Did Adam need to pray?

The question of whether Adam needed to pray, or not, came from studying Genesis chapter 2 and realizing he actually had God instructing him personally. In verse 15 God himself “took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden,” and in verse 16 God personally “commanded the man” not to eat off a certain tree, and in verse 19 God actually “brought” animals and birds to Adam to name. Adam had God right there with him doing all these things. I’m assuming, then, that this was the kind of relationship God wanted with humans. It was never meant to be God “up there” and us “down here,” or the only contact being possible by prayer. It was meant to be face-to-face, and instructions given by God directly and in person.

The man didn’t need to pray for wisdom or guidance, therefore, because he could go to God in person and talk things over right there with him in the Garden of Eden. And God had chosen this man for just that purpose, to work closely with him, so that the man would know exactly how God wanted his creation to be ruled. And since God had also made the man in his own image, it made communication between them easy.

The woman then made the unfortunate mistake of not consulting with the man God had chosen when the serpent turned up. It was unfortunate because God had made it clear up to this point that he’d chosen the man to work with first of all, and then the woman later on as Adam’s perfect other half and helper, so it was certainly not God’s purpose for the woman to act independently of the man, just as the man shouldn’t work independently of God.

The unfortunate result was the loss of the free and open relationship God had begun with Adam. We see that in Genesis 3:8 when Adam and Eve both hid from God when they heard him walking in the garden. So even at this point God was still willing to be with them and talk to them personally, but they didn’t want that anymore. They preferred God to be distant, not up close and personal.

You could say, then, that it was Adam and Eve that stuck us with this distant relationship with God, where contact is now limited to prayer. And even Jesus in human form was stuck with prayer being the only way he could contact God too. It’s like texting instead of talking today, but thanks to Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20-26 that free and easy, one-on-one and face-to-face relationship with God that Adam had will be fully restored.


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