Encountering God in Prayer
appeasement of “The Unknown God” andthe culture of devotional self-surrender isbridged by the revelation of an importantaspect constituting the approach of God: it iswhat we will call as the rediscovery of prayer,something that was, was not, is, and still isnot, and must constitute, with all its pillarsand strings intact, the fundamental of theapproach of God –a bridge that spans withinthe exclusive revelation of Jesus Christ, theSon of God, the Sonof man.
“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men,the Man Christ Jesus”
(1Tim.2:5, NKJV).The Bible teaches us thedoctrine of the priesthood ofall believers. We have directaccess to God. However, thisdirectness of access isgroundedin the person andwork of Jesus Christ, past allreligious boundaries. He isGod, He is Man; He is theBridge between God and man.We have sufficient reasonsnow to believe that thefoundations of religion are notanimistic but theistic. In fact,severalanthropological studies justify theBiblical view that animism and polytheism are
AD) are almost identically reflected in an aphorism byKabir some 500 years later: “Could we with ink theocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made;Were ev’ry stalk on earth a quill, And ev’ry man ascribe by trade; To write the love of God above Woulddrain the ocean dry; Nor could the scroll contain thewhole, Though stretched from sky to sky.” Kabir said,
Saat samund masi karun, Lekhani sab banraye. Dharti sab kagad karun, Hari gun likha na jaye
(Were I to make ofthe seven seas all ink, And of every stalk of forest aquill; Were I to turn the whole earth into paper; Yet,this would not suffice writing the virtues of God).
not primal but degenerated forms of the firstspiritual experience.
There is no significanceto theorizing that the sense and fear of theunknown and the numinous engendered thecult of prayer, except for the evolutionaryunderpinning of some chronologicalframeworks –which is irrelevant andunnecessary for a rational understanding ofnature in general and specific, and has beendiscussed at length by experts in the variousfields in works elsewhere. That being said, wemust now plunge into enquiring thefoundations of prayer from a Biblical vantagepoint. The distinctive teaching ofChristianity is that the universewas created out of nothing (
); therefore, it has nofundamental standing; it iscontingent. The building blocksof this universe are made of thesubstance called as void, zero,cipher, or
–for, the worldis basically made out ofemptiness. However, it is notnothing; though, in itself and byitself it is engrossed with thesense of abstract-yet-personalrootlessness and voidness thatproduce anxiety or vanity asmanifest in the consciousness ofsentient beings. Neither reason(which is devoid of concreteelements) nor experience (whichis devoid of the ground of necessity) canrescue man from his falleness
which may bedescribed as the condition of self-zeroing.The only rescue is God, who gives us shape
Ref. Romans 1:18-25, Cf. Don Richardson in
Eternity in Their Hearts,
and Robert Brow, “Origins ofReligion”,
The World’s Religions
(Oxford: LionPublishing plc, 1988), pp. 30-33.
Cf. Domenic Marbaniang,
Epistemics of Divine Reality: An Argument for Rational Fideism,
Unpublished Ph.D.Dissertation (Bangalore: Asian Institute of Theology,2007).
Throughout the Biblerecurs the truth that it is not the humanlonging as much as isthe divine callingthat functions as theprimary motivationfor all recourse tofaith. God desires andcalls us to seek Him,therefore prayerexists.