Proof: Prayer and Scripture Reading Matters

Kara Powell | Aug 25, 2009

Photo by Angello Lopez

I’'ve been reading through Christian Smith’s new book, Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults, in which he and his research team follow the 13-17 year-olds they studied in the National Study of Youth and Religion as they moved into emerging adulthood, defined as ages 18-23 for this study.

One of the interesting findings: Teenagers who prayed and read Scripture had a more robust faith as emerging adults. That’s true even when you control for the strength of the teenagers’ faith.

So it’s not just that more dedicated kids read Scripture and pray, so therefore they stay dedicated. There’s something about the activities of Scripture reading and prayer that lead to deeper faith in kids.

I notice these days a swing away from what can become the legalism of daily devotions. That’s probably a good thing, but I see in my own life the difference in my intimacy with Jesus when I’m reading Scripture and praying, and when I’m not. This research shows that difference in intimacy is true for your students too—not just now, but in their futures.

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


More from this author

More From Us

Hello, WELCOME TO FYI
Join the community

Sign up for our email today and choose from one of our popular free downloads sent straight to your inbox. Plus, you’ll be the first to know about our sales, offers, and new releases.

Join the community

Sign up for our email today and choose from one of our popular free downloads. Plus, you’ll be the first to know about our sales, offers, and new releases.