Christianity is the world’s largest religion with over 2.3 billion claimed adherents. Many of the faithful practice their beliefs each day and attend church services, give their tithes, study their Bibles, and pray to God as a way of life.
For these people, praying is second nature. When Christians pray, no one is surprised; but how about when atheists or agnostics pray? A new survey reveals it's a surprising number.
One in five non-religious people in the United Kingdom admit to praying to God in a time of crisis. Despite the fact that church attendance has declined between 1980 and 2015 from 6.5 million to just 3 million in the U.K., it seems that when the going gets tough even those who deny religious affiliation come to God with their issues.
Among the non-religious, personal crisis or tragedy is the most common reason for praying, with one in four saying they pray to gain comfort or feel less lonely.
Henry, 64, said he prays every night, kneeling by his bed, despite not being religious. “I worry about it quite a lot – is it some kind of an insurance policy, is it superstition or is it something more real?”
Asked if he believed in God, he said: “I don’t know but I would describe myself at the sceptical end of agnosticism. I certainly wouldn’t classify myself as religious.”
Though there are many people who pray to God, in the U.K. poll conducted on behalf of a Christian aid agency, fewer than half said they believe God hears them. Four in 10, however, said prayer changes the world.
Romans 2 states that though some people do not know the law and righteousness of God, it reflects in their lives because the law of God is written on the heart of man.
Romans 1 states that God has made his invisible attributes known in the world, and that He is understood by that which is created so that Man is without excuse.
And to emphasize the point, Genesis 1 states that God created Man in His own image. Contrary to all other created things, mankind is the only creature that uniquely bears the image of God, the only creature that holds a special place in the world as God’s agent to have dominion over the earth.
That image, the Imago Dei (in theological terms), applies to every single person who has ever walked this earth. Every person who has walked this earth has the Law of God written on their heart.
So, it is no surprise that in times of crisis even the agnostic and atheist prays to God for help. Not everyone does, of course, as many live their entire lives in denial of God, but some do because somewhere deep down they know that God is there and that He is the one who can help them.
It is good to pray to God in times of need, but it is all the more important to pray to God for forgiveness and to receive the gift of salvation from our wicked ways.