The use and meanings of prayer by recreational marathon runners

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jennifer L. Etnier, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Leisure time has been shown to be conducive to many aspects of well-being, including spiritual well-being. Furthermore, prayer may be one behavior performed during leisure that enhances spiritual wellness. The purpose of this study was to develop an understanding of the use and meanings of prayer by recreational marathon runners. Interviews were conducted with 10 marathoners representing 3 religions. Results revealed 5 themes: long-distance running as a space for the use of prayer, prayer to change one’s thoughts or outlook, requests to aid in physical performances, prayer for appreciation and thanks, and the effects of prayer on interactions with others in a running setting. These findings expand upon existing research, support previous suggestions regarding the spiritual aspect of leisure activities, and provide new directions for future research regarding prayer and leisure activities.

Additional Information

Journal of Leisure Research, 51(2), 147-164
Language: English
Date: 2019
Running, spirituality, prayer, leisure, qualitative

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