The Bible tells of many different people praying to many different gods. The Jews from the Old Testament and the Christians from the New Testament prayed to the “LORD” (Yahweh, Jehovah). The false prophets of Elijah’s day prayed to Baal. The Philistines prayed to Dagon. The Moabites prayed to their false gods, as did the people of Ur. The Egyptians prayed to a pantheon of false gods. The book of Jonah says of Jonah’s fellow sailors “and every man cried out to his god.” You get the idea.
All this shows how naturally religious man is. Innately we understand that creation’s mere existence proves that there must be a Creator God (Romans 1:20; Psalm 14:1; Psalm 53:1). A creation, especially one as intricately designed and detailed as ours, can’t just burst forth from nothing. Nothing will continue to be nothing endlessly unless a Creator God goes to work and creates something. Therefore, the mere fact that we have a creation proves that there must be a God. As the old line goes, you can’t have a clock without a clock builder.
From time immemorial this commonsense truth has driven people to attempt to commune with the Creator God. They’ve tried to worship Him and offer up prayers to Him. But the problem has historically been that man’s nature of sin has corrupted these attempts at worship and prayer. This explains the origins of the various forms of idolatry that have dotted our world since the early pages of Genesis (Romans 1:20-23).
And so, in the midst of all the praying that is done to all the gods via all the religions, we are left to figure out who is praying legitimate prayers to the legitimate God. Someone says, “Well, I think that any prayer that is prayed in sincerity to any god must be classified as legitimate.” Certainly that idea sounds very sweet in an “I’m okay,
you’re okay” kind of way, but it simply isn’t Biblical. Did you know that the Bible says that sacrifices, and by implication prayers, that are offered to idols are, in actuality, offered to demons (fallen angels, the spirits associated with the idols)? You’ll find that teaching in 1 Corinthians 10:19-21, Deuteronomy 32:15-18, and Revelation 9:20. That’s a far cry from legitimate!