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Religions 2018, 9(11), 350; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9110350

Use of Prayer as Complementary Therapy by Christian Adults in the Bible Belt of the United States

William Preston Turner School of Nursing, Lander University, Greenwood, SC 29649, USA
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Received: 20 September 2018 / Revised: 26 October 2018 / Accepted: 2 November 2018 / Published: 7 November 2018
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Abstract

Persons of all major religious groups use prayer as a spiritual discipline when dealing with sickness, and a majority of Christians report faith in healing prayer. The purpose of this research was to explore the use of prayer as complementary therapy for healing by Christian adults in the Bible Belt of the United States. A hermeneutic phenomenological approach was used in this qualitative study. This project was a secondary analysis of a larger study whose aim was to document stories of miraculous healings (n = 14). Open-ended questions focusing on participants’ use of prayer followed the initial telling of their stories. All participants used prayer as complementary to their traditional medical treatments, and emerging themes included prayers of the people, rituals and traditions associated with prayer, prayers of supplication, and experiences related to the act of praying. These findings support prior published studies regarding the prevalence of prayer and its use as complementary therapy. Participants commonly used prayer in times of illness and the effects of prayer included a sense of wellbeing, increased calmness, decreased anxiety, and positive healing experiences. Participants utilized self-prayer and prayer support from family, friends, clergy, and healthcare professionals. View Full-Text
Keywords: prayer; healing; anointing; Bible Belt; complementary therapy prayer; healing; anointing; Bible Belt; complementary therapy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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South, R.M.; McDowell, L. Use of Prayer as Complementary Therapy by Christian Adults in the Bible Belt of the United States. Religions 2018, 9, 350.

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