Using daily and weekly data on Google searches for 107 countries, this research demonstrates that the COVID-19 crisis resulted in a massive rise in the intensity of prayer. During the early months of the pandemic, Google searches for prayer relative to all Google searches rose by 30%, reaching the highest level ever recorded. A back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that by April 1, 2020, more than half of the world population had prayed to end the coronavirus.

Prayer searches rose more among the more religious, rose on all continents, at all levels of income, inequality, and insecurity, and for all types of religion except Buddhism.