How to Pray for America Using the Latest State of the Bible Research
The full State of the Bible 2022 report is now available for download
January 17, 2023Print this article
In the final chapter of the State of the Bible 2022 report, entitled, What We’ve Learned, Where it Leads, we recap our top 10 stories of 2022 regarding America and the Bible.
We hope that these insights will inspire your prayers for people across our nation to engage the Bible, making it central to their faith and allowing it to shape their decisions.
Here’s a summary of these findings and prayers about each one.
Ten Key Findings and Prayers
1. Apps Increase Daily Bible Use. If we want to promote a habit of daily Bible reading, an app might be our best tool, especially among Generation Z.
Lord, we pray that the church will lead the way in using digital apps and technology to engage people in your Word. We pray for a spirit of creativity and innovation to create even more platforms that increase daily Bible use.
2. COVID-19 is Still Hurting Families, Regarding Scripture Engagement. Before the pandemic, women with children in the home were more Scripture Engaged than those without (33% to 28%), but now women with children in the home are less engaged than those without (15% to 24%).
Lord, we pray that spiritual practices and traditions will be rebuilt in American homes to celebrate and deepen faith. We also pray that church communities will check in on parents providing support and encouragement.
3. The Bible Improves People’s Lives. In every area (except one) of the Human Flourishing Index, developed at Harvard, those who are Scripture Engaged score higher than those who are not.
Lord, we pray that people across America will connect with the timeless truths and hope found in God’s Word so that they may live better lives and flourish. We pray this research will help inform churches in understanding how best to minister to those experiencing significant levels of stress.
4. Scripture Engaged People Want to Be Good Neighbors. People who regularly read the Bible engage in positive neighborly behaviors such as welcoming immigrants, befriending people of other races, and caring for those who are oppressed.
Father, we pray that as Americans actively live according to the Word of God they will exhibit kindness and compassion towards their neighbors. May your Word inspire us to live out the two greatest commandments in Matthew 22:37‒40, to love God completely and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
5. Curiosity and Comfort: Bringing Generation Z to Scripture. Gen Z leads the way in curiosity about the Bible. When asked why they turn to Scripture, Bible Users in Gen Z are far more likely than other age groups to say, “I need comfort.”
Father, we pray that churches will respond to the curiosity of Gen Z with creative, engaging, and welcoming strategies that support faith formation. We also pray that your Word will provide much needed comfort to this population that faces unique challenges.
6. Generation Z Shows Alarming Levels of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression. The research shows that this age group is facing a mental health crisis, with stress, anxiety, and depression far beyond the norm. But those who read the Bible regularly and apply it to their lives report fewer symptoms of stress, anxiety, or depression.
Father, we pray that Gen Z will find in the pages of Scripture the identity, purpose, and fulfillment that they are seeking. We pray that Gen Z will meaningfully connect with your Word.
7. Many Who Have Come to Jesus Don’t Go to Church. In the three youngest generations (adults 57 and younger), more than two-thirds of those who have made a personal commitment to Jesus are not Practicing Christians, which may mean they aren’t attending church even once a month.
Father, we pray that these generations will make vital church connections in which they are engaging with Scripture. We pray that they will find vibrant Christian community where they can flourish and build life-giving relationships.
8. Eighty Million American Adults Talk with Others About the Transforming Message of Scripture. Nearly a third (31%) of American adults are talking about the scriptural message that brought about their own transformation.
Father, we pray that Christians across America will be renewed and encouraged to share the message of the gospel with their friends, family, and community. And we pray that churches will help prepare their congregants to share their faith.
9. Two Kinds of Bible Use: Mood and Method. Some people choose Bible passages based on their mood, but those who use more disciplined methods may experience greater transformation. expedite higher levels of engagement.
Father, we pray that Americans will consistently and frequently interact with the Bible allowing it to do its transforming work. And we pray that churches will meet people wherever they are and encourage them to make the Bible a part of everyday life.
10. Scripture Engaged People Gave an Estimated $145 Billion to Charity in 2021. Forty-four cents of every dollar donated by individuals in America comes from someone who is consistently interacting with the Bible.
Father, we pray that as Americans engage Scripture, it will inspire them to give generously of their time, energy, prayers, and resources.
To read more about each of these findings and learn about five opportunities for ministry, download the entire State of the Bible 2022 ebook. Visit StateoftheBIble.org
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