The Use of Prayer for Wellness Promotion in Adult Church Members

Introduction to the Problem

The influence of prayer on the injured body is indeed an asset to the promotion of wellness in patients. In many cases, patients do not know about prayer and the amazing way that it can calm anxiety and soothe many conditions. It is essential and vital that practitioners explore the psychological and physical aspects that are useful in coping with medical conditions. This study will explore the benefits of using prayer as a tool to aid patients in coping with medical conditions. Research will be conducted in my local church to prove this point.

Problem Statement

The purpose of this proposal is to investigate whether the use of prayer by church members ages 18 and above, both male and female can result in an overall holistic sense of well being at my local church. Many people experience misfortune as a normal process of life and the intense pain experienced within can often be difficult to bear. This quantitative project will explore the number of members who actually incorporate prayer in their lives as a strategy to decrease painful experiences. The resources utilized consist of the internet, and nursing journals.

Significance of the study

The study of this topic is important because it will shed light upon a powerful element that is often missing in medical environments. Prayer, as a tool to cope, is essential and this study will attempt to unveil its’ significance in patient recovery. The principal of faith expressed by patrons of a local church will demonstrate whether prayer is valuable especially when faced with medical illness.

Research Questions

The proposed study will be guided by the following research questions:

  1. How prevalent is the use of prayer related to the healing process of medical conditions among church members aged 18 years and above?
  2. What roles does prayer have on reducing painful experiences and promoting a holistic sense of well being among church members?
  3. How can nursing leaders and nurses benefit from using prayer as a facilitation tool in the patient’s healing plan?

Hypothesis

The selected area of study impacts nursing because anecdotal evidence demonstrates that the process of prayer results in healing and may serve as an alternative means of medical intervention (Head, 2004). Studies have demonstrated that prayer has the capacity to not only decrease anxiety and depression, but also to promote wellness and enhance the overall quality of life (Lavery & O’Hea, 2010). Consequently, a study on this topic is beneficial to nursing practice as it will provide nurse leaders and staff with an avenue to deal with spiritual matters and demonstrate deeper insights into the major impact of prayer on health matters affecting the target group. More importantly, the study findings may assist reinforce the assertions that prayer as a non medical intervention not only facilitates the healing process and serves as a conduit which results in positive health outcomes, but also assists in the patient’s overall plan of care (Head, 2004). Going by these assertions, the proposed study will aim to prove or disprove the following hypothesis:

H1: The use of prayer initiates a positive coping mechanism to deal with painful experiences and therefore, increases the overall holistic sense of well being among church members of the local church.

Definition of Terms

The following terms were utilized for purposes of this study.

Prayer

Prayer is the communication with a being considered more powerful with the belief in the existence of the being and with the aim of receiving a response (Head, 2004).

Summary

Studies relating spirituality to medical aspects are not new (Bridges & Moore, 2002). The recent change of culture towards customer service has seen medical institutions turn to considering patient requirements and incorporate prayer into clinical practice (Kutz, 2004). This is, however, hardly the only reason. Studies have shown that a patient’s belief in prayer and its purpose in healing causes emotional calm and rest which is associated with better healing. A study by the British Medical Journal in 2001 also indicated that patients who prayed had a shorter hospital stay (Kutz, 2004). Prayer has also been seen to assist patients with chronic illness to cope with their conditions (Wachholtz & Sambamoorthi, 2011).

Literature Review

Topic: The impact of prayer by adults, eighteen and above on their health

Introduction

The research relates prayer and healing, but it has focused only on finding a correlation between the two aspects (Benson et al, 2006). This ignores the influence of spirituality and prayer on overall health. This study intends to fill the research gap on prayer and its power. This will be done by focusing on the impact of prayer among local church members on their overall health and well being (Hodge, 2010). Prayer positively influences the hope and confidence of adults and this psychological impact, causing an improvement in their overall health.

Significance of the study

The study of this topic is necessary in order to give the nurses and nursing leaders an insight into the impact of prayer on health matters affecting the target group. This will assist them to make the best decisions on how to handle spiritual matters, particularly prayer, when dealing with patients and their colleagues. The study will help the nurses and nursing leaders to support patients who have the passion of using prayers during the healing process. In addition, the research will help encourage patients who fear to use prayers during the healing process. The application of prayers in the healthcare systems will be encouraged, and people will change their perception towards prayers in the healthcare systems (O’Brien, 2011). This research will improve the leadership skills of nurses because they will learn to handle Christian patients. Therefore, leadership in nursing will be improved after conducting the study (Feldman & Greenberg, 2005). Therefore, nurses will develop the leadership skills which are important in influencing patients to use prayers during the healing process. Nursing leaders have the responsibility of ensuring that the patients heal faster, and that minimal challenge experiences during the healing process.

