God has given to all the creatures he has made some peculiar form of strength - one has such swiftness of foot that at the baying of a hound it escapes from danger by outstripping the wind; another, with outspread wing, is lifted beyond the fowler; a third with horns pushes down its enemy, and a fourth with tooth and claw tears in pieces its adversary. To man he gave but little strength compared with the animals among which he was placed in Eden, and yet he was king over all, because the Lord was his strength. So long as he knew where to look for the source of his power, man remained the unresisted monarch of all around him. That image of God in which he shone resplendent sustained his sovereignty over the fowls of the air, and the beasts of the field, and the fish of the sea.
By instinct man turned to his God in Paradise; and now, though he is to a sad degree a discrowned monarch, there lingers in his memory shadows of what he was, and remembrances of where his strength must still be found. Therefore, no matter where you find a man, you meet one who in his distress will ask for supernatural help. I believe in the truthfulness of this instinct, and that man prays because there is something in prayer. And when the Creator gives his
creature the power of thirst, it is because water exists to meet its thirst; and as when he creates hunger there is food to correspond to the appetite; so when he inclines men to pray it is because prayer has a corresponding blessing connected with it.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Prayer Certified of Success," delivered January 19, 1873. Image by merlune on Flickr under Creative Commons License.