4 in 10 American families don’t worship or pray together

A recent survey has found that about 4 in 10 American families never worship together. Here's why they might want to.

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  • Worshipping together may not be a family activity.

  • In fact, many families never do it, according to the American Family Survey.

  • Specifically, about 4 in 10 families never worship together, found the survey, which included 3,000 responses from Americans. Conservative families are more likely to worship together than liberals — about 59 percent compared to 13 percent — but the majority of couples surveyed said their families never worship together.

  • Here's an expanded look at the data:

  • Praying together or worshipping together can be good for families, though. A 2010 study from the University of Virginia found that prayer can help families stay together, specifically because prayer helps married couples get closer and more intimate with each other, which may solve any disagreements they have, CBN News reported.

  • "The closer you get to the home, the more powerful the beneficial effects," family expert and researcher W. Bradford Wilcox said in a press release. "It makes sense that those who think about, talk about and practice their beliefs in the home, those who bring home their reflections on their marriage, derive stronger effects from those beliefs, especially compared to those who simply attend church weekly."

  • Wilcox added that prayer helps couples learn lessons on forgiveness, which can also help their relationship succeed.

  • "I think forgiveness is probably a pretty key dimension to the link between shared religious practice — prayer in particular — and success in the relationship," Wilcox said, according to CBN News. "In past studies, forgiveness has been found to be a key influence on the success of relationships, home life and even workplace happiness."

  • This is similarly suggested by Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput's new book "A Short Guide to Praying as a Family: Growing Together in Faith and Love Each Day," which says praying together as a family is important because it makes couples want to stay together, National Review reported.

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  • Sister Jane Dominic Laurel told National Review that praying as a family can help keep religion at the center of a family's life and values, too.

  • "Prayer helps us above all to recall that God is our Father and we are his children," she said. "He loves and cares for us, listens to us, and waits for us. We depend on him for everything."

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Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.

Website: https://twitter.com/HerbScribner

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