Methodology

The study will be conducted through a survey of adult Christian individuals. A two part questionnaire will be used. The first part will have questions measuring the level of commitment of prayer by the respondent. The second part of the questionnaire will have questions that measure the level of well-being of the respondents. This research will also be performed deductively. The deductive theory refers to the relationship between a recommended theory and the research (Rubin & Babbie, 2011). Research questions are thus constructed on the basis of the literature reviewed (Bryman and Bell, 2007). For that reason, this section reviews the necessary literature in efforts to answer the research questions.

Background about Prayers and Healing

According Brandeis University (2009), the relationship between health and religion has stood for a long time. For many years, people have believed that intercessory prayers play an important role in the healing process. The concept of prayer has been a scientific study of interest for many scholars and its’ value deserves to be explored within this study (Spilka & Ladd, 2012). In the ancient times, religious leaders had the responsibility of intervening for the sick, and they could heal the sick. There was a conception that sickness is brought about by sins. Therefore, people thought that the only way of healing sickness is by seeking divine intervention. This placed the religious people at a high rank in the society, and all people sought help from them. It was believed that the religious leaders had a close relationship with supernatural powers. The supernatural powers were believed to heal all diseases. According to the International Congress and Exhibition on Nutrition, Fitness, and Health, and Simopoulos (2008), people “considered diseases to be demonic in origin that were distributed as punishment either for disobedience to the gods or for not following the established practices of the priest who could also function as a healer” (p. 201). This is an indication that the religious leaders had great authority in the society, and they could intercede for the sick (Lake & Spiegel, 2007). Since then, people have believed that there is a supernatural power that controls the health of people, and that diseases are caused by an evil spirit. Therefore, prayers have remained to be important in the health care sector (Francis & Astley, 2001).

An increasing body of knowledge has associated factors related to religion, faith, and spirituality to better health results amongst patients (George, Ellison, & Larson, 2002; Koenig, McCullough, & Larson, 2001). Such health results include a reduction in the risk of mortality (McCullough, Hoyt, Larson, Koenig & Thoresen, 2000). In addition, further studies have revealed greater use of spirituality amongst the most disadvantaged. This is mostly among the elderly, minority groups, and women (Barna, 2002). Nevertheless, prayers become the most significant option for people particularly the elderly during hospitalization and health care procedures mostly surgery. During such moments, people reflect on their relationship with their own self and others, suffering they face and even death. Additionally, they are also less depressed, less anxious and thus their blood pressure levels are usually lower (Young, and Koopsen, 2005). On the contrary, some scholars have highslighted that religious and spiritual beliefs can sometimes be harmful. One of the major risk is that patients may substitute medical care with prayers. On the other hand, spiritual practices might contribute to patient’s delay in seeking and receiving medical attention. Most notably, the majority of religious patients first seeks distance healing and usually rush to hospitals when the situation worsens (Targ, 2002). Moreover, it can also encourage fear, guilt and low self esteem. This is attributed to the implication that the health problems might have resulted from insufficient faith.

However, the mechanisms underscoring the influence of prayer are yet to be confirmed. Various scholars have proposed divergent mechanism in the explanation of the patients’ health outcomes in relation to faith and spiritual factors (Hickman, 2006). These aspects include improved emotional states, as well as positive psychology and attitudes that may influence psychoneuroimmunological pathways (Levin, 2004). Faith-health researchers have endorsed complex designs to evaluate the pathways through adequate controls, causal designs, and longitudinal research (Badaracco, 2007). This is meant to cover this methodological gap in scientific surveys. In a population survey that made use of structural equation modelling (SEM) evaluation, church-based activities were related to improved health outcomes in elderly patients (Nardi, 2002). In this model, religious support and optimism facilitated the relationship between the spiritual activities and improved health outcomes (Krause, 2002).

Despite the development of scientific reasoning during the past century, almost 95% of Americans continue to believe in God or an ultimate, supernatural being. Notably, approximately nine out of 10 individuals pray (Gallup & Lindsay, 1999). A cross-national study revealed a high prevalence of spirituality in the United States when it was compared to 21 other countries. The popularity of prayer was attributed to its perceived influence on promoting the well-being of patients. An estimated 94% of the respondents acknowledged the influence of prayer in managing depression or low self-esteem (Levin, 2004; Gallup and Jones, 1989).

It is evident that science has provided the solution to the well-being of humans. Among those challenged with the prospect of undergoing open heart surgery, which is a prominent form of advanced technical medicine, prayer and spirituality were a common management practice. This was a spiritual activity showing their intent to survive the operation (AI, Peterson, Bolling & Koenig, 2002). The use of spirituality to manage stressful situations is common among the elderly patients in America. In the recent past, various studies have revealed the positive consequences of religious events on the physical and emotional aspects of elderly patients. This was used specifically in the amelioration of melancholy. Various scholars consider religious coping to be a way in which individuals obtain significance in stressful situations. Cardiac surgery is an example of a stressful circumstance in the final stages of the life of elderly patients (Strawbridge, Shema, Cohen, Bobert & Kaplan, 1998).

