Throughout Characteristics of Religion in Primal Culturesprayer and divination are two of the important subdivisions that help peopleunderstand the ancient cultures. Prayer can be defined as a request for help orgesture of thanks to any gods of worship. (Slick) Most prayers have no specificform and are impulsive in preliterate cultures. Others, are formal and havespecific elements that could be found in situations such as confession oradoration.

Prayer is still used today in almost all religions. When praying,one is usually giving thanks requesting something or apologizing for specificactions. I believe one quote that speaks volumes  about the concept of prayer is said byMeister Eckhart stating, “if the only prayer you ever say in your entire lifeis thank you, it will be enough. ” Prayers overall, are only there to be madehopeful, because nothing can be completely certain. However, divination cancarry more certainty. Divination is said to be the practice of searching knowledgeof the future by supernatural means.

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(Lathan) In many religions today, anypractice of divination is against what many people believe in because of itsintent use of spirits. Shamanism and divination play a hand and hand role witheach other, because of the spirit powers and insight into future holds.Shamanism is the practice of spirits being summoned in or out of human beingsby a person who is also spirited.  TheShaman then uses inherent power to contact with the spirits of the dead becausethey are believed to be in the “know” with the deceased.  Divination has a very explicit aspect toreligion in which divine inspiration through communion with the gods ororacles.

An example of this, is the ancient Greeks actions towards Zeus.  Along with, Apollo and Delphi. Anotherimportant aspect of divination is the reading of omens in certain incenses likethe flight of birds, along with many others. Divination is virtually universaland was such a key component in ancient times, that people would have been lostwithout it. Overall, religion in prehistoric times was very involved withnature and outside forces. Without characteristics today that describe howreligion was viewed back then, no one would have a sense of what it make of thepractices an rituals that different cultures were involved with.