In April 1952, as US soldiers were fighting in Korea, President Harry S. Truman signed a Congressional resolution calling for an annual National Day of Prayer, inviting the public to gather in houses of worship to pray for world peace. Since 1988, the first Thursday in May has been designated as the National Day of Prayer in the United States.
Prayer is also one of the core tenets of Latter-day Saint faith—we believe in the power of personal revelation and communicating with God through prayer. In fact, we believe that the entire Restoration of the gospel in the latter days began with a question and a simple prayer.
It turns out that Latter-day Saints in the United States are not alone in their respect for and efforts to connect with a higher power through prayer. The results of a brand new survey conducted by Skylight and City Square have been released, pointing to interesting habits and connections between Americans, prayer, and spirituality.
Scroll down for more survey findings and get the full results on PrayerWrap.org.
How many Americans pray?
85% of American adults connect with their higher power, and 61% of Americans say that they pray. Additionally, 71% of praying Americans also said that prayer is not accurately reflected in pop culture and media.
How often do Americans pray?
The survey found that Americans pray for 3.6 billion minutes each day, the average US adult prays on average twice a day, and Americans who pray average 18 minutes of prayer per day.
Why Americans pray
And why are so many Americans praying? Common responses from the Skylight survey included connecting with God, feeling less anxious or depressed, finding solutions to problems, feeling more in control of life, feeling like a better version of themselves, and healing from trauma.
Where Americans pray
According to the survey, 1 in 4 Americans pray at work: 74% said they pray at their desk, 42% said they pray in the parking lot, 31% pray in the restroom. And 10% more Americans also pray in their car than in a place of worship, while 1 in 4 Americans pray in the shower.
Who Americans pray for
According to the Skylight survey, US adults most commonly pray for family, friends, those in need, and spouses and significant others. And 87% of praying Americans also said they have had a prayer answered in the last 12 months.
What Americans pray for
The survey’s top responses for what people pray for include a loved one in crisis, when someone else was ill, or for others suffering or in crisis. In addition, 30% of Americans have prayed due to a prayer request on social media.
When Americans pray
The survey found that for praying US adults between ages 18 and 64, more than half of the respondents pray at sunrise and at bedtime.
How COVID affected prayer
During COVID lockdowns, Americans changed how often they connect with a higher power—55% of people prayed more often, according to the survey findings.
Find all the survey results on PrayerWrap.org.