Provided by: Baylor University
Most Americans pray for healing; more than one-fourth have practiced ‘laying on of hands’
Nearly nine of 10 Americans have relied upon healing prayer at some point in their lives, praying for others even more than for themselves, according to a study by a Baylor University epidemiologist.
“The most surprising finding is that more than a quarter of all Americans have practiced laying on of hands—and nearly one in five has done so on multiple occasions,” said Jeff Levin, Ph.D., M.P.H., University Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health and director of the Program on Religion and Population Health at Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion.
“Outside of belief in God, there may be no more ubiquitous religious expression in the U.S. than use of healing prayer,” Levin said.
The findings also suggest that prayer may be among them most widely used forms of treatment for medical problems, rather than a “fringe activity” as many people might believe, he said.