Evangelicals admit struggling to find time for daily Bible reading and prayer
New research has shed light on the difficulties evangelicals have in making time for their spiritual life.
In particular, the Evangelical Alliance's study found that evangelicals struggle to find the time for both reading the Bible and praying each day.
Of the over 1,500 surveyed, nearly all (90 per cent) said they read the Bible regularly, but only 31 per cent said they set aside a substantial period of time each day to pray.
Although 87 per cent agreed that every Christian needs to spend time alone with God on a daily basis, and that without that their faith will suffer, 42 per cent said that they find it difficult to find time on a regular disciplined basis to pray and read the Bible.
Nearly a fifth (18 per cent) said they do not have a fixed pattern of prayer but rather pray when the chance or need arises. This figure rises to 29 per cent among those born after 1980.
Over half of those surveyed (60 per cent) said they prayed "on the move", while walking or using transport. When they do find the time to pray, evangelicals are most likely to be asking God to bless their family (49 per cent).
"Older people (those born before 1960) are significantly more disciplined and structured in their prayer patterns," the Alliance noted.
Nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) admitted to being easily distracted when spending time with God and while most (88 per cent) agreed it was important for a Christian to read or study the Bible on a daily basis, in practice only half are managing to do this. Another 40 per cent said they read the Bible several times each week.
There was a substantial difference in Bible engagement between older and younger Christians, with 60 per cent of those born before 1960 managing to read their Bible daily, compared to just 31 per cent of younger Christians.
[TBC: Psalm:119:9 asks, “How shall a young man cleanse his way?” and answers, “by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”
Two verses later it says, “Your word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (verse 11).
In other words, we need to get all the Bible we can fit into our heart. That means we read as much as we can. “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua:1:8).]