We long for God because…

The fact that we have a prior desire for the existence of God who would be a perfect Father does not mean that this desire causes the belief. There is a truth in Freud’s analysis: As Christians we can agree that we have a desire for God, a primal, unfulfilled pretheoretical longing for significance and meaning. God has “set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end (Eccles. 3:11 NIV). There really is a God who is there, One who alone satisfies this longing. “Our hearts are restless till they rest in thee,” said St. Augustine. And John Calvin talked about a sensus divinitas (a “direct sense of the divine”). We long for God because he wants us to. Belief in his existence does not follow from our desire; his existence triggers our desire.

James Sire, from Why Good Arguments Often Fail, p. 51