Despite reports of declining worship attendance following the pandemic, especially among young people, a majority of Americans still say they pray, according to a survey from the Radiant Foundation. And the vast majority of those people say God has answered some of their prayers.
The survey shows 61% turn to God in prayer. That’s more than those who use meditation, yoga, and other practices to connect to a higher power.
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Findings of the survey of more than 1,700 Americans were released by the Radiant Foundation on May 4, which was the National Day of Prayer.
The survey found that 50% of adults who pray do so at dawn or when they get up with 55% praying at bedtime. Those who pray reportedly spend an average of 18 minutes praying daily.
Other findings from the survey include:
- 61% of those who pray say they pray in their car, which is more than the 46% who say they pray in a place of worship.
- A whopping 87% of those who pray say they received an answer in the last 12 months.
- 70% of praying Americans say they pray to connect with God; 45% to feel less anxious or depressed, 41% to find solutions to problems, 36% to feel in control, and 29% to heal from trauma.
- Americans say prayer has many positive effects on their well-being: 42% report feeling a sense of calm when they pray, 41% are grateful, 24% connected, 23% are humbled, 18% are loving, 17% motivated and 15% inspired.
- One in five Americans (19%) say they have prayed for their pets, while 31% say they have prayed due to a request on social media.
- Having children makes one more likely to pray than those who don’t have children (66% vs. 59%).
“These results make it clear that there is more praying taking place than people expect. People are praying in a variety of ways and in unexpected places throughout the day,” John Dye, executive director of Skylight, a Radiant Foundation website, said in a press release.
“They are frequently exploring their spiritual side and using prayer to work through adversity, find meaning, and create a connection with a Higher Power.”
The National Day of Prayer Survey took a fresh look at how and why Americans pray. Despite recent statistics that suggest Americans are becoming less religiously affiliated, prayer appears to be a constant practice in people’s lives, with Americans spending an estimated 3.6 billion minutes each day praying, the foundation said.
The survey was conducted by City Square Associates from April 6 to April 17. The company surveyed a nationally representative sample of adults aged 18-64 about ways they connect with God.
To see the full results of the study, visit prayerwrap.org.
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