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"?
I had my first instance of "I'll pray for you" in years and years on an internet game this week where this one god loving dude was trying to sell how truthfull FAUX NEWS was, at the end of a 20 min political/chat/debate he said "I'll pray for you, you need it" I answered "I'll wish you clear thinking, you need it".
I always had felt he was an idiot but that game/chat confirmed it. I havn't spoken to him since, he is the vilest nastiest person in our group, the least nice person there, typical fuking double faced hypocrit!
I also told him I was not surprised he could believe the lies spouted by that idiot TV channel since he was obviously willing to believe in any stupid supernatural concept. He thought the US was too socialist under Obama! I asked him "can you even name one MORE right-wing country where you'd be willing to live?" of course he could find none, so I offered Nigeria, Congo, Argentina in bygone years. Nope, he could not say since he never traveled, blah, what a moron!
Luckily, in that game, I'm in the most non-religious of the alliances, with a lot of Euro and down-under members, so it's all good :)
It it annoys me to no end whem someone tells me they will pray for me and part of the reason it annoys me so much is, if someone says that to me, they obviously don't know me very well or they would not say that, and they don't understand what a "sore spot" religion is for me.
I would rather people to say "my thoughts are with you" or something like that if they are unsure of my attitude toward religion than to assume that I believe them praying for me is something good because I normally don't feel that way. I consider it annoying and presumptive even though I know they mean well. It also frustrates me further because I feel it would be rude to rebuke them no matter how diplomatically it is done so I hold my anger inside and come to this forum to vent lol (thanks guys :).
I have a current situation going on right now in my life where an extended relative that does not know me is sending me e-mails full of Jesus this and Jesus that and Jesus saves, and I will pray pray pray, and my Sunday School class is praying (for a family member in our family that has a serious illness right now) and it really irritates me but I did not want to explain to her how I am not religious so the best thing I could come up with was "thank you for your encouraging words" and I left it at that.
I am hoping she will get the hint that I really don't like to discuss religion because when I reply to her e-mails I never say anything about religion. Somehow I don't think she is going to get the hint but we shall see.
She is an older woman, in her 60's and has been through some tough times so I have no desire to say anything that would upset her in any way and I have a feeling if she knew I was an atheist she would make it a goal to try to get my heathern ass saved as soon as possible so I just want her to lay off with the religious talk, that's all I want.
I consider it annoying and presumptive even though I know they mean well.
I disagree, when someone says, in a debate context, they will pray for you, they are being condescending, that sense of 'mean well' you get is their lie, and they need to be called out on that.
I agree. If it's innocuous, I'd say, "Thanks." But there's always that one time out of ten when they are trying to guilt me into a conversion. I just give them a crooked smile and say, "Hey, whatever helps you sleep at night."
It's all about context.
Just say thanks. If they genuinely are going to pray for you, even though it won't do a thing, the sentiment behind it is kind, which can easily be respected in its own right. And if they are saying it in a passive- aggressive way because they know you are an atheist, still say thanks. Just because they are being rude to you is no excuse to be rude back, and being rude to them about religion merely perpetuates the stereotype of the angry, rude atheist.
Yes, someone telling you that they'll pray for you is making the assumption that you agree with their beliefs. But most people hold their beliefs close to them, and equate an attack on their beliefs as an attack on themselves.
Live and let live, man. :)