“Irrespective of whether you currently pray or not, if you were to pray for something at the moment, what would it be for?”
This was the intriguing question posed in a recent online survey, conducted by ICM Research, of 2,000 adults in England, Scotland and Wales.
The most popular answers were:-
- A family member
- Peace for the world
- Healing for another
- Less stress in my life
- An end to world poverty
- My partner
- A friend
- Healing for myself
- Marriage or relationship
- My spiritual life
- My church
Just 15% said that they would not ever pray for anything.
All of this prompts a few thoughts:-
It is encouraging to note that the most people, while being non-religious in any conventional sense, still retain some awareness of a God who hears and answers prayers.
Many people seem to think that ‘prayer works’, without having much sense of the One to whom prayer is offered.
It may be that for some prayer is not much more than ‘covering your options’ (might as well give it a try: it may not do much good, but there again it can’t do much harm).
It is interesting to compare and contrast the content of these prayers with those of the New Testament (as recorded in the Gospels, Acts, and the Epistles). Even if those surveyed had all been professing Christians, the contrasts might have been very striking (if the intercessions that are offered weekly in many churches are anything to go by).