In "science that does not apply to atheists" news, this study shows that prayer can have a positive effect on relationships. But there's no need to invoke a deity to explain these results -- apparently, when one partner prays for the other, it increases their satisfaction with and commitment to the relationship. Just be careful: a previous study found that increased religious beliefs can also be a sign of "mating competitors".
I Say a Little Prayer for You: Praying for Partner Increases Commitment in Romantic Relationships. "Partner-focused petitionary prayer (PFPP) has received little attention in the prayer literature. In two studies, we examine PFPP to see whether it is uniquely important in conveying relationship benefits, whether its benefits are transmitted through an effect on relationship satisfaction, and whether one's own or the partner's PFPP is central to beneficial effects. In Study 1, we examined PFPP in a sample of 316 undergraduate students who were in an "exclusive" romantic relationship, finding that PFPP was related to later level of commitment and that this relationship was partially mediated through enhanced relationship satisfaction. Study 2 examined PFPP in a sample of 205, married African American couples, finding that both partners' PFPP was consequential for commitment, with actor effects partially mediated through relationship quality, and partner effects fully mediated. Together the studies suggest the value of continued investigation of PFPP as a potentially important vehicle for enhancing relationship outcomes." Related content: NCBI ROFL: Dear Lord, please give me a drink.NCBI ROFL: Mating competitors increase religious beliefs.NCBI ROFL: Gross gods and icky atheism: Disgust responses to rejected religious beliefs.