Teleios Research Surveys Young Christians About Prayer
The survey found that approximately 80% of participants pray to God every day. The most common topics for their prayers were: their own concerns (92%) and gratitude to God for their blessings (91%). However, when asked for what the Bible instructs them to pray, they most often indicated praise (87%) and gratitude to God (86%).
Participants overwhelmingly prefer to pray at home and alone (93%). Further, they indicated they desire to pray at night (82%) with about 2/3 indicating morning or intermittent prayers throughout the day. Generally, participants preferred their prayers to be spontaneous (62%) while 19% used a predetermined mental or written list. Regarding responses to prayer, the great majority believed God answers prayer according to His will (88%).
Respondents noted Christians should pray in faith (77%), while about half each agreed the Holy Spirit and Christ pray for believers. When asked to pray for somebody else, a plurality of participants indicated they keep the information confidential (42%) and they pray for a while before stopping (40%).
Interestingly, when asked if praying in tongues or a person's native language was more useful, 40% noted the native language should at least sometimes be used while 40% expressed it made no difference. In contrast, 20% believed that tongues should at least sometimes be used.
Further, those who praise the most often (P<0.0001)
This study shows that young evangelical typically pray daily, preferring a setting alone at home, at night and knowing God will answer prayer according to His will. However, they generally appear to lack knowledge over a number of biblical teachings regarding prayer such as: the Holy Spirit and Christ praying for believers, and that Christians should pray according to scripture, pray for all men and for government leaders. This provides opportunity for teaching about prayer from pastors and youth leaders.
All the findings of the survey can be found here as well as other findings from Teleios Research are on our website.
WC Stewart, JA Stewart, LA Nelson
About Teleios - Teleios is a non-profit foundation that seeks to demonstrate the truth of scripture and the Christian faith through scientific methods by providing evidence for the positive results of a biblically-based lifestyle. Prior studies conducted by Teleios have shown that the practice of the Christian faith (praise, prayer, fellowship, service and Bible study) and security of salvation increases well-being while reducing guilt.