A new survey from LifeWay Research reveals what Americans typically pray for. From family, friends and personal problems to asking for God's protection for those impacted by natural disasters, the most cited elements and concerns are truly diverse.
The research firm found that prayer is, not surprisingly, often personal and involves peoples' individual needs, though Americans "rarely praise God's greatness," according to a press release highlighting the results.
Among those who pray, the five most prevalent items they mention are: family and friends (82 percent), personal problems (74 percent), good things that recently unfolded (54 percent), personal sin (42 percent) and people facing natural disasters (38 percent).
Only 12 percent of those who pray cite mentioning government and political leaders, with five percent saying they pray to God about celebrities and other famous figures.
Another interesting find is that 83 percent of those who pray believe that at least some of their prayers are answered. Only three percent said that none of their appeals are answered, though this low proportion is not entirely surprising considering that most people who pray believe it will be an effective personal action.
Additionally, nearly half of respondents (48 percent) said that they pray at least every day, with 31 percent claiming that they do so more than once per day. The vast majority of Americans — 65 percent — pray at least once per month, which amounts to about 217 million citizens, according to LifeWay Research.
The online study was conducted Aug. 7, 2014, among a sample of 1,137 respondents, with a sampling error that does not exceed +/2.9 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.
Read the full results here.
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