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Effects of Centering Prayer: Surrender to God, Emotion Regulation, Desire for Control

Social Science


This study examines the effects of centering prayer, a form of Christian contemplative practice, on emotion regulation, the desire for control, and surrender to God. It was hypothesized that after four weeks of 20-minute daily prayer practice, emotion regulation and surrender to God would increase while the desire for control would decrease. Twenty-six undergraduate students participated in this study, using a repeated measure design. Contrary to the hypothesis, this study failed to confirm that centering prayer has significant effects on emotion regulation, the desire for control, and surrender to God. However, the means of the three variables did change from pre- to post-test in the direction that was predicted, and a medium effect (Cohen’s d = 0.53) was observed on emotion regulation. Had the duration of the study increased past four weeks, it is possible that a significant effect would have resulted.

Poster presentation at The King’s University Social Science Research Fair, held at The King’s University, Edmonton, AB, April 15, 2019.

Dr. Christopher Peet

Associate Professor, Psychology P: 780-465-3500 Ext. 8068
  • PhD, Psychology, University of Alberta, 2004
  • BA Honours, Religious Studies, University of Alberta, 1997

Katie Middel (B.A. '14)