it's clearly condescending.
how i respond depends on how people say it. if they say it nicely then i'll usually let it go because i understand that they're doing something they feel is nice. if they say it with a tone then i'll tell them that there's no reason for them to get down on their knees and talk to themselves on my account, but hey, thanks for judging me, sure do appreciate it.
Nelson pretty much summed it up, if someone wants to consult their almighty diety on your behalf out of genuine love (as one of my close friends does) then it's not a bad thing, but in this case it was meant to be derogatory.
You saw my response to this on the forum. I definitely think that it's condescending. It's one thing when it's said by someone who doesn't mean it to be hurtful, but in this particular case, it was used as a low blow.
You don't need to be. Tell them that "two hands working have always and will always do more than a thousand praying," and that you will work to make the world a better place!
It is nice if they genuinely mean it out of true caring, but then again, that's pretty much a form of pity. Like "Oh, those poor deluded American Indians, chanting to their gods for rain. I'll pray for them!" So, yeah, still condescending, even if they don't mean it to be....
That type of comment I'd see as condescending, yes. They may tell themselves that they are doing it to save your soul, but it's a form of perceived insult, that they are 'saved' and thus better than you.
Now, when my mother says she'll keep me in her prayers, I know that she's doing it because she actually cares for me, and so am not upset by it.
I thought it was condescending even when I was a Christian. :P I absolutely refused to use such an obviously self-superior line, even when my sister was questioning her faith. I realize that most people don't mean it as such, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out that that's how it sounds.