Several researches have been conducted on the effect of stressful occurrences that lead patients to seek prayer as an intervention. Most of these studies reveal that individuals often turn to spiritual activities for the provision of comfort and support when they encounter life threatening or stressful events. In a poll run by Gallup, the results showed that about 80% of Americans regard prayers to be a means of managing a crisis or problem (Poloma & Gallup, 1991). In this regard, spiritual practices such as prayer may be considered as useful tools for coping with problems and stressful situations especially in relation to chronic illness.

Rate of use of prayer in the healing process of medical conditions among church members age 18 years and above.

The adoption of prayer as a means of influencing one’s health is common among the population globally. Sick people pray for support, strength, and guidance from God (Chatters, Taylor, Jackson, and Lincoln, 2008). In the United States, the frequency of praying not only depends on the age but also the race. A study conducted by Chatters, Taylor, Jackson, and Lincoln (2008) concluded that African Americans use prayers more often than their white counterparts.

Role of Prayer in Reducing Painful Experiences and Promoting a Holistic Sense of Well-being among Church Members

Across history, people have dealt with pain and illness in spiritual ways (Belcher, and Benda, 2005). Therefore, using prayers to quell an illness is not something new. Many studies have shown that there is a relationship between religion and general health and well being. Prayers give hope to patients that a supernatural power heals. People believe that nurses cure but there is a supernatural power that heals. Therefore, religion and healing are linked (Targ, 2002; Wilkinson, Saper, Rosen, Welles and Culpepper, 2008). Additionally, these studies have concluded that there is a neutral or beneficial relationship between religions (prayer) and health (Wilkinson et al., 2008).

Circumstances or factors that encourage prayer and its healing ability within the organization

According to Chatters, Taylor, Jackson, and Lincoln (2008), people pray for strength and endurance when faced with difficult situations. The thought that God will help patients cope with their illness is what motivates people to pray. Prayers strengthen patients because they have the hope that the supernatural powers have the capacity to heal. People also believe that the suffering they experience are short term and there is an eternal happiness after death. This helps people endure all the problems they encounter. Therefore, patients heal faster because they have hope that there is eternal happiness. Standley (2012) stated that the rules of prayers include asking in private, believing and receiving. This means that for one to receive healing through prayers, he/she should have faith in the prayers. For that reason, healing through prayers is all about believing in a supernatural power (Olver, 2012). Most significant, prayers help patients to feel secure and safe. The feeling of safety increases when you realize that there is someone you can turn to in such difficult moments. Apart from knowing there is someone you always count on, God, security is more emphasized by understanding that God is able to solve all problems. In connection to this, peace of mind develops as a result of feeling safe and secure (Hodge, 2010). On the other hand, developing a relationship with God, helps one to gain more self confidence. Through the realization that God created you, one self image is enhanced by knowing God values you and you are lovable, and worthwhile in His kingdom and the whole universe at large. The judgment one has about him/herself matter a lot particularly in recovering from problems. Lastly, developing a relationship with God provides one with guidance that helps in decision making and overcoming challenges (Barker and Buchan-Barker, 2004).

How prayers benefit nurse leaders and nurses when used as a facilitation tool in the patient’s healing plan.

Studies relating spirituality to medical aspects are not new (Bridges & Moore, 2002). The recent change of culture towards customer service has seen medical institutions turn to considering patient requirements and incorporate prayer into clinical practice (Kutz, 2004). However, this is hardly the only reason. Studies have shown that a patient’s belief in prayer and its purpose in healing causes emotional calm and rest that is associated with better healing (Barker, and Buchanan-Barker, 2004). A study by the British Medical Journal in 2001 also indicated that patients who prayed had a shorter hospital stay (Kutz, 2004). Prayer has also been seen to assist patients with chronic illness to cope with their conditions (Wachholtz & Sambamoorthi, 2011).

Critique of the literature reviewed

The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) was on the rise for the last two decades (fries et al., 2012). As described by Olver (2012) prayer is categorized amongst the mostly used CAM. Furthermore, it is the meditating prayer that is often linked with the health and well being of individuals (Olver, 2012). A survey by Jacobs, Gundling, and American College of Physicians (2009) on the most used CAM in the United States showed that prayer for oneself and prayers for others or by others topped the list with 43% and 23% respectively. First and foremost, prayer meant for oneself or others with their prior knowledge that they are being prayed for results in a relaxation response. There are also psychosocial benefits like reduced distress and increased hope. According to Deem (n.d.), a study conducted in the San Francisco General Medical Center showed that there was a positive correlation between the prayers and the response of cardiac patients to medication. However, the success of these therapies, on a clinical setting, remains controversial among many medical professionals (Fries et al., 2012). On the contrary, Carry (2006) stated that patients who are aware that they are being prayed for were likely to experience a higher rate of post-operative complications such as abdominal heart rhythms. The general conclusion from these studies is that prayers produce mixed results.

