Does Prayer Prevent Adultery?

It’s a pretty tough claim to make, but a study completed this summer and reported by The Economist  in an article called “Faith and Faithfulness: Praying for Your Partner Stops You From Straying” suggests that prayer can indeed guide people away from adulterous behavior.

Researchers at Florida State University were attempting to discern why past research has concluded that couples who attend religious services are more satisfied and more faithful than couples who do not attend such services. They set out to explore links between prayer and fidelity, studying 83 individuals who were in romantic relationships, measuring their psychological levels of infidelity before and after the study.

Participants were assigned to one of four daily activities: praying for their partner’s wellbeing, engaging in undirected prayer, thinking about positive aspects of their partner, or reflecting on their day. After the four-week study period, the group who prayed for their partner’s wellbeing showed significant increases in their psychological levels of fidelity and belief that their relationship was sacred. These increases were significantly higher than those who used undirected prayer, who reflected on their day or who focused on positive aspects of their partner.

A follow-up study was done in which trained research assistants evaluated the commitment of the relationships based on observing couple interaction. (They did not know which of the four activities the couples had completed.) The research team found those who had prayed for their partner had higher commitment scores than those who thought positively about their partner.

The article concluded “people worried about potentially cheating spouses may find praying together a better safeguard against adultery than checking mobile-phone bills and scrutinizing credit card receipts—and one that builds trust rather than destroying it.”

Do you pray for your spouse? If so, what do you pray for? Do you think it has an impact on your relationship? What do you think of the study results?

Photo: ©Gina Smith/

14 responses to “Does Prayer Prevent Adultery?

  1. I definitely pray for my husband, but not in this area. He works on a ranch/farm and therefore is not in an area of temptation. Even so, I know his heart and desire for the Lord. When two become one, there is not much a spouse can hide from you.

    I love the goal of your blog! I support anything in favor of marriage 🙂 Keep up the good work!

  2. You always have an awesome topic to write about – all the time! This has got to be one of the most interesting I’ve read because it hits me really hard. Praise be to God He has given you the gift of prose to share it to the rest of us. Keep it up and coming 🙂

  3. I enjoy your blog very much! Thanks for posting on this important subject.

    While the claim of living for the Lord and a life of prayer is not a a safeguard against infidelity, if one truly walks and talks – or prays – that claim, the same power that raised Christ from the dead is alive in them, and is indeed a safeguard against infidelity and much more. My husband and I do pray for one another on every topic imaginable: Jobs, physical and emotional health, safety, fidelity, joy, happiness, patience in trials, honesty, favor with God and man, great sex within our marriage, parenting ability, fun and play, friendships, blessing and more. Praying for and with one another has brought our 13 yr marriage through many wonderful and trying times and strengthened our bond immeasurably. Thanks for the opportunity to respond!

    P.S. I LOVED the blog about the things we can learn about marriage from our pets 🙂 Great, thought provoking pieces!

  4. Lori, as a committed christian, I am not about to denigrate praying for your spouse. But as a black preacher once said you needs to put feet on them prayers. Praying without taking proactive changes like making sure that your spouses sexual needs are being met by you makes you a stumbling block for your mate. Just saying. I deal with a whole lot of couples, the wife in the couple feels no guilt over forcing her husband to do without sex against his will.

    Blessings on you and yours
    John Wilder

    • Interesting statement on the spouse meeting the sexual needs. What do you recommend the wife does to satisfy the sexual needs, which can fluctuate for a man since their appetite is strong.

  5. Dear Lori,
    I love your blog and the various perspectives from which you try to look at marriage.
    This blog piece too was interesting. However as an atheist i guess i’m at a disadvantage here compared to my brothers and sisters who are believers.
    I think that I shoulder a much greater responsibility compared to them because I (and my wife too) don’t tie myself (and she herself) up to any ‘higher’ reason to stay faithful in my/our marriage.
    great ideas and great writing.
    But i do understand how prayer can help keep people ‘straight’ and true.

    • Thanks, Arvind. I recognize that I have readers who share many different belief systems. Thanks for sharing your comments and for being a regular reader.

  6. When God is put first in our lives this is the key. Yes, prayer to the God of the Bible does work. Without this my wife and I would be lost. The Bible is very clear on Adultery.

  7. Pingback: Growing Faith | Daily Generous Wife Tips

  8. Evelyn, I don’t understand the question, can you elaborate more please?
    John Wilder

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