Pretty much everyone prays.
Prayer is a nigh-on universal human activity in which human beings seek to communicate with the divine. In Plato’s Timaeus for example we read of the necessity of prayer to safeguard all human endeavours:
Socrates: And now, Timaeus, you, I suppose, should speak next, after duly calling upon the gods.
Timaeus: All men, Socrates, who have any degree of right feeling, at the beginning of every enterprise, whether small or great, always call upon God. And we, too, who are going to discourse of the nature of the universe, how created or how existing without creation, if we be not altogether out of our wits, must invoke the aid of gods and goddesses and pray that our words may be above all acceptable to them and in consequence to ourselves.
The philosopher William James, in his justly famous book The Varieties of Religious Experience attempted by means of an exhaustive study of religious phenomena to get to the essence of the religious impulse in human life in a non-theological and non-ecclesiastical context.
Comparing accounts of prayer across religious traditions and moments in history, he determined that prayer was the vital heart-beat of all religious consciousness. Religious individuals claim to have intercourse with a higher power – and so must rest on the belief that prayer does something: ‘energy which but for prayer would be bound is by prayer set free and operates in some part, be it objective or subjective, of the world of facts’. A ‘scientific’ analysis of prayer ought at least in theory to be able to observe some difference being made by prayer.
In many ways Christian prayer does not differ from prayer in other religions, or taken as a general phenomena of human existence. Notwithstanding that many scientists of religion have had Christian paradigms, and so articulated what they found in non-Christian religions in terms congenial to Christianity, making the unfamiliar perhaps more familiar than it really is: still, prayer is above all a normal and even ‘natural’ human activity.
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