New Study Reveals How to Pray About Bible Use in the American Church

Chapter 7 of the State of the Bible USA 2021 report is now available for download

In Chapter 7 of the State of the Bible USA 2021 report entitled, “The Bible in the American Church,” we learn that despite distinct ways of understanding and connecting with God’s Word, all Christian traditions believe that the Bible helps people grow in their faith! The Bible offers hope and flourishing to Americans. That’s why today across Christian denominations and traditions, worshippers are still being invited to read, hear, and reflect on the message of the Bible.

How the Bible Impacts Practicing Christians

For this study, American Bible Society surveyed both those who practice faith and those not actively practicing their faith but self-identify with a religious faith. Practicing Christians incorporate their faith into their lives and routines in a transformative way, which includes consistent interaction with the Bible. Consequently, they’re finding wisdom, experiencing comfort, and feeling a sense of connection to God. Here’s what they had to say about the Bible.

  • It brings them close to God. Eighty-five percent of Practicing Christians say they sense a connection to God at least most of the time when reading the Bible.
  • It brings about positive emotions. Practicing Christians agree that the Bible is a great source of comfort when they are struggling (98%) and a great source of wisdom for decisions they make in life (98%).
  • It helps them forgive. When respondents were asked to agree or disagree with the question, “I am able to sincerely forgive whatever someone else has done to me, regardless of whether they ever ask for forgiveness or not,” 91 percent of Practicing Christians agree.
  • It influences positive actions. Practicing Christians in historically Black Protestant churches are the most likely to say the Bible leads them to welcome immigrants into their community (71%). Their evangelical and mainline Protestant peers feel compelled to prioritize befriending people of other races (63%, 60%). Practicing Catholics emphasize care for the environment (59%).

This study concludes that the Bible has transformative power in the lives of Practicing Christians. In fact, compared to 78 percent of Non-Practicing Christians, nearly all Practicing Christians (97% on average) agree that the Bible has transformed their lives.

How You Can Pray

God’s Word is a lamp that guides us and lights our path (Psalm 119:105). It causes those who engage it to be positively impacted by its message of hope. And we want everyone to experience the beauty of God’s Word. That’s why we invite you to join us as we pray that:

  • People across all Christian traditions will consistently engage with the Bible—pick it up, read it, and learn from it. Pray that non-Practicing Christians will become Practicing Christians who love God’s Word.
  • The American church will continue to encourage its congregants to engage with the life-changing message of the Bible. Pray that Protestant (mainline, evangelical, and historically Black) and Roman Catholic churches will keep the message of the Bible as the central message of the church of Jesus Christ.
  • This research will continue to inform and direct American churches on the importance and relevance of God’s Word.

To download the first seven chapters of the State of the Bible USA 2021 ebook, visit:

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Nena Podbury
Nena Podbury

Nena Podbury is a Prayer Mobilization Associate at American Bible Society. Originally from the Bronx, she served in children’s ministry for 12 years doing Sidewalk Sunday School. Nena is married with two children, Noah and Emilia.

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