Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The Importance of Praying Parents (Prayer Summer 2014)

Linda and I were in Princeton, NJ, and saw Jonathan Edwards's grave.

If parents pray it is likely that their children will pray. The converse also seems true: if parents do not pray, it is likely their children will not pray. The latter may cause difficulties since some scholars believe "religiousness is first manifested at ages 2 or 3"; hence, there seems to be an innate propensity towards the transcendent. (See Spilka and Ladd, The Psychology of Prayer, 65)

Spilka and Ladd write:

"Typically, close identification with one’s parents sets the stage for a child’s initial religious understanding of prayer, first in general attitudes and emotions (which [Andre] Godin believes are derived primarily from the mother). Concepts of deity are added later, along with prayerful practices learned from parents." (Ib., 66)

"The influence of high and low religious parents was especially evident in the responses of the 3- and 4-year-olds. Respondents who came from religious homes had a definite concept of prayer and an understanding of what was desirable when praying." (Ib.)