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University of Georgia study to examine impact of prayer on couples


ATHENS, Ga. (RNS) Researchers at the University of Georgia will examine the effects of prayer on marital relationships in a three-year study beginning this fall.

The $1.1 million study will involve 500 black couples from rural northeast Georgia, between the ages of 21 and 45, who are either married or have set a wedding date.

Separated into three groups, the couples will participate in a relationship workshop program. The first group will work through the program on their own, the second will take direction from a trained leader and the third will be directed by a leader but will also incorporate a series of prayers into the program.

Researchers will investigate whether couples who pray for each other find their relationships improved.

A separate group from Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the former congregation of Martin Luther King Jr., will follow the same protocol as the third group, but will also pray for other couples.