Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
An Italian Scholar concluded, “In virtually all studies of the sociology of religious behavior it is clearly apparent that a very high percentage of people declare they pray every day – and many say even many times a day”
The ultimate goal is union with the Supreme Being.
Prayer is not literally a universal phenomenon, it is a global one, inhabiting all cultures and involving the overwhelming majority of people at some point in their lives. Efforts to find cultures, even very remote and isolated ones, without some form of religion and prayer have failed. There has always been some form of attempt to “communicate between human and divine realms.” There seems to be a human instinct for prayer. Swiss theologian Karl Barth calls it our “incurable God-sickness.”
From the biblical point of view, the near-universal phenomenon of prayer is not surprising. All human beings are made in the “image of God” (Gen 1:26–27). Bearing God’s image means that we are designed to reflect and relate to God.
This is why the sixteenth-century Reformer John Calvin wrote of the “divinitatis sensum”, the sense of deity that all human beings have. “There is within the human mind, and indeed by natural instinct, an awareness of divinity,” and therefore “the seed of religion is planted in all.” Other theologians have also understood this “divinitatis sensum” as the reason prayer is so pervasive across the human race. Romans 1:19–20 says we can look at the world and conclude that some great power created and sustains it. An experience of weakness and precariousness can then trigger this primal knowledge into prayerful cries for help.
English theologian John Owen also believed that the natural impulse to pray is present in all people, that it is “original in the law of nature” and a “natural, necessary, fundamental acknowledgement of that Divine Being.”
The instinct to pray is in us all – let’s make prayer key to our lives
Have a great day!
Senior Pastor at Sawyers Church