Navigation Links
A book of common prayers

Waltham, Mass.In times of economic distress and plenty, ninety percent of Americans pray, more than half of us once a day or more. We pray for big thingsto stay healthy, to keep our jobs, and to strengthen our relationships. And we pray for small thingsto find parking spaces and missing items. Some of us are sure God exists and others pray simply to cover the bases.

A novel Brandeis study published in the current issue of Poetics analyzed 683 prayers written in a public prayer book placed in the rotunda of the Johns Hopkins University Hospital between 1999 and 2005. The study found that prayer writers seek general strength, support, and blessing from their prayers, rather than explicit solutions to life's difficult situations, and, more often than not, frame their prayers broadly enough to allow multiple outcomes to be interpreted as evidence of their prayers being answered.

Lead author Wendy Cadge, a sociologist, found that the prayers fell into one of three categories: about 28 percent of the prayers were requests of God, while 28 percent were prayers to both thank and petition God, while another 22 percent of the prayers thanked God.

The study sheds light on the psychology of the people behind the prayers. Most writers anthropomorphized God, addressing God as they would a relative, friend, or parent, preferring familiarity over deference. "Most prayer writers imagine a God who is accessible, listening, and a source of emotional and psychological support, who at least sometimes answers back," says Cadge.

"Prayer writers also tend to frame their prayers broadly, in abstract psychological language, and this allowed them to make many interpretations of the results of their prayers," she said, explaining that the study found that prayer provides a means through which people can reflect on and reframe difficult events in an effort to understand those events in the context of their beliefs.

The study complements other recent research that focuses on whether prayer has any measurable influence on health. Most of these studies have focused on how often people pray, and whether those who pray have fewer serious health problems, recover faster from surgery, or are healthier overall than others.

"If researchers studying religion and health take seriously even the possibility that prayer may influence health, they need to learn more about what people pray for, how they pray, and what they hope will result from their prayers," says Cadge. "The information in this study serves as general background and informs the mechanisms through which religion may influence health."


Contact: Laura Gardner
Brandeis University

Related medicine news :

1. UK junior doctors gaining less experience of common procedures
2. New insights into common knee injuries
3. High and mighty: first common height gene identified by researchers behind obesity gene finding
4. Figure Skater Peggy Fleming, HealthSaver Says: Take Pains For Back Strains, 2nd Most Common Doctor Complaint
5. Exelixis Commences Public Offering of Common Stock
6. Common misdiagnosis: most women believe they have a yeast infection when they dont
7. Business Executives Discuss National Health Care Reform at Conference Sponsored by The Century Foundation, with Support from The Commonwealth Fund, and AARP
8. New Expert Report Dispels Common Myths About Aspartame
9. Common Foot Myths Trip Us Up
10. AHPC Holdings, Inc. Announces Intent to Deregister Common Stock With Securities and Exchange
11. Allergy-Induced Asthma More Common in Affluent Countries
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... first commercially-available next-generation sequencing laboratory test for bacterial vaginosis- a significant women's ... in Vancouver, BC, Canada. , In a presentation entitled: "The Microbiome ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Career Step, ... the release of its new Professional Medical Coding and Billing with Applied PCS ... ICD-10-CM and ICD-10-PCS code sets, earn the Certified Professional Coder (CPC) and Certified ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... 12, 2015 , ... According to an article from ... particularly in the area of track and field, are at a significantly higher ... peers in the same age group. Dr. Steven Meier of Meier Orthopedic Sports ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... 12, 2015 , ... According to an article published by Texas ... Texas recommended that any high-rises in the city limits that do not have fire ... article explains that it wasn’t until 1982 that the city started requiring fire sprinklers ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... AcousticSheep LLC, creators of the ... honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During the month of October, for ... SleepPhones® Classic product to a breast cancer patient at the Cleveland Clinic. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... -- Use this report to: - Learn ... the medical membrane devices market. - Analyze the present ... medical membrane devices market including hemodialyzers, membrane oxygenators, intravenous ... devices. - Gain information on newly approved products, recalls ... Use this report to: - Learn about the performance, ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... and CRANBURY, N.J. , Oct. ... LLP announces that a securities fraud class ... for the District of New Jersey.  The complaint alleges ... FOLD) violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 between ... materially false and misleading statements about Amicus Therapeutics, business ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , Oct. 12, 2015  MiMedx Group, Inc. ... utilizing human amniotic tissue and patent-protected processes to develop ... Care, Surgical, Orthopedic, Spine, Sports Medicine, Ophthalmic, and the ... results for the third quarter of 2015, its guidance ... Company has secured a $50 million Senior Secured Credit ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: