18 to 34-year-olds more likely to pray than over 55s, survey finds

Article by Alex Collett - Premier Christian News

The Church of England has found that younger people are far more likely to pray than older generations because the rising interest in meditation, spirituality and mindfulness, which is increasing numbers to connect with faith.

A third of 18 to 34-year-olds have prayed in the last month, compared to just 25 per cent of people aged 55 years and over, a survey published has found.

According to the poll by Savanta ComRes, the younger generation was also more likely to have said a prayer at any time, with 56 per cent of the over 55’s.

Archbishop of York, Most Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell told The Sunday Telegraph, “As Christians prayer is the bedrock of our faith and deepens our relationship and understanding with God.

“The results of the survey on prayer show us that many people still long for that connection with something and someone beyond themselves.

“At this time of uncertainity in our world where we face many pressing issues such as climate emergency, wars, famine, the cost of living, reaching out in prayer to the God who loves us and longs to be known to us can bring peace and transform lives.

“As a church we need to be a community of women and men who follow Jesus and offer spaces where the many people growing up in the world today, who do not yet know Christ can learn and receive from him and follow in his way, growing ever closer to God through daily prayer and reading the scriptures.

“If younger people want to pray, then let our churches be places where prayer is taught and experienced.”

The figures come despite the rise of secularism in society and despite hundreds of church buildings shutting in the last decade.

Richard Gamble, founder of the Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer, said: “Despite the narrative that the UK is a growing secular society, it is becoming increasingly clear that there is actually a growing spirituality in the nation.

“If younger generations are exploring faith and spirituality online and in non-traditional ways it shouldn’t be a matter of debate but should be encouraged and embraced.”

The survey also revealed that some 38 per cent of young people were more likely than other age groups to believe their prayers would be answered, compared to 22 per cent of those 55 and over.

Gamble continued: “Many are now discovering that prayer is not a response of last resort but a conversation with God. Different faiths have different perspectives of God as a higher being, but Christianity teaches that God is a relational being who listens to our prayers and answers those prayers, sometimes in ways we could never have anticipated.

Commissioned by the Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer, the survey sampled 2,075 UK adults aged 18 and over.

Analysis of Church of England data by The Sunday Telegraph earlier this year found that 423 churches were closed between 2010 and 2019.


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