As relevant to The 7 Great Prayers book by Paul & Tracey McManus
Surveys of U.S. adults and teenagers by Barna Research Ltd. from 1991–2001 revealed the following statistics about people's prayer habits:
- 82% of adults and 89% of teenagers pray in a normal week.
- 88% of women and 75% of men pray in a typical week.
- People living in the South and Midwest pray more than those living in the West and Northeast (around 86% to 76%, respectively).
- 96% of born-again Christians pray weekly, while 72% of people not describing themselves as born-again pray on a weekly basis.
What do people pray about?
- 95% of adults thank God for what he has done in their lives.
- 76% ask for forgiveness for specific sins.
- 67% spend time in prayer worshiping God by praising his superior attributes.
- 61% ask for help for specific needs.
- 47% are silent during prayer to listen for God.
What do people believe?
- 89% of adults believe "there is a God who watches over you and answers your prayers."
- 82% of people believe that prayer can change what happens in a person's life.
When and how much do people pray?
- An average prayer lasts just under five minutes.
- 52% of people who pray do so several times a day.
- 37% of people say they pray once a day.
- 33% of adults regularly participate in a prayer group or prayer-focused meeting.
- 21% have extended prayer time with other family members (25% among Protestants and 13% among Catholics).
PRAYER AND HEALTH
A May 2004 study of 31,000 adults by the National Center for Health Statistics and NCCAM found that:
- 45% had used prayer for health reasons.
- 43% had prayed for their own health.
- Almost 25% had others pray for them.
- Almost 10% had participated in a prayer group for their health.
- Almost 62% had used prayer when it was included in the definition of CAM (complementary and alternative medicine)
And a study of 10,000 people the by National Center for Health Statistics found that:
- Prayer was the therapy most commonly used among all the CAM therapies included in the survey.
- Other CAM approaches with a spiritual component included meditation, yoga, tai chi, qi gong, and Reiki.
According to a 1996 Gallup Poll for the Princeton Religion Research Center:
- Fully half of Americans said that they pray or meditate in private on a daily basis.
- An additional 18% reported doing so several times a week.
Of those who engage in this prayer or meditation:
- 64% “sit quietly and just think about God.”
- 44% “meditate or try to get in touch with God or a higher power.”
- 16% “sit quietly and meditate using a secular meditation practice.”
- 9% “use an eastern meditation practice.”