When Americans aren’t busy praying for themselves or their own needs — and most of them are — many seek divine intervention on behalf of a favorite sports team or the golden ticket in the lottery, according to a new survey.
About 13 percent of Americans who pray say they pray for sports teams, compared with about one in five who say they have prayed to win the lottery, the new survey from LifeWay Research suggests.
A Public Religion Research Institute survey earlier this year indicated that more Americans, about a quarter, pray for their sports team, while more than seven in 10 (73 percent) say they have never done this.
Some of LifeWay’s new survey’s main findings include:
▪ 48 percent of Americans pray every day; a third several times.
▪ 82 percent who pray typically pray about family or friends.
▪ 20 percent pray for people of other faiths or no faith.
▪ Equal numbers of Americans (7 percent) pray behind the wheel, either for a good parking space or not to get a speeding ticket.
▪ Smaller numbers of people, around 5 percent, pray for someone’s relationship to end, someone to get fired or for someone else to fail.
In the New Testament, Paul encourages Christians to pray for those in authority. However, only about 12 percent of Americans who pray say they do so.
Jesus also directs Christians to pray for their enemies. About 40 percent who pray say they have done so.