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Do you know what one of the most common reactions was to the initial outbreak of the coronavirus? It was to research the concept of prayer. Some evidence to support this statement comes from a look at the volume of search on Google for the term “prayer.” From February to March of 2020 search volume surged dramatically, increasing 50% in 95 countries.
This should really come as no surprise. Writing for the American Psychological Association (APA), Kenneth Pargament, PhD, and Julie Exline, PhD, point out in their article Religious and Spiritual Struggles, that “Hundreds of studies have shown significant links between health and various facets of religion/spirituality — from prayer and meditation to participation in rituals and religious services. Religion/spirituality are also commonly called upon in times of crisis.”
While prayer is a universal response to crisis among people around the world, it is also a very complicated response. For an in-depth discussion of how and why people pray in response to life’s struggles, see Pargament and Exline’s full article here.