• W. Austin Gardner

First Mention of Prayer in the Bible


Genesis 4:26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.

When Seth's son, Enos, was born, men began to call upon the name of the Lord. The word call means to invite, to spend time with, to worship, to invoke God.

Men, evidently, recognized their great need of God. They called upon Him. They called on Him by name, meaning they knew with whom they were talking. The One they spoke with was no idol, no representation, no unknown commodity but the Lord.


Before this, humanity had lived in constant communion with God in the garden of Eden. It seems that God walked with man in the cool of the day. It appears to have been the custom that God had with Adam and Eve.

Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.

I think several things are interesting. They knew God's voice. They weren't shocked when He spoke. They hid because they were ashamed. God habitually came in the cool of the day to talk with His creation. He had come in a relaxed, enjoyable part of their day. They would soon retire for the evening, but God wanted to, possibly, let them tell Him how their day had gone.

The first recorded conversation we have between God and man is found in Genesis 3:9-10

And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

Notice that conversation. God starts the conversation. The first recorded conversation happens after they have sinned, fallen. God took the initiative to look for those with whom He had been in regular fellowship. They had fallen into sin. They were hiding, but God came looking for them. What a sweet God we serve!

God loved man. He could have ignored Adam and Eve. He could have left them to their own devices, but He came to them. God started the conversation, and God was there to help. He didn't need to be cajoled, coerced, convinced, or coaxed into anything. God loves His creation.

This first conversation, prayer, was not shyly, sulking into the condemning judge's office but a loving Father coming to rescue His own. How do we see prayer? Do we think of a God that does not want to hear us and answer us? Do we see Him as aloof and cold?


God came to rescue in our first picture of Him and sinners. They were afraid, but He was awesome. He came with the solution to their failure.


Now we find this first mention of men calling on God.


Genesis 4:26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.


It would seem that Adam had shared with his children, Seth in particular, what it was like to talk to God. Now mankind is learning to call on the name of the Lord. They are seeking God.


I want prayer to be a significant part of my life. I have lots to learn, but I can see that God desires to talk with us!


How is your prayer life? Do you seek to speak with God, to have a conversation? Know who you are talking to, and it will make a tremendous difference in your life!

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