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More Brits are turning to prayer during lockdown, a new study reveals

by Heather Preston

A new nationwide survey has shown that more people have begun to pray since the introduction of social distancing measures in the UK. 

A Savanta ComRes poll of 2,101 UK adults has revealed that nearly half of Brits (44 per cent) say they pray with one in twenty people saying they started the habit for the first time during lockdown.

The research, commissioned by Christian relief charity Tearfund has also revealed that 1 in 5 of us have asked someone else for prayer since social distancing measured were introduced.

Global advocacy and influencing director, Dr. Ruth Valerio told Premier she was encouraged by the study's results.

"It's encouraging to see the number of people in the UK who are praying during such a challenging time. And I think the research shows that prayer is more common than many might believe."

"Our experience at Tearfund is that prayer and practical action go hand in hand. We've seen a lot of practical action for responding to coronavirus, but it's encouraging to see that there is also prayer and both of these are a crucial way of responding," she said.

The most popular topics for prayer during the crisis include prayer for family members (53 per cent), frontline services (27 per cent) and the sick (20 per cent). Just over a sixth of those who pray say they have prayed for other countries impacted by coronavirus.

Edrei Cueto/Tearfund: Delivery of food packages to 500 vulnerable families in Colombia, as response to the coronavirus pandemic

Valerio explained that it is understandable for people to pray for the things that are "closest to home" but encouraged people not to forget about the challenges being faced overseas. 

"We don't want people to stop praying for [things here], we know that many people are facing very challenging situations. Alongside that we are also calling on people to pray both for their local neighbour and for their global neighbour.

"We've seen a fantastic response in the UK and amongst UK churches to the situation here and we would love to see that extended to the global situation as well," she added.

Tearfund works in around 45 countries across the globe and according to Valerio its teams have seen the grave impact the pandemic has had on global communities.

Alongside praying for the situation, Tearfund is responding practically to the covid 19 pandemic around the world by providing crucial hygiene and sanitation assistance to minimise the risk of infection.

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