Nonetheless, the use of prayers in the healing process is of particular importance to medics (Fries et al., 2012). It is interesting to know whether people are using prayer as a substitute for medical care or to hasten their healing. Moreover, there is a need to know what types of patients pray and what the repercussions of their actions are. This is what drives this study.

Hypothesis & Key Research Questions

The selected area of study impacts nursing because anecdotal evidence demonstrates that the process of prayer results in healing and may serve as an alternative means of medical intervention (Head, 2004). Studies have demonstrated that prayer has the capacity to decrease anxiety and depression, as well as promote wellness and enhance the overall quality of life (Lavery & O’Hea, 2010). Consequently, a study on this topic is beneficial to nursing practice as it will provide nurse leaders and staff with an avenue to deal with spiritual matters and demonstrate deeper insights into the major impact of prayer on health matters affecting the target group (Mauk and Schmidt, 2004). More importantly, the study findings may assist reinforce the assertions that prayer as a non medical intervention facilitates the healing process and serves as a conduit that results in positive health outcomes and assists in the patient’s overall plan of care (Head, 2004). Going by these assertions, the proposed study will aim to prove or disprove the following hypothesis:

  • H1: The use of prayer initiates a positive coping mechanism to deal with painful experiences and therefore, increases the overall holistic sense of well being among church members of the local church.

The proposed study will be guided by the following research questions:

  1. How prevalent is the use of prayer related to the healing process of medical conditions among church members aged 18 years and above?
  2. What roles does prayer have on reducing painful experiences and promoting a holistic sense of well being among church members?
  3. How can nursing leaders and nurses benefit from using prayer as a facilitation tool in the patient’s healing plan?

Conclusion/Summary

In conclusion, the process of creating this research consisted of a very unique pathway. Identifying the problem was foremost and focusing on it gives credit to the total correlation of prayer and its ability to promote wellness. The literature reviewed focuses on the specific criteria that explore the connection between prayer and well being.

Methodology

Introduction

The study will be conducted through a survey among adult Christian individuals. A two part questionnaire will be used. The first part will have questions measuring the level of commitment to prayer by the respondent. The second part of the questionnaire will have questions measuring the level of well-being of the respondents. This research will also be performed deductively. The deductive theory refers to the relationship between a recommended theory and the research. Research questions are thus constructed on the basis of the literature reviewed (Bryman and Bell, 2007). For that reason, this section reviews the necessary literature in efforts to answer the research questions. According Brandeis University (2009), the relationship between health and religion has stood for a long time. For thousands of years, people have believed that intercessory prayers play an important role in the healing process. Therefore, prayer has been a scientific study of interest for many scholars.

Setting

The setting for this research will be conducted at the local church in Roseville CA. The church is multicultural and consists of over 3000 members who are multicultural.

Participants

The participants will be sampled from the local church after seeking permission from the local pastor and other relevant agencies. The criteria for inclusion include: 1) must be 18 years and above, 2) either male or female, 3) well versed with of religious and spiritual issues based on a church setting, 4) must have attended church services at the local church for a period not less than two years, 5) be of any nationality, racial or ethnic grouping, 6) demonstrate evidence of occurrence of painful experiences in own lives or in the lives of close family members, and 7) be ready and willing to take part in the research study.

Research Design

Primary data from the proposed study will be collected using quantitative survey technique. The quantitative data will be obtained from the respondents, and it will contain quantitative variables. The quantitative design will be applied because it will help establish a clear relationship between the variables. This means that the dependent variables will correlate easily with the independent variables. The link between the variables will be quantified for analysis (Creswell, 2003). The use of quantitative design will help design appropriate mathematical models to establish the relationship between the variables. To create the quantitative design, the questions used in the questionnaire will be narrow. The numerical relationships between the variables will be used to develop appropriate designs (Newman & Benz, 2006).

The use of quantitative design will help to observe and identify the impact of the characteristics of the research, as well as explore possible associations among the variables (Nardi, 2002). The phenomenon of interest is investigating whether the use of prayer by church members can decrease painful experiences and result in an overall holistic sense of well-being for participants selected at the local church. There is a need to examine the uniqueness of each patient’s lived situation because individuals have their own reality. Consequently, this technique will acquire information on the participants’ characteristics, values, opinions, beliefs, attitudes, demographics, and previous experiences. This will be done by asking them a set of questions and tabulating their responses with the ultimate goal of learning about a large population by only surveying a sample of that population (Nardi, 2002; Knapp, 1998). The data collected will be classified and ranked accordingly, and afterwards, examined in whole beyond human awareness. With regard to quantitative designs, they will be used to describe and test the relationship and examine its cause and effect. This will apply control research instruments to generalize and analyze numerical data.

