plan for the world. He decreed our prayer, and he decreed the result of our prayer (assuming he chooses to answer our prayer). Since God foreknew our prayer, he can answer a future request about a past event.
So there’s a sense in which we can travel back into the past through the time-machine of prayer and thereby affect the outcome after it occurs.
That only works in those cases where we don’t know the outcome. And, of course, it all depends on God answering our prayers. But it’s possible. And it nicely avoids the paradoxes of time-travel.