Non-believers turn to prayer in crisis

Family is the primary reason for prayer by non-believers

A ComRes study conducted by Tearfund, the Christian aid charity, found that a whopping one in five among the non-religious population pray to God . The survey had 2,069 adult respondents. Approximately 20 percent of them said that prayer is included into their daily routine, like mentioning the Almighty when cooking or performing their household chores. A further 12 percent were discovered to pray while exercising and 15 percent while traveling. Over 50 percent of all UK adults pray.

This subject list of prayer is topped by family. About 71 percent pray for their family's well-being. Approximately 42 percent thank God and 40 percent pray for healing. Praying for friends is done by 40 percent. Global issues like disasters or poverty come much lower down at 24 percent. The Tearfund survey showed that tragedy or personal crisis is the frequent reason for praying among the non-religious. Approximately one in four respondents said that praying makes them feel less lonely or makes them mentally comfortable. About 24 percent prayed as a “last resort” in the time of desperation and crisis of the personal kind. About 32 percent of non-religious prayed in the hope that something could change.

Rachel Treweek, bishop of Gloucester, was not surprised by the findings. She said that they mirror human longing for the love of God and mystery in the middle of daily life experiences. Similar thoughts were expressed by Isabelle Hamley, the archbishop of Canterbury chaplain. She pointed out that prayer is mainly a communication strand with God. The action of praying involves thinking and reflection. It also brought one's worries and concerns into the bigger picture. She added that prayer could involve requests but one should not see the almighty as heavenly Santa. A number of people are pushed to prayer at some point in their lives. This occurs even if they consider themselves to be irreligious. A spontaneous prayer can be regarded as reaching out.

One of the respondents in the survey was 64-year-old Henry. He said that he prays to God every night even as he denies that he can be considered religious. In his defense, he said that he worries a lot and he regards prayer as a variety of insurance policy. He knows that this action can be superstitious, but on the other hand, this can be real as well. Henry describes himself as located in agnosticism's skeptical end.

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