This article is part of the Infographics series.
Taking Time to Commune with God
Prayer is a central—not peripheral—means of grace for Christians. God has given it to us as a precious gift that opens intimate access to him. How often do we make use of this gift?
Over 14,000 people recently shared about various aspects of their prayer lives with us. In the infographic below, we invite you to dig into the data, looking at established prayer habits, common pain points, and useful practices and tools for prayer.
Only 2% of people surveyed would say they’re very satisfied with their overall prayer lives. A much larger percentage indicated moderate to low satisfaction. If you feel discouraged in this area, you're not alone! Take a minute to assess your own prayer life, considering particular areas where there is room for growth.
Overall, pastors seem to dedicate more time to prayer than the average layperson on a daily basis—and are more likely to spend thirty minutes or more engaged in it. Regardless of your vocation, some discipline and intentionality can go a long way in establishing long-lasting habits of focused prayer. What benefits could come through setting up a schedule that allows you to remember the Lord in prayer throughout your day?
The trends seem to indicate that the morning is the most effective time to set aside for prayer. Moving from Generation Z all the way down to Baby Boomers, note that the morning prayer time progressively increases, while no time set aside for prayer decreases. While season of life and other important factors play a part, perhaps the younger generations (Z and Y) would do well to make a renewed commitment to prayer.
In a fast-paced, busy culture, ten minutes of quiet, uninterrupted prayer can feel like a very long time. Yet nearly 50% of the Baby Boomers surveyed indicated that they had done just this over the past twenty-four hours. One of the great graces of living and growing in wisdom can be an increased dependence upon the Lord. What if people of every generation went to the Lord in prayer like their lives depended on it?
Like any habit or routine, prayer takes intentionality lest it be crowded out by countless other demands. A worthwhile exercise: evaluate your weekly schedule and identify times you might set aside for being still before the Lord in prayer—either alone or with others.
Far and away the largest impediment to Christians’ prayer lives is distraction. We are a distracted people, and it is affecting our ability to really pour out our hearts to God in prayer. Although it is the smallest percentage, there was a contingency of respondents who struggled most with not knowing what to say. Thankfully, the Bible and other resources can help us with this.
Almost 30% of people don’t have anything alongside them when they pray, but many Christians find it helpful to have resources (the Bible and others) to supplement their prayer lives. These help us fend off distraction, engage our minds, and enrich the content of our prayers.
Echo the Prayers of the Saints
The ESV Prayer Bible was created to help you reflect on God’s Word through prayer. With 400+ historical prayers linked to key passages throughout the biblical text, this volume demonstrates the connection between the words God has spoken to us in the Bible and the words we speak back to him in prayer.
Featuring the prayers of the early church fathers, Puritans, Protestant Reformers, and more, along with an introductory essay by Donald Whitney and prayer-related book introductions, this edition helps readers pursue a deeper communion with God as they combine their personal Bible reading with prayer.
Learn more about the ESV Prayer Bible today!