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Prayer Can Allegedly Do This to Your Relationships With Significant Others and Friends


"The value of the current studies is that we have objective measures to show that colloquial, intercessory prayer focused on the partner changes observable behavior."

People pray at Mountainside Assembly of God Church in Coal Township, Pa., during a interfaith prayer vigil, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, for the victims of Newtown, Conn. Twenty-six people, including 20 children, were killed in Friday's shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Credit: AP

Credit: AP

A new study is giving a boost to the actions of many religious people, as it found that praying for partners and close friends may actually have some beneficial outcomes. Among them, people purportedly become more forgiving and cooperative, the Christian Post reports.

A report, recently released by Florida State University, provides intriguing details of the five studies that were conducted. Collectively, the information found that those who pray are essentially less vengeful and tend to cooperate more with others around them. WCTV-TV has more about the fascinating results:

The findings are significant because they are the first in which the partners who are the subject of the prayers reported a positive change in the behavior of the person who prayed, said Frank D. Fincham, eminent scholar and director of the Florida State University Family Institute.

“My previous research had shown that those who prayed for their partner reported more prosocial behavior toward their partner, but self-reports are subject to potential biased reporting,” Fincham said. “This set of studies is the very first to use objective indicators to show that prayer changed actual behavior, and that this behavior was apparent to the other partner, the subject of the prayer.”

In addition, objective observers found those who engaged in partner-focused prayer exhibited more positive behavior toward their partners compared to those who did not pray for their partner.

The results were published in a recent edition of the journal Personal Relationships in an article entitled, "Shifting Toward Cooperative Tendencies and Forgiveness: How Partner-Focused Prayer Transforms Motivation." Increased prayer helped alleviate vengeance aimed at a partner, led to more forgiveness and it led to quicker action to fix an issue when prayer was used on the day a conflict emerged (versus when it was not).

Fincham, who joined other professors in conducting the research, spoke with The Christian Post in detail. An important distinction was made during the interview -- that these positive elements can't necessarily be counted on for prayer in general; they pertain, instead, exclusively to invocations about, between and among partners and close friends.

"The value of the current studies is that we have objective measures to show that colloquial, intercessory prayer focused on the partner changes observable behavior," Fincham told the Post. "In prior research, when participants were asked to pray as they usually do their relationship behavior did not differ from those asked to think positive thoughts about their partner. If there was any surprise, it was in relation to this finding."

Read more about this fascinating set of studies here.

(H/T: Christian Post)


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