What the Average American Prays For

| 10/23/2014 3:06:00 PM

With nearly half of Americans praying daily, a recent LifeWay survey reveals both altruistic and vindictive tendencies when one speaks privately to God. The survey was conducted on August 7 and included 1,137 Americans, with a 2.5 percent margin of error.

The results have remained consistent with previous polls that demonstrate the majority of Americans pray on a regular basis. Most surprising, however, is that this survey reveals that roughly half of those who pray believe God answers most­—if not all—of their prayers. And it looks like God is paying attention to the South: 31 percent of Southerners say their prayers are often answered, more than double that of Northeasterners. More than a third of African Americans say the same (38 percent), as opposed to one in five Caucasians and Asian-Americans.

Eight in ten say they regularly pray for family and friends, yet personal problems nearly doubles prayers intended for those affected by natural disasters, with 74 percent compared to 38 percent. Still, the results show that Americans are overwhelmingly generous with their petitions, often praying either for repentance or in gratitude.


And then there’s the conniving prayer, as Americans admit to praying for no one to find out about a bad thing they’ve done (15 percent) or for a bad thing to happen to a bad person (9 percent). Apparently nothing seems too petty for God, either. One in five say they’ve prayed for success in something they put almost no effort in, and roughly one in ten pray for a sports team’s victory or finding a good parking spot. Catholics are also far more likely than Protestants to pray for their team (20 percent compared to 11) or for someone to get fired (10 percent compared to 3).

3/30/2015 11:33:18 AM

At Authentic Freedom Academy, creating and maintaining a spiritual practice is the foundation of our curriculum. Children and adults are both encouraged to find a style that works for them including intercessory prayer - praying for our own needs as well as the needs of others. These prayers are not limited to those with theistic beliefs. We find that cultivating altruism goes a long way in supporting self-actualization - the ultimate goal and mission of our academy. Lauri Lumby Authentic Freedom Academy Oshkosh, WI www.yourspiritualtruth.com

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