I read the other day that 12% of Americans are atheists or agnostics. (http://atheism.about.com/b/2004/12/02/how-many-atheists-in-america.htm) Now I have some serious questions about whether or not a person can truly be an atheist, but I thought the total, 12%, seemed very high. That means that more than one out of every 10 people does not believe in God. This does not take into account the number of people who believe in the god of some other religion. What this boils down to is that there are a lot of people in this country, with a lot of different beliefs.
Then a friend gave me an article about a new study on prayer being conducted at Indiana University at South Bend. This study claims that over 90% of Americans say that they engage in prayer. (http://www.iusb.edu/~sbocm/may07/ladd.shtml) The first and most obvious problem is that there are at least 2% of the people who pray, but do not believe in God. But more importantly, we can gain great comfort and encouragement from knowing that most people are praying.
Since we pray-ers are the overwhelming majority in this country, we should...
- Not be embarrassed about talking about prayer.
- Offer to pray for co-workers, friends and family members. After all, they pray too.
- Be willing to ask others to pray for us. They are praying already. We should get them on our team.
- Work together to form prayer teams. We gain encouragement and discipline when we work together on a project. Why should prayer be any different?
- Expect God to do great things because of our prayers.
So pray. Pray with gusto. Pray with confidence.
Prayer: It is great to know that we are not alone, Lord. We have you with us all the time, but what comfort to know that so many people are praying. Help us to fulfill our responsibilities to you and to others, and to allow others to pray for our needs. Amen.