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Frequency of Prayer and Functional Health in Presbyterian Pastors

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The purpose of this correlational study was to examine the relationship of frequency of prayer to eight subcategories of physical and mental health. As part of the ongoing Presbyterian Panel, 1,412 active Presbyterian pastors drawn from a national, random sample were surveyed by mail regarding their frequency of prayer and self-perceptions of health outcomes. The results indicated a high level of functioning overall for all eight categories of physical and mental health. Predictably, frequency of prayer was extremely skewed towards high frequency. Despite a lack of variation in both health and prayer, high frequency of prayer was significantly related to higher scores in three health outcomes: vitality, general health, and mental health. These relationships remained significant in the analysis even after controlling for the influence of demographic variables, such as gender and age. Various explanations of the results are explored.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute of Health Professions, Boston, Massachusetts, 2: Graduate Nursing Program, MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston, Massachusetts

Publication date: June 1, 2001


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