A majority of Bible-centered Americans say they need the Bible more than coffee to jumpstart their mornings, according to a new nationwide study by American Bible Society.
For 61 percent of "Bible-engaged" Americans, the need for reading the Bible is stronger than their urge for caffeine, reveals the research, commissioned by American Bible Society and conducted by Barna Group.
The study gave four choices — coffee, something sweet, social media and the Bible — and asked respondents which of these did they consider a daily necessity.
"Bible-centered adults are the only segment in which a majority insist on the Bible as a daily necessity at 61 percent. Bible-engaged adults prefer the Bible over the other three choices offered, but to a lesser extent at 43 percent. One in five who are Bible-friendly prefer the Bible over coffee, sweets and social media (21 percent).
"Elders and Boomers are more likely to say that coffee is something they must have during the day (46 percent and 47 percent), compared to 32 percent of millennials and 30 percent of Gen X. Segments more likely to choose the Bible are married adults, college graduates, households with children under 18 and residents of the South."
The 2018 State of the Bible Report also shows that 42 percent of Americans say they were more fearful today than they were five years ago, but they're also more hopeful about the future. And 41 percent feel peaceful when reading the Bible and 81 percent of Americans have a great sense of hope for the future.
"We are now able to give better context into how Americans are or are not interacting with the Bible and how that impacts their lives," Roy Peterson, president and CEO of American Bible Society, says in the report. "We are finding the more engaged with the Bible someone is, the more hopeful and peaceful they are, along with a greater awareness of their need for the Bible."
The survey, for which 2,040 interviews were conducted online and on phone, also reveals that 42 percent of Americans are more generous after reading the Bible, 54 percent are more loving towards one another and 56 percent are more willing to engage with their faith.
When asked a series of questions about the Bible's intent, most "Bible users" see it as a letter from God expressing his love and salvation for them, a way to know what God expects from them, and a rulebook or guide on how to live their best life.
Bible users are defined in the study as individuals who read, listen to or pray with the Bible on their own at least 3-4 times a year, outside of a church service or church event.
Last year, a poll by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation found that about half of all Americans say a prayer over their food at least a few times a week.
Rural and urban Americans, Northerners and Southerners, Catholics and Protestants, Democrats and Republicans, all say grace, though to varying degrees, the poll showed.