Description of Instruments or Tools for data collection

In this research, questionnaires will be the primary tool/instrument for data collection. The questionnaire will include checklists, altitude and rating scales and projective techniques. In addition, the questionnaire will be administered in an interview format. The questionnaire, which will have a total of 25 questions and 3 sections, will include checklists to collect numerical and closed-ended data, attitude scales to collect interval data, and rating scales to collect ordinal and categorical data (Knapp, 1998). In section A, 2 numerical items and 3 closed-ended (yes/no) will be used to collect participants’ personal and demographic information. In section B, 5 Likert-scale items will be posed to measure attitudes, values, and beliefs of the participants. Additionally, 5 open-ended questions will be posed to break the ice and seek for other relevant data that may be outside the scope of the researcher. Furthermore, 5 multiple choice items will be used to collect finite data for analysis (Nardi, 2002). Section C will contain 3 closed-ended questions and 2 open-ended questions intended to elicit some concluding remarks on the research study. In the case of qualitative data, audio or videotapes will be used for clarity purposes while analyzing the results.

Data Collection

Data will be collected through the self administration of the questionnaires. This is aimed at achieving a high response rate from the respondents as well as ensuring the validity and reliability of the information gathered. Validity will be achieved by collecting the correct data. The validity of the information will be achieved by ensuring that the information collected matches the theories developed. Reliability is a measure that ensures that the information can be used in the future. This will be achieved by providing accurate information. This is attributed to the fact that the researcher will be available to the respondents for creation of awareness and clarification purposes. Besides this, questionnaires were arrived at due to various considerations. First, they can be used to reach various people at different times, different environments, and can as well target analysis of numerous sub-topics of the main topic in different dimensions. In addition, they are cheap and easy to construct in terms of materials resources and time. Lastly, it is the best suited method for both quantitative and qualitative data (Monsen, 2008). Data collection will be done using primary and secondary sources. The primary data collection will mainly apply the questionnaires. The questionnaires will be administered to the respondents. The respondents will be given reasonable time to answer the questionnaires. After the given time elapses, the research assistants will collect the questionnaires from the respondents. Research assistants will be present to create awareness to the respondents and for clarification purposes. This will help to collect valid and reliable information from the participants and ensure all respondents participate. Interviews will be collected in cases where questionnaires are not applicable. This process will help collect inclusive data such that no respondent will fail to participate. A two part questionnaire will be used. The first part will have questions measuring the level of commitment to prayer by the respondent. The second part of the questionnaire will have questions measuring the level of well-being of the respondents. Secondary data will be collected from the internet, books and other sources. The secondary sources will reinforce the data collected using the primary sources.

Type of Data to be collected

Ordinal and categorical data will be collected using Likert scale items. The items on the ordinal scale will be set in order to represent their position on the scale and demonstrate their relative importance to the constructs under investigation. The categories of “strongly agree, agree, disagree and strongly disagree” will be used in the Likert scales (Nardi, 2002). Rank-ordered data and finite data will be collected using open-ended and multiple-choice questionnaire items respectively. The nominal data will be collected through the dichotomous scales by assigning values to categories (e.g., 1=Yes; 2=No in closed-ended items) and by ensuring that these categories cannot be ranked. It is important to note that the numbers assigned in the dichotomous scales have no intrinsic meaning (Morrell, 2007).

Data Analysis

The data analysis will apply statistical tools to the analysis will involve the use of statistical tools. The data collected using questionnaires and interviews will be fed into the statistical software, and the results developed. Experts in data analysis and statisticians will be involved in the data analysis process. In measures of central tendency, the mean will be used to demonstrate the probability of how engagement in prayer leads to the development of positive coping mechanisms that could be used to deal with stressful experiences. The mean will also be used to identify trends of how participants who joined the church 5 years ago compare with those who joined the church 1 year ago in dealing with painful experiences. In the proposed study, the median will be used to note and explain extreme cases of participants who are yet to develop positive coping strategies even after sustained prayers. In this case, those who have already developed these strategies will be in or near the middle score. The mode will be used to report the reaction evaluation of participants in terms of using prayers to deal with painful experiences.

In measures of dispersion, frequencies of participants who have developed positive coping mechanisms due to continued use of prayers, histograms, charts, and frequency polygons are going to be represented. The range will be used to describe the limits of study participants on various variables of interest, such as church attendance and use of the prayers. The standard deviation will then be used to interpret whether the results tabulated using mean values are a good representation of the typical respondent (Abraham et al., 1989).

