Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 674–694 | Cite as

Prayer Beliefs and Change in Life Satisfaction Over Time

  • Neal KrauseEmail author
  • R. David Hayward
Original Paper


A considerable number of studies have focused on the relationship between prayer, health, and well-being. But the influence of some types of prayer (e.g., petitionary prayer) has received more attention than others. The purpose of this study is to examine an overlooked aspect of prayer: trust-based prayer beliefs. People with this orientation believe that God knows that best way to answer a prayer and He selects the best time to provide an answer. Three main findings emerge from data that were provided by a nationwide longitudinal survey of older people reveals. First, the results reveal that Conservative Protestants are more likely to endorse trust-based prayer beliefs. Second, the findings suggest that these prayer beliefs tend to be reinforced through prayer groups and informal support from fellow church members. Third, the data indicate that stronger trust-based prayer beliefs are associated with a greater sense of life satisfaction over time.


Prayer beliefs Life satisfaction Denominational differences 



This research was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging (RO1 AG014749) and the John Templeton Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public HealthUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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