Throughout Characteristics of Religion in Primal Cultures
prayer and divination are two of the important subdivisions that help people
understand the ancient cultures. Prayer can be defined as a request for help or
gesture of thanks to any gods of worship. (Slick) Most prayers have no specific
form and are impulsive in preliterate cultures. Others, are formal and have
specific elements that could be found in situations such as confession or
adoration. Prayer is still used today in almost all religions. When praying,
one is usually giving thanks requesting something or apologizing for specific
actions. I believe one quote that speaks volumes  about the concept of prayer is said by
Meister Eckhart stating, “if the only prayer you ever say in your entire life
is thank you, it will be enough. ” Prayers overall, are only there to be made
hopeful, because nothing can be completely certain. However, divination can
carry more certainty. Divination is said to be the practice of searching knowledge
of the future by supernatural means. (Lathan) In many religions today, any
practice of divination is against what many people believe in because of its
intent use of spirits. Shamanism and divination play a hand and hand role with
each other, because of the spirit powers and insight into future holds.
Shamanism is the practice of spirits being summoned in or out of human beings
by a person who is also spirited.  The
Shaman then uses inherent power to contact with the spirits of the dead because
they are believed to be in the “know” with the deceased.  Divination has a very explicit aspect to
religion in which divine inspiration through communion with the gods or
oracles. An example of this, is the ancient Greeks actions towards Zeus.  Along with, Apollo and Delphi. Another
important aspect of divination is the reading of omens in certain incenses like
the flight of birds, along with many others. Divination is virtually universal
and was such a key component in ancient times, that people would have been lost
without it. Overall, religion in prehistoric times was very involved with
nature and outside forces. Without characteristics today that describe how
religion was viewed back then, no one would have a sense of what it make of the
practices an rituals that different cultures were involved with. 

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