Human Subjects Protections

Written permission to conduct the research was obtained from the relevant authorities in the church and school. In seeking for the permit, the researcher ensures all ethical regulations and standards pertaining experimenting with human subjects have been satisfactorily met. The study was also approved by the Institutional Review Board of Western Governors University. The risks of the study are minimal as it involves the study of anonymous surveys obtained from the participants and no personal contact was made. The principal investigator completed the (NIH), National Institutes of Health online training on the protection of human subjects (See Appendix B).

Summary

This chapter outlines the methodology utilized during the research study. A description of the research design setting and the study population is also discussed. The research tool and data collection procedures are summarized and the data analysis is also reviewed. Finally, the emphasis on human subject protection has also been addressed. Chapter 4 will indicate the findings of the study.

Findings

Overview

The purpose of this investigation was to determine if the use of prayer promotes healing in patients. The goal of the study was to have patients use prayer as a tool to cope and decrease illness. This idea was identified by multiple participants within this study. The investigation was approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the facility where participants were members. After gaining informed consent, demographic information was obtained (i.e. Age, gender) surveys were conducted via online web service. Strict privacy and anonymity were maintained. Following the survey process the results were analyzed. The following sections of this chapter describe data analysis and the results and interpretations of the data.

Analysis of Data

There were a total of 21 participants in this investigation who participated in individual survey questionnaires. All these participants met the set standards required for this research. The data analysis applied statistical tools to the analysis the collected data from questionnaires. The survey questionnaires consisted of 25 questions. The data collected was fed into the statistical software, and the results developed. Experts in data analysis and statisticians were involved in the data analysis process. The demographic data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and content analysis to convert it into numerical data which could be analyzed quantitatively. On the basis of gender, 38% were men and 62% women whereas on marital status, 67% were married and 33% unmarried or single. With respect to the age groups 14% were from 25 to 30 years, 5% from 31 to 40, 43% from 41 to 50, 19% from 51 to 60, 14% were above 60 and 5% were unknown. Survey questionnaires were analyzed categorically. In regards to praying, all participants (100%) confirmed: they pray for themselves as well as for their ill people. In addition to this, all of them believe there is the relationship between faith and prayers and believe that God answers prayers through healing. Therefore, they felt that prayer is an important tool in medical care and thus medical decisions should be influenced by prayers. Furthermore, 67% of participants felt that prayer does not conflict with medical care. Relative to praying frequency and types, all participants (100%) pray daily, 20% pray throughout the day, 10% pray twice a day and 86% of the participants pray in solitude.

On the front of quantitative analysis, measures of central tendency and measures of dispersion were used in the analysis. For measures of central tendency, the mean was used to identify trends of how participants who joined the church 5 years ago compare with those who joined the church 1 year ago in dealing with painful experiences. Participants who had joined the church earlier had totally believed in the effectiveness of prayers in the well being of patients. On the other hand, the newcomers still had believed in prayers but in most cases doubted its effectiveness on the well being of patients. The median was used to note and explain extreme cases of participants who are yet to develop positive coping strategies even after sustained prayers. In this case, those who have already developed these strategies will be in or near the middle score. The majority of the participants were in middle score implying that they had developed coping strategies. The mode was used to report the reaction evaluation of participants in terms of using prayers to deal with painful experiences. Most of the participants reacted that prayers are necessary and play a big part in the well being of a patient.

In measures of dispersion, frequencies of participants who have developed positive coping mechanisms due to continued use of prayers, histograms, charts, and frequency polygons were represented. The range was used to describe the limits of study participants on various variables of interest, such as church attendance and use of the prayers. The standard deviation was then used to interpret whether the results tabulated using mean values are a good representation of the typical respondent. The mean data represented the participants appropriately.

Research Questions

The investigation examined whether or not prayer was used as a tool to promote the health status in local church members. Survey questions were distributed to answer the following questions.

  1. How prevalent is the use of prayer related to the healing process of medical conditions among church members aged 18 years and above?
  2. What roles does prayer have on reducing painful experiences and promoting a holistic sense of well being among church members? What circumstances or factors encourage prayer and its healing ability within the organization?
  3. How can nursing leaders and nurses benefit from using prayer as a facilitation tool in the patient’s healing plan?

Research Question 1: Prevalence

The participants demonstrated that prayer is used frequently as a means to help them cope with illness. The use of prayer made them feel they had a sense of hope. The huge impact of prayer on changing their health status is clearly indicated within the study. Chart 3 explains in detail the frequencies that the participants pray.

