Participants (N = 430) were recruited online and completed a measure of six prayer types (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication, reception, and obligatory prayer). Measures of subjective well-being (self-esteem, optimism, meaning in life, satisfaction with life) were also administered. Three forms of prayer (adoration, thanksgiving, reception) had consistently positive relations with well-being measures, whereas the other three forms of prayer had negative or null relations with the well-being measures. The prayer types having positive effects appear to be less ego-focused, and more focused on God, whereas the negative types have an opposite nature. These results highlight the role of psychological meaning as a part of the process whereby prayer impacts psychological well-being.
Whittington, Bramdon L. and Scher, Steven J., "Prayer and subjective well-being: An examination of six different types of prayer" (2010). Faculty Research and Creative Activity. 31.