U.S. News and the Internet site Beliefnet funded a poll to learn more about why, how, where and when people pray. Here is a summary of the findings:
· 75% percent were Christian.
· 64% say they pray more than once a day.
· 56% say they most often pray for family members, with 3.3% saying that they pray for strangers.
· A little over 38% say that the most important purpose of prayer is intimacy with God.
· 41% say that their prayers are answered often.
· 1.5% say that their prayers are never answered.
· Over 73% say when their prayers are not answered, the most important reason is because they did not fit God’s plan.
· 5% say that they pray most often in a house of worship.
· 79% say that they pray most often at home.
· 67% say that in the past six months, their prayers have related to continually giving thanks to God.
A Newsweek poll titled “Is God Listening?” indicated that, of those who pray, 87% believed that God answers their prayers at least some of the time. Even so, unanswered prayers did not deter them from praying. 85% insisted that they could accept God’s failure to grant their prayers. Only 13% declared they have lost faith because their prayers went unanswered. 82% don’t turn away from God even when their prayers go unanswered. 54% say that when God doesn’t answer their prayers, it means it wasn’t God’s will to answer.
The things people pray for include health, safety, jobs, and even success, valid or not. 82% said they ask for health or success for a child or family member when they pray. 82% believed that God does not play favorites in answering prayers. 79% said God answers prayer for healing someone with an incurable disease. 75% asked for strength to overcome personal weakness. 73% answered that prayers for help in finding a job are answered. On the lighter side, 51% agreed that God doesn’t answer prayers to win sporting events. 36% have never prayed for financial or career success.
If prayer is that significant, and it is, then we should learn all about it. Then we should have a good understanding of it.
That's what we will focus on Jesus' teaching on prayer. So, how's your prayer life?