Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Four in five 'believe in prayer'

Four out of five British adults believe in the power of prayer, according to a new survey in the run-up to Easter

Four out of five British adults believe in the power of prayer, according to a new survey in the run-up to Easter.

While some said they would pray for world peace, others had more everyday concerns - turning to God for relationship troubles or stressful jobs.

Women were more likely to pray than men, with 85% citing something they would pray for, according to the ICM poll commissioned by the Church of England.

The young and the old were more likely to seek religious guidance than the middle-aged, with 89% of the over-65s and 85% of those aged between 18 and 24 saying they had something to pray for.

An end to world poverty, exam success and family and friends' health also featured in the list of most prayed-for topics.

Only 14% of participants said they would never pray and 5% said they would not know what to pray for.

The Bishop of St Albans, the Right Reverend Dr Alan Smith, said money and employment worries were leading more people to come and talk to him about prayer.

He said: "Prayer is one of the most natural and instinctive of human responses, so I am not surprised to see these findings. I come across people on an almost daily basis who want to talk about prayer and how to do it.

"There has also been a desire to pray for troubled spots in the world, not least when we see the appalling photos from Syria on the television."

A website where people can post their prayers to be read by church groups and communities, www.prayoneforme.org, was launched by the Church of England last year.

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