Sermons, 1905-1919

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This is from the bound collection—“bundle #5”—that includes sermons from January 2, 1910 to January 15, 1911.

In this sermon, Davis says that if one thinks of God as a "big man," then prayer makes sense -- one is asking something in the same way that subjects might ask something of their king. But if God is immanent in everything in the universe, then such prayer makes no sense. And yet prayer does make sense as the recognition of the finite in the infinite. Davis write that "The moment of prayer is the moment we feel ourselves a part of the great world process, when the best of the finite calls to the best of the universal. It is not the bended [knee], or the uttered word, but the inquiring spirit, looking for truth, and the values of life that make life worthwhile. ... Every person, that ever cherished an ideal, and devoted himself to it, has prayed. It is a natural human function, as natural as it is for the plant to grow. If you ask me, “Why should men pray?” I must answer you that they pray because they can’t help it. As they must breath, so must they pray. It is a great human necessity. If you really understand the true meaning of prayer, you might as well ask, “Is there any sense in breathing?” as to ask, “Is there any sense in prayer?”"

Date refers to Date Given.

The primary downloadable document contains the original document followed by the transcription. The bottom of each item page also features the primary document as an embedded pdf for browsing.

Transcription by Davis Baird. Item description based off writing and context provided by Davis Baird.


Earl Clement Davis, sermons, minister, Unitarianism, religion, philosophy, prayer

Rights Statement

Is There Any Sense in Praying?



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