In the last few years, the United States has seen a rise in religious "nones" — people who, when asked to define their religious identity, state that they are atheists, agnostics, or nothing at all. Meanwhile, spirituality and a burgeoning interest in higher powers is alive and well, particularly among millennial women. Simply put, faith is always a complicated issue.
Yet the National Day of Prayer, a day of awareness for praying as it appears across all creeds, will be observed this Thursday. It isn't exactly a huge holiday by any stretch, but it's mere existence made us wonder — as spirituality takes precedence over religion and "nones" become a norm, how common is it for Americans to pray?
We asked R29 readers whether they pray and, if they do, what that looks like. We also asked how they describe their religion or faith. Not so surprisingly, a fair share of respondents turned out to be "nones." They identified as atheist, agnostic, or unaffiliated, and answered with a simple "no."
But, for those who said they do pray, their answers were illuminating. Many said they only pray during times of stress, while others said they reach out to God for the sake of others (rather than their own self-interest). Ahead, read why your fellow readers find solace in prayer.
*All of our respondents happened to be Christian or unaffiliated, but we'd love to include more perspectives. If you have thoughts on your own faith and approach to prayer, please share in the comments.