Starting in 1952, every modern president has called for Americans “to turn to God in prayer and meditation” once a year during a National Day of Prayer. Since the 1980s, this day has been observed on the first Thursday in May. In the United States, nearly six-in-ten adults (58%) say that, outside of attending religious services, they pray at least once a day according to the Pew Forum’s U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, conducted in 2007. Three-quarters of Americans (75%) pray at least once a week, while just 18% say they seldom or never pray. Daily prayer is especially common among members of evangelical (78%) and historically black (80%) churches, Mormons (82%), Jehovah’s Witnesses (89%) and Muslims (71%). Very few, but some atheists (5%) and agnostics (9%) say they pray daily. Women (66%) are more likely than men (49%) to pray every day. More older Americans (68%) pray daily than do younger adults (48%), while college graduates (53%) are less likely to pray once a day than are those with less education (60%). Americans in higher income brackets pray less than those with less income; those earning less than $30,000 in annual income (64%) are far more likely to pray daily than Americans earning more than $100,000 (48%). Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.