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This sounds like a religious question, but I don't really think it is - so am hoping Rooster will feel free to chime in also...because a novena is nine days of special prayers, six times per day.

I actually suspect that we will someday discover that prayer is something scientific, and prayer connects in with basic dynamics of life that are not really understood at the present time...thus you have Einstein saying that time is just a very persistent illusion, and quantum theory also does not always obey the laws of time...

So, will the prayers still be effective if I do the novena after the need is over? Or is the timing important, and do I need to do the prayers at the time they are needed?

I need to know because I want to do a novena for someone and short of time right now  ;)  but if novenas are not time-sensitive, then I don't need to hurry, if you see what I mean? The effect will happen right now even if I don't get around to the novena until some future time?

(I actually think I already know the answer, I think novenas are NOT time-sensitive, however I often change my mind or at least learn more from everyone's answers on the Q/A sites!)

3 Answers

Virginia Marianne

Marianne, I think you will agree that the depth and breadth of Wikipedia can be amazing...whoever wrote that article on prayer put their whole heart and soul into it! They attempted to write in an inclusive way, but I will tell you that I myself would stretch it even further; because at least at the present moment I don't even think there needs to be an object of worship! One example is a basic prayer of Buddhism, with no deity involved here; "May all beings be well and happy, may all beings be free from suffering."

I was also interested in the article on the novena; the writer mentions the novena as an ancient Christian tradition, however I recall reading somewhere that the novena dates back to early pagan Roman times at least. Of course, Christianity was the official religion in Rome for a long time...it is difficult to know the true history, I am sure!

"an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication."

Marianne Marianne

Yes, Virginia, I agree with you; prayers, invocations, devotion, meditation, beliefs and worship are probably as old as humanity.

And psychology has also some answers:




From what I could find out? They are not time sensitive at all. Although I am not a christian in any way, we all have our ways of prayer. No, you don't need to hurry. This is a christian belief and my knowledge is scant on the subject but it would seem to me that it would not be time sensitive.

My beliefs are closer to ancient Shinto-Bushido and I've lived by them on a daily basis since I was taught them. We pray in our own ways also.


Virginia Rooster

Rooster, I have actually taken the image of Bushido virtues and plan to get it enlarged and laminated...because imo, that is actually a magnificent statement of the Warrior archetype for all religions, for all humankind. And I see 'the warrior' as one of the basic reasons for our life here on Earth.

Buddhism might call that a root text, where a huge amount of wisdom is conveyed in very few words. I will look it over often, just for the help in staying centered and oriented in life.

I am thinking to send it to David as well.


I think you are right, Virginia. Things done within the bounds of time, as we understand it, must also have eternal significance, outside of time.  Hence the Lamb is "slain from the foundation of the world," and we are invited to "come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."

Virginia TheOtherTink

Very lovely, ty Other Tink.

TheOtherTink TheOtherTink

YW, Virginia. <3