Survey study links prayer to improvements in well-being

Anna Vod · May 15, 2024 · Short URL:

Benefits of regular use of app included spiritual, mental, and physical improvements

Meditation and prayer can heal. Now, this statement is garnering support from survey studies: a research work published by the Journal of Religion and Health suggested that prayer leads to improvements in spiritual well-being, mental health, and physical health – and those who regularly turn to prayer get the most benefits. The study, titled “Exploring User Perceptions of a Mobile App for Religious Practices,” was sponsored by, a platform delivering daily Christian prayer and related content to its users.

The study involved surveying 1031 subscribers of who had used the app between one and two years; more than half of the subscribers were high-frequency users who turned to the app more than five times a week. The results, published in February, suggested that technology-mediated religious experiences may contribute to self-reported health improvements, while the paper warranted further investigation through long-term designs and randomized control trials.

The findings were: approximately 39% of respondents reported significant to extreme improvements in overall mental health, while approximately 30% reported improvements in sleep and anxiety. Less than 20% of respondents reported improvements in physical health, depression, and burnout. Among these individuals noting improved mental well-being, most deemed their progress to be significant or extreme. Further, more than half of the respondents, near 60%, reported spiritual benefits; these included relationship with God, prayer life, and spiritual well-being.

“We hope this will encourage the scientific community to further examine the impact spiritual health can have on mental and physical health, an area of research that has been largely overlooked,” said Steve Gatena, founder and CEO of in a statement earlier this month.

With a mission “to grow faith, cultivate community, and leave a legacy of helping others,” was launched in 2017 by four co-founders. They were NCAA champion and serial entrepreneur Steve Gatena, former private wealth advisor at Merrill Lynch Michael Lynn, philosophy and computer science major Ryan Beck, with the experience of a difficult past, and expert app developer Matthew Porter. provides users with daily prayer and Biblical audio content. It’s designed to serve as a digital platform for individuals seeking inspiration, better sleep, and a deeper connection with their faith. The app offers a variety of features, including daily prayers, tailored plans to build prayer habits, end-of-day Bedtime Bible Stories, Christian meditation, audio content, and community interaction, targeting both individual users and church leaders.

Operating at the intersection of Christian faith and technology, in the app’s latest update, has introduced an AI-powered recommendation engine. By leveraging user data and engagement patterns, ensures that each user’s experience is unique and tailored to their faith journey, providing a more engaging and relevant spiritual resource

The levels of stress and anxiety in the United States have been a significant concern. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the nation is recovering from collective trauma, with the pandemic, global conflicts, racism, racial injustice, inflation, and climate-related disasters all contributing to the stress experienced by Americans. Long-term stress has been linked to a range of health issues, including inflammation, weakened immune systems, digestive problems, heart disease, weight gain, and stroke.

Additionally, growing numbers of suicides are occurring each year. In 2023, the number of suicide deaths exceeded 50,000 for the first time. Over the past two decades, this rate has grown by one-third and was exacerbated by isolation during the Covid pandemic. Risk factors include mental disorders such as depression, difficult relationships, addiction to destructive substances, and other crises.

Craig DeRoche, CEO of the Family Policy Alliance, said in a statement: “As our nation continues to look at all viable options to address this [suicide] crisis, we are very excited about what digital prayer applications, like, can do to help so many people like me when they are in crisis, and when they just wish to grow more spiritually.” The Family Policy Alliance has been involved in initiatives that align with the mission of, particularly in promoting prayer and religious freedom.



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