24. I Say a Little Prayer for You

Do Prayers Matter in Marriage and Family Life?

  1. Angela Abela and
  2. Janet Walker
  1. Frank D. Fincham

Published Online: 4 OCT 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118320990.ch24

Contemporary Issues in Family Studies: Global Perspectives on Partnerships, Parenting and Support in a Changing World

Contemporary Issues in Family Studies: Global Perspectives on Partnerships, Parenting and Support in a Changing World

How to Cite

Fincham, F. D. (2013) I Say a Little Prayer for You, in Contemporary Issues in Family Studies: Global Perspectives on Partnerships, Parenting and Support in a Changing World (eds A. Abela and J. Walker), John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118320990.ch24

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 OCT 2013
  2. Published Print: 31 OCT 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781119971030

Online ISBN: 9781118320990

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Keywords:

  • prayer;
  • religion;
  • primary prevention;
  • couple counselling;
  • forgiveness;
  • infidelity;
  • social policy

Summary

Although prayer is central to most religions, little is known about its impact on family life. This chapter therefore describes a theoretical framework for investigating prayer and a programme of research on colloquial, intercessory prayer for an intimate other. This type of prayer was shown to increase relationship protective factors by facilitating forgiveness and sacrificing selfish interests for the good of the partner and the relationship. Similarly, it decreased relationship risk factors by lowering the rate of infidelity. The implications of these findings for preventive interventions, couple counselling and social policy are outlined. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the limitations of the research described and the challenges of implementing spiritually or religiously infused relationship interventions.