Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Prayer in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Loren D. MarksEmail author
  • Trevan G. Hatch
  • David C. Dollahite
  • Andrew H. Rose
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_568

Introduction

Prayer, or the human effort to communicate with God, is likely the most pervasive religious/spiritual practice. Surveys and empirical research from the past two decades consistently indicate that although most Americans do not attend worship services weekly, approximately 90 % of Americans report praying at least some of the time and a significant minority pray several times a day. Consequently, prayer has drawn the attention of some clinicians and researchers as a potential therapeutic tool.

Careful and systematic research on prayer, particularly as a potential intervention in couple and family therapy, is a recent development, but prayer in general has drawn the attention of select leaders in the social sciences for more than 100 years. William James (1902), often credited as the father of American psychology, referred to prayer as “the soul and essence of religion” (p. 365). This identified salience of prayer holds particularly true in the Abrahamic world faiths. In...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Burr, W. R., Marks, L. D., & Day, R. (2012). Sacred matters: Religion and spirituality in families. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Butler, M. H., Gardner, B. C., & Bird, M. H. (1998). Not just a time-out: Change dynamics of prayer for religious couples in conflict situations. Family Process, 37(4), 451–475.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Fincham, F. D., Lambert, N. M., & Beach, S. R. H. (2010). Faith and unfaithfulness: Can praying for your partner reduce infidelity? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 649–659.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. Hatch, T. G., Marks, L. D., Bitah, E. A., Lawrence, M., Lambert, N. M., Dollahite, D. C., & Hardy, B. P. (2016). The power of prayer in transforming individuals and marital relationships. Review of Religious Research, 58, 27–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. James, W. (1902). The varieties of religious experience. New York: Longmans, Green.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Koenig, H. G., King, D., & Carson, V. B. (Eds.). (2012). Handbook of religion and health (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Loren D. Marks
    • 1
    Email author
  • Trevan G. Hatch
    • 1
  • David C. Dollahite
    • 1
  • Andrew H. Rose
    • 2
  1. 1.Brigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  2. 2.Texas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sean Davis
    • 1
  1. 1.California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International UniversitySacramentoUSA