Research Question 2: Roles of Prayer in health promotion and wellness

The participants illustrated as a whole that prayer makes them feel better inside and out. They believe that prayer should be part of the healthcare process and that healing results from it. The process of prayer is indicated as a process that does not always render perfect results, but they report using prayer and witnessing its use among other patrons. Once again the majority used prayer to cope at the time of healing. They believe that it is beneficial for them and others.

Research Question 3: Benefits for leaders

Nurse leaders can benefit greatly from using prayer as a tool in their practice. The emphasis on faith and healing will serve as a great component of the health care plan. The use of this tool will assist leaders by allowing their patients to be calmer and more receptive to the therapy that is offered. In the sensitive environment of the hospital or any healthcare institution, stress is a key component to the breakdown and delay of the healing process. When patients have this extra tool of prayer and know deep within that it is ok to focus on this concept in addition to their medical regimen, it gives them hope. It gives them a sense that they can believe in something bigger that what is actually going on with their body. When patients are in this state of mind, nurses can perform more efficiently and patients heal timely. These methods result in patients spending less money on health care and nurses and leaders spending more time to provide care for their entire patient load.

Results and Interpretation

Chart 1 provides an overview of demographic information obtained from the participants. The areas included age, gender and marital status. Further demographic data revealed that most of the participants use prayer to cope. Categorical data analysis was also conducted. During data analysis, the themes were emerging. The themes were interrelated to form a whole that captured the factors that contributed to the results. All of the participant’s information was kept confidential. The ethical considerations and standards were also implemented.

Prayer and Wellness Survey Data Analysis

Prayer and Wellness Survey taken by 21 participants.

Survey Participants Info
Chart 1 – Survey Participants Info

Summary

This investigation consisted of 21 participants and was completed in a 3 week time frame. This study revealed overwhelmingly how powerful the use of prayer is in the promotion of wellness. The overall comparative analysis reveals similar responses among participants. Although the times and frequencies of their use of prayer varied, the end result showed that they believe prayer is a master tool for healing. When sick people have a grasp of the prayer tool on board, and nurses and leaders are promoting it, these patients cope better. This in turn results in a cycle of events within the institution such as healthier patients and speedier recovery times. Although positive results are not always demonstrated by the use of prayer, participants report they are better off using it to heal. Chapter 5 discusses implications, limitations, recommendations, and a conclusion related to the findings of this investigation.

Discussion and Conclusions

Introduction

This final chapter discusses the findings of this investigation. The implications, limitations, recommendations, and conclusions are presented below.

Discussion

The purpose of this investigation was to study whether prayer as a tool in healthcare serves to promote wellness in ill patients. The goal was to answer the following questions.

  1. How prevalent is the use of prayer related to the healing process of medical conditions among church members aged 18 years and above? This question aimed at identifying the impact of prayers during the healing process. This question was answered in the research because the prayers were found to have an impact on the healing process of the patients.
  2. What roles does prayer have on reducing painful experiences and promoting a holistic sense of well being among church members? Prayers were found to reduce pain. Prayers give the patients the consolation to bear the pain they experience. In addition, prayers gives hope for a better tomorrow.
  3. What circumstances or factors encourage prayer and its healing ability within the organization? Prayers have a healing ability if the patients have faith. The patients should have the faith that the prayers will heal them.
  4. How can nursing leaders and nurses benefit from using prayer as a facilitation tool in the patient’s healing plan? Nursing leaders can benefit from the use of prayers to facilitate the healing plan for patients by reducing the burden of using medicinal knowledge.

Implications

This research investigation included 21 participants and was completed in a 3 week time period. The literature review conducted for this investigation revealed that prayer is a vital component of health care and promotion. The research investigation revealed the personal values and beliefs of faithful members of a local church. Based on the research it is safe to say that the use of prayer in local hospitals and healthcare establishments can be useful to aid the prescribed hospital plan of care. The role of validity and reliability of this study are considered and utilizing the church members only as participants could be somewhat biased and serve to manipulate the study. However, the validity of the results is considered stable because they are random anonymous participant responses. The strengths of this project are that it serves to promote and bring about a major change in health care and helping ill people cope through their illness. The weakness of the project is that there were not very many participants and it took quite some time to achieve enough participants. Multiple attempts to accomplish the study took place via a re-invitation.

Limitations

There were multiple limitations of this investigation. The study was limited because there were few participants and getting the approval to do the project was tedious. The interpretation of the results was also limited as there was much technical difficulty with the survey website I used. This investigation would have been more concise with a larger participant population with many results to consider.

Recommendations

Based on the findings of this investigation, the following recommendations are made:

  1. Additional investigation needed on factors that support the decision to incorporate prayer as a tool in health care.
  2. Additional participants are needed to justify the investigation.
  3. More time for data collection is recommended.
  4. Invitation of healthcare providers who support prayer in their practice would be recommended.
  5. The technical difficulties should be avoided by involving professionals in the process of collecting and analyzing the data. In addition, there should be enough resources to run the project to ensure that all the objectives are achieved.

