Bringing the Text to Life

Prayer Values Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16

Prayer Values

Would you give someone five bucks not to pray for you?


After a hurricane in Florida, researchers polled more than 400 people and discovered that although self-confessing Christians valued a prayer from a stranger, many others did not want prayers, or thoughts, and would even pay money to keep someone from uttering “thoughts and prayers” on their behalf. So what is the value of prayer?



For material based on today’s gospel text, see “Feed the Heart,” May 22, 2011.


Thoughts and prayers.

Some people find them valuable, while others would actually pay to avoid them.

A recent study found that Christians generally value the offer of thoughts and prayers, even from a stranger. Two sociologists studied a group of North Carolina residents in the fall of 2018 after Hurricane Florence struck. They talked with more than 400 residents, asking them to describe the hardships they had suffered. Then they made an offer of a thought or a prayer, and they tied the offer to ...

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