Non-believers turn to prayer in a crisis, poll finds

mercurial

MyBB Legend
Joined
Jun 12, 2007
Messages
37,945
Non-believers turn to prayer in a crisis, poll finds

For many non-believers, it is an instinctive response to a crisis: “Please, God.” So perhaps it should not be surprising that a new survey has found that one in five adults pray despite saying they are not religious.

Just over half of all adults in the UK pray, and they are increasingly likely to call on God while engaged in activities such as cooking or exercising, according to the poll. Although one in three people pray in a place of worship, and a third pray before going to sleep or on waking, others combine prayer with daily activities. One in five pray while doing household chores or cooking, 15% pray while travelling, and 12% pray during exercise or other leisure pursuits.

Just under half of those who pray said they believed God hears their prayers, which suggests a slim majority feel their supplications are not answered. Four in ten go further, saying prayer changes the world; a similar number say it makes them feel better.

Family tops the list of subjects of prayers at 71%, followed by thanking God (42%), praying for healing (40%) and for friends (40%). Way down on the list comes global issues such as poverty or disasters, at 24%, according to the poll carried out by ComRes on behalf of the Christian aid agency, Tearfund.

Among the non-religious, personal crisis or tragedy is the most common reason for praying, with one in four saying they pray to gain comfort or feel less lonely.

Henry, 64, said he prays every night, kneeling by his bed, despite not being religious. “I worry about it quite a lot – is it some kind of an insurance policy, is it superstition or is it something more real?”

Asked if he believed in God, he said: “I don’t know but I would describe myself at the sceptical end of agnosticism. I certainly wouldn’t classify myself as religious.”

Henry, who requested anonymity, starts by silently reciting the Lord’s Prayer and then asks for his loved ones to be kept safe and well. “Sometimes I include other specific people or suffering groups. Then I have a fuzzy moment about me – not concrete thoughts, and I don’t ask for specific things.”

He said he had no idea if God heard his prayers, and said the act of praying did not make him feel better. “I wonder why I don’t stop doing it. Sometimes I feel it’s a kind of hypocrisy.”

Rachel Treweek, bishop of Gloucester, said: “We should not be surprised by these recent findings, which reflect human longing for the mystery and love of God amid experiences of daily life.”

According to Isabelle Hamley, chaplain to the archbishop of Canterbury, prayer is “primarily a line of communication with God – thinking, reflecting, bringing one’s concerns and worries into a bigger picture. Prayer can involve requests, but it’s unhelpful to see God as a heavenly Santa.

“Many people are driven to pray at some point in their lives, even if they are not religious. Praying spontaneously is about reaching out.” God hears everyone’s prayers, she added.

The survey showed that prayer was an important part of the lives of many people in the UK, said Ruth Valerio of Tearfund. “While it is often easier to pray for issues closer to home, we want to encourage people to continue to engage with global issues and pray for an end to extreme poverty.”
 

Ninja'd

A Djinn
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
45,850
Wonder how many Hawaiian atheists went Oh My God during the missile alert :whistling:
 

Ancalagon

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Messages
15,247
Odin is quite slow at answering prayers. I don't think he has email yet.
 

3WA

Executive Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2012
Messages
5,763
An atheist drives around a packed parking lot looking for a space. After 20 minutes of driving, he gets incredibly frustrated and turns to prayer.

"Dear God", he prays, "let me find a space and I'll turn my life around. I'll start being a better person and doing good in the world". As he finishes the prayer a prime spot opens up and he is quickly able to park.

"Never mind, God", he says. "I found one"
 

OCP

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
3,104
An atheist drives around a packed parking lot looking for a space. After 20 minutes of driving, he gets incredibly frustrated and turns to prayer.

"Dear God", he prays, "let me find a space and I'll turn my life around. I'll start being a better person and doing good in the world". As he finishes the prayer a prime spot opens up and he is quickly able to park.

"Never mind, God", he says. "I found one"
Funny - i only ever call upon the god of fornication....
 

xrapidx

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Messages
36,531
Pretty sure if I'm drowning I'm going to try and breath underwater... or if I fall out a plane, gonna try flying...
 

Slootvreter

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 7, 2008
Messages
28,127
An atheist drives around a packed parking lot looking for a space. After 20 minutes of driving, he gets incredibly frustrated and turns to prayer.

"Dear God", he prays, "let me find a space and I'll turn my life around. I'll start being a better person and doing good in the world". As he finishes the prayer a prime spot opens up and he is quickly able to park.

"Never mind, God", he says. "I found one"
Where did this happen?
 

ttygt

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Messages
920
according to the poll carried out by ComRes on behalf of the Christian aid agency, Tearfund.
Me thinks a poll by the Fu@k Off and don't call me again aid agency, might have had different results........
 
Top