Conclusions

Chapter 5 provided a discussion of the findings, implications, limitations, and recommendations for enhanced leadership development, in regards to prayer and health care promotion and the overall value of a faith based practice and its’ benefits. Recommendations for future investigations were also provided.

Master Degree Experience

The goal to obtain a Master Degree has been a long journey and required a lot of work, focus and tenacity. I have learned so many things along the way and I feel that I will be able to use it to better my community and myself. I am grateful for the structure of the program and all of the tools and nuggets available to perform research. I am also grateful to the staff for all of the support along the way. I am certain I will be able to apply much of the knowledge I have gained in this program to my workplace.

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Appendix A

Data Collection Tool

Table 1 Survey Questionnaire

# Question Text
Q1 Please indicate your gender. Male [ ] Female [ ]
Q2 How old are you? ____________________
Q3 What is your marital status? Married _______ Single _______
Q4 What is your highest level of education? High School ____ Graduate____ Others____
Q5 Do you believe in supernatural powers? Yes ___ No____
Q6 Do you pray? Yes____ No____
Q7 How frequently do you pray?
Q8 How do you pray? [ ] In solitude [ ] In a group
Q9 Is there a relationship between faith and prayers? Yes [ ] No [ ]
Q10 Do prayers work for non believers? Yes [ ] No [ ]
Q11 Do prayers heal or do they just complement medication? Yes [ ] No [ ]
Q12 Do you believe that God answers prayers through healing? Yes [ ] No [ ]
Q13 What is your reaction when you pray for healing and receive no answers? ______________________________________
Q14 Why are some prayers not answered? _____________________________________
Q15 What should someone do to make his prayers successful?
Q16 Is prayer an important tool in medical care? Yes [ ] No [ ]
Q17 Do you inquire about a patient’s beliefs and spirituality? Yes [ ] No [ ]
Q18 Are hurting people receptive to inquiries about their religious beliefs? Yes [ [ No [ ]

Data Collection Tool Continued

Survey Questionnaire

Q19 Have you encountered people who are ill, who pray or receive intercessory prayers? Yes [ ] No [ ]
Q20 How did these patients respond to medication? _____________________________________
Q21 Should prayers be incorporated in general medical care? Yes [ ] No [ ]
Q22 Do you pray for your ill people? Yes [ ] No [ ]
Q23 Do you feel medical decisions should be influenced by prayer? Yes [ ] No [ ]
Q24 Do you feel prayer sometimes conflicts with medical care? Yes [ ] No [ ]
Q25 Do you think science and spirituality are compatible? Yes [ ] No [ ]

Appendix B

Chart 2 – Survey Results Summary for Yes/No Questions

  • All participants (100%) have confirmed:
    • They pray
  • For themselves
  • For their ill people
    • There is the relationship between faith and prayers
    • Believe that God answers prayers through healing
    • Prayer is an important tool in medical care
    • They feel medical decisions should be influenced by prayers
  • 67% of participants feel that prayer does NOT conflict with medical care.

Survey Results Summary for Yes/No Questions

Appendix C

Appendix C

Appendix D

Chart 3 – Prayer Frequency & Types

  • All participants (100%) pray daily
    • 20% pray throughout the day
    • 10% pray twice a day
  • 86% of the participants pray in solitude

Prayer Frequency & Types

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Reference

NerdyRoo. (2022, May 24). The Use of Prayer for Wellness Promotion in Adult Church Members. Retrieved from https://nerdyroo.com/the-use-of-prayer-for-wellness-promotion-in-adult-church-members/

Work Cited

"The Use of Prayer for Wellness Promotion in Adult Church Members." NerdyRoo, 24 May 2022, nerdyroo.com/the-use-of-prayer-for-wellness-promotion-in-adult-church-members/.

1. NerdyRoo. "The Use of Prayer for Wellness Promotion in Adult Church Members." May 24, 2022. https://nerdyroo.com/the-use-of-prayer-for-wellness-promotion-in-adult-church-members/.


Bibliography


NerdyRoo. "The Use of Prayer for Wellness Promotion in Adult Church Members." May 24, 2022. https://nerdyroo.com/the-use-of-prayer-for-wellness-promotion-in-adult-church-members/.

References

NerdyRoo. 2022. "The Use of Prayer for Wellness Promotion in Adult Church Members." May 24, 2022. https://nerdyroo.com/the-use-of-prayer-for-wellness-promotion-in-adult-church-members/.

References

NerdyRoo. (2022) 'The Use of Prayer for Wellness Promotion in Adult Church Members'. 24 May.

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