Praying for a romantic partner or close friend can lead to more cooperative and forgiving behavior toward the partner, according to a new study co-authored by a Florida State University (FSU) researcher.The findings are significant because they are the first in which the partners who are the subject of the prayers reported a positive change in the behavior of the person who prayed, says Frank D. Fincham, eminent scholar and director of the Florida State University Family Institute.

“My previous research had shown that those who prayed for their partner reported more pro-social behavior toward their partner, but self-reports are subject to potential biased reporting,” Fincham says. “This set of studies is the very first to use objective indicators to show that prayer changed actual behavior and that this behavior was apparent to the other partner, the subject of the prayer.”

In addition, objective observers found those who engaged in partner-focused prayer exhibited more positive behavior toward their partners compared to those who did not pray for their partner.
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