Friday, June 12, 2009

Pray Every Day

The Pew Forum on Religion in Public Life has some interesting information about the prayer habits of Evangelical Latinos in the U.S. I've included it below:

Most Latino Evangelicals Pray Every Day

June 11, 2009

On June 17-19, hundreds of Hispanic evangelical church leaders will participate in the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life, finds that Hispanic evangelicals, like other evangelicals, are more likely to pray every day than the population overall. Hispanic evangelicals are also more likely to pray daily than Hispanics who belong to other major religious groups.

Hispanic chart

Source: Pew Forum U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, conducted in 2007 and released in 2008. Results for other religious groups are not reported due to small Hispanic sample sizes.

"All" results are based on 35,556 respondents, including 9,472 evangelical Protestants, 7,470 mainline Protestants, 8,054 Catholics and 5,048 unaffiliated respondents.

"Hispanic" results are based on 3,151 Hispanic respondents, including 509 evangelical Protestants, 185 mainline Protestants, 1,748 Catholics and 446 unaffiliated respondents.

This reminded me of a t-shirt that I have that says, "Baha'i Men Pray Every Day". It also reminded me of my quest for a dissertation topic (suggestions are most welcome). I mentioned in a recent post that much of the research on uses a definition of efficacy that is about the outcomes of prayer, such as does a person get what they pray for or not? I've been curious about the possibility of looking at the impact prayer has on the person who does the praying, similar to studies that look at the impact of practices such as mindfulness meditation. I think this is a promising area of inquiry that has a basis in the following statement about prayer from the Baha'i Writings:

"For the core of religious faith is that mystical feeling which unites man with God. This state of spiritual communion can be brought about and maintained by means of meditation and prayer. And this is the reason why Bahá'u'lláh has so much stressed the importance of worship. It is not sufficient for a believer merely to accept and observe the teachings. He should, in addition, cultivate the sense of spirituality which he can acquire chiefly be means of prayer."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, December 8, 1935: Bahá'í News, No. 102, August 1936, p. 2)