Nearly two-thirds of Protestant churchgoers say they have a daily moment with God, according to a new Lifeway Research survey that examined not only the frequency of “quiet times” but also their elements.
The poll, released Tuesday, found that 44 percent of Protestant churchgoers say they have a quiet time with God once a day, while 21 percent say they practice it more than once a day for a total of 65 percent. Seventeen percent said they have a quiet time “several times” a week, while 7 percent responded, “once a week.” Churchgoers were asked, “How often do you intentionally spend time alone with God?”
Churchgoers with evangelical beliefs were more likely to select “more than once a day” compared to those without evangelical beliefs (30 percent compared to 15 percent).
“We see a pattern in Scripture of followers of God withdrawing to spend time alone with Him. Jesus Christ, Himself also did this,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research. “Most Protestant churchgoers continue this relational interaction with God and use a variety of resources as they do.”
Churchgoers also were asked what their quiet time involves. Praying “in my own words” (83 percent) topped the list, followed by thanking God (80 percent), praising God (62 percent), confessing sins (49 percent), reading from the Bible or devotional (39 percent), repeating a set prayer (20 percent) and considering God’s characteristics (18 percent).
“There are many reasons to pray a set prayer. Whether someone is praying the model prayer Jesus gave or repeating the same request to God each day, these can be meaningful,” McConnell said. “At the same time, Scripture also records Psalms and prayers within its narrative accounts that show how personal and forthright we can be when talking to God in our own words.”
The survey involved interviews with 1,002 Americans.
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.