My gf's family, and a lot of her friends are Christians, and when ever something's happening, I hear this phrase a lot. Once I had shared something, and someone said they'd be "praying for me." I don't know how to respond to this. They way I see it, prayer is doing nothing while feeling nice about it, and I want to share this, but I don't want to be rude and say something like "prayer is dumb" or "don't pray for me".
How does one respond to "I'm praying for you"?
Tell them how you feel. There is no reason why theists are allowed to express their emotional irrationalities, while atheists are not allowed to express their critically examined beliefs about prayer not being an acceptable form of getting things done.
I can understand the "thanks one" but I think expressing why I think they're wrong would just inflame them.
If they do not know I'm an atheist, in person, I would say "thank you" if it was online or email, I would ignore it. If they know I'm atheist, I always say "thanks but it won't do any good".
"Thanks for nothing!"
"WHAT THE FUCK!?!? I GIVE YOU A KIDNEY AND YOU JUST PRAY FOR ME?!?! IS THAT HOW YOU THANK ME?!?!?! WHAT THE FUCK, MAN!?!?! JESUS CHR... OH WAIT, NOT THAT ONE...... FUCK YOU MAN!!!"
To sum up... You should say whatever you think it's best for you to say in a particular situation, after all it's your life and you have to face the consequences of your own actions. People can tell you only what they would say in a similar situation but, in the end, it is entirely your decision. If you want to be polite, be polite; if you want to be a kiss ass, be a kiss ass; if you want to be rude, be rude... My only advice is that you should not let other people's feelings come before your own.
When someone says 'I will pray for you", and they know that you are an atheist, It has always appeared to be a form of passive aggressiveness.
I find it rude for theists to say "I'll pray for you". They immediately make the assumption that I believe what they believe.
That's why you don't express your religious in public if you don't want them criticized. Keep it to yourselves boys and girls. But if you don't , do not act offended when someone calls you out on it.
Praying for someone is a nice gesture, that is all. It means they care enough for you and about you and that they will take the time to pray for you.
Anyone who gets upset over the expression, 'I'll pray for you' is immature and too obnoxious. You should take it as a compliment. If a Muslim said they would pray for me, thats great.
I guess all people, whether theists or atheists, are allowed to get their emotions in front of logic.
I say thank you. Unless they are praying for me to find god then I tell them exactly how I feel.
I even find myself often telling other's that i will keep them in my thoughts when they are going through a hard time. Not that I am praying for them but just thinking of them. Which is true, I do have sympathy for other people who are going through a hard time.
I just say thanks.
Of course there's a difference between "Oh, I'm sorry, I'll keep you in my prayers." and "OMGZZZ U EVIL ATHIESSSTTT ILL PRAY 4 U"
But you know that.
FIRST AND FOREMOST...it's your Girlfriend's family, if you love her you obviously intend to keep her and don't want to piss off her family. But you can, in fact, make it known tactfully that you are an atheist and that you don't believe in prayer. But do this when they haven't recently told you that they'd pray for you, cuz then it would seem like an attack.
The best way is to 'let them' find out on 'their own' by setting them up to find out, in a very casual manner. After that is INADVERTENTLY pounded into their heads, any comments like "I'm praying for you" should be obviously offensive to you.
Or you can just go with the quiet "thank you" and let them have their delusion that they've been helpful somehow. After all, 'hoping' that good fortune finds the target-of-prayer is doing a good thing, right?! LOL.