No, I'm not casting aspersions about the validity of the Tearfund prayer report! In this (final) post about the report I want to consider some surprising stats that emerge from the report, particularly relating to the regional analysis.
London topped the charts with 73% of people saying that they ever prayed. For Scotland the figure was a disappointing 32%. Still at least we're not from Yorkshire - 24%.
Do Londoners really pray more than the Scots? Well, I'm going down there for a couple of days so I might just ask around a bit.
The report suggests that one reason why more Londoners pray than any other region is due to "the number of black and ethnic minorities, who show a higher propensity for prayer".
Well, I wonder if there might be other reasons. Is our personal spirituality shaped by the prevailing culture of our churches? In Scotland, the Calvinist, presbyterian model is based on a fairly passive congregation listening to a man preaching. The rest of the service being fairly restrained and under-stated (some might say sombre). By contrast, the Anglican tradition seems to me to be a more participative event (congregational responses, movement during the service, greeting each other) based around the liturgy. Recognising the over-simplification in this analysis - could it explain some differences in spirituality which continues into the 21st century?
Whatever the rights and wrongs of my comments, I still think that Francois Fenelon was right:
"Of all the duties enjoined by Christianity none is more essential and yet more neglected than prayer. "