Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

Leaning inward: Mothers at the margins find hope, support in faith

Research lifting up the experiences of mothers facing hardships, whether in a homeless shelter in the Southwest, or in a maximum-security prison in the Midwest, or ostracized with AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, suggests many women rely on religion and spirituality for a pathway beyond despair to having a sense of hope for the future. Their stories reveal a powerful faith that provides a vision of a better life for them and their children.

[Read Full Column...]

Holy self-worth: Studies find religion promotes healthy body image for young women

Forget looking like Kate Moss. A developing body of research suggests faith can provide a safe haven from a secular culture that encourages women to fit into a body type that comes naturally to only about one in 20 females. Worship, prayer and a strong sense of the importance of religion may help teens and 20-somethings with eating disorders overcome feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, one new study indicated.

[Read Full Column...]

The Lord is their shepherd: New study reveals who reads the Bible – and why

Favorite biblical book: The Psalms. Percentage of Americans who read the Bible on their own: About half. And far and away the No. 1 reason they pick up Scripture is for personal prayer and devotion. A major new study on American Bible reading offers insights into how, why and when Americans read Scripture outside of worship.

[Read Full Column...]

Divine support may reduce parental stress, increase satisfaction

Do religious teachings set up impossibly high standards that increase parental guilt. Or does the idea God stands with them in times of both joy and anxiety reduce stress and lead to increased parental satisfaction? The answer is a little of both. But new research suggests that there is a positive relation between some faith practices and beliefs and being a happier mom or dad.

[Read Full Column...]

Reversing the exodus: 7 characteristics of congregations successfully attracting young adults

Eat, pray, read the Bible. Congregations with high levels of spiritual vitality and that placed a lot of emphasis on spiritual practices such as prayer and scripture reading were more likely to have significant numbers of young adults, according to a new report analyzing data from the 2010 Faith Communities Today study. The report provides insights into the distinctive characteristics of religious communities where 21 percent or more of participants were ages 18 to 34.

[Read Full Column...]

More than a platitude: Praying for others promotes hope, optimism, studies suggest

What does it mean when someone says, “My prayers are with you.” More than one might imagine, it turns out, particularly when the pledge comes from someone near to the person suffering, new research suggests. One national study found that people who were prayed for by someone close to them were the most optimistic about their future – even though individuals receiving prayer were more likely to be facing adversity such as mental or physical health issues or unemployment.

[Read Full Column...]

Religion and mercy: Who is most likely to forgive?

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The line from The Lord’s Prayer relating divine and personal forgiveness has substantial practical implications, new research shows. Individuals who believe that a loving God forgives them are far more likely to turn around and absolve others, several studies indicate. Trust in God’s forgiveness also may make it more likely for individuals to forgive themselves, a process that seems to make it easier to extend mercy to others.

[Read Full Column...]

Prayer, Tebowing and the Super Bowl: The evolving relationship of sports and religion

The success of Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow and his personal expressions of faith – including the addition of a prayer posture now known as Tebowing – has reignited conversation about the relationship between sports and religion. As Super Bowl XLVI approaches, research provides evidence that for both athlete and fan, prayer may serve to help them cope with the pressures of sports, and help them keep in perspective that, in the end, it is just a game.

[Read Full Column...]

Religious but not spiritual: The high costs of ignoring personal piety

New research shows a sharp decline in the percentage of U.S.congreations reporting high spiritual vitality and a drop in the number of churches empasizing spiritual practices such as prayer and Scripture reading. These trends conflict with growing evidence showing the importance of congregations cultivating the spiritual lives of the faithful. The reasons for the disconnect arre varied, but it is not because religious leaders can say they don’t know any better.

[Read Full Column...]

Younger clergy lead online growth: Is there time left for prayer?

Christian clergy are keeping pace with technological advances, a trend that should only grow stronger as a younger, more wired generation takes their place in pulpits, according to a new study. Ninety-five percent of Christian clergy use the Internet at least weekly, and more than three in four send e-mails to worshippers once a week or more, according to the latest wave of the U.S. Congregational Life Survey. What may be suffering is time spent in prayer.

[Read Full Column...]