Date of Award


Document Type



Behavioral Sciences

First Advisor

Karl G. D. Bailey


Can having petitioners engage in kataphatic prayer block or at least reduce mind wandering? Mind wandering—reduced attention to external events—during prayer could pose a problem for Christians. However, different types of prayer make different cognitive demands. Kataphatic prayer, a common type of evangelical Christian prayer, makes use of mental imagery in hopes of experiencing God in a richer sense. Because both mind wandering and kataphatic prayer require imagery, tying up imagery resources in kataphatic prayer should block mind wandering thereby improving focus. Participants in this study prayed as they normally do, viewed a visual task, or engaged in kataphatic prayer while self-monitoring for mind wandering. I did not find any significant difference in the type of prayer engaged in and mind wandering. I did, however, find a negative significant correlation between internalization of Christianity and mind wandering.