61 Percent of Americans Pray, Poll Shows: It’s More Common ‘Than People Expect’

An overwhelming majority of Americans say they pray, and those that do pray do so for nearly 20 minutes a day, according to a new survey.

The poll, released on the National Day of Prayer, found that 61 percent of Americans say they pray, with 50 percent of those who pray doing so around sunrise and 55 percent around bedtime. Among those who pray, 70 percent do so to connect with God, 45 percent to feel less anxious or depressed, and 41 percent to find solutions to their problems.

The poll was conducted by City Square Associates for Skylight, a non-profit organization that promotes spiritual wellness. Approximately 1,700 people were interviewed.

Among all Americans, U.S. adults pray an average of two times a day.

More than eight in 10 (81 percent) of Americans who pray do so in their bedroom, 61 percent in their car.

Americans who pray do so for an average of 18 minutes a day. Meanwhile, 53 percent of those who pray say they increased the frequency of their prayers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Despite recent statistics that suggest Americans are becoming less religiously affiliated, prayer appears to be a constant practice in people’s lives, with Americans spending 3.6 billion minutes each day praying,” a news release said.

A total of 85 percent of Americans perform “some kind of spiritual practice to connect with a higher power,” such as prayer, meditation and spiritually based yoga, a news release said. Nearly eight in 10 Americans consider themselves to be religious or spiritual, according to the survey.

“These results make it clear that there is more praying taking place than people expect. People are praying in a variety of ways and in unexpected places throughout the day,” said John Dye, executive director of Skylight. “They are frequently exploring their spiritual side and using prayer to work through adversity, find meaning, and create connection with a Higher Power.”

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Lemon_tm

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

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