Ok, this may seem like a ridiculous question, but I'm curious if anyone else ever does this.

First, let me state that I have never believed in the supernatural, aside from a short time around 9 years old when I saw a movie about Nostradamus that freaked me out so much I don't think I slept for a month

What I'm curious about is this: Sometimes when I am in great pain (suffering from gastro-esophageal reflux mostly) I have thought something along the lines of "If anyone is out there listening, please make my pain go away."

Of course, it's never helped, but I wonder why I even go there. I suspect it is because of growing up around people who pray for help. I know that even if my pain immediately went away I would know that it was not the work of god, so it confuses me why I would do this.

Do any of you occasionally have thoughts like this?

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Funk Q: {wreak vengeance on mine enemies}

It has struck as odd, to consider back to say the crusades, or maybe the Iraqi invasion by the coalition, or even like when two sports teams, who square off one against the other, and in which both sides pray to the "same God" for success in winning the war or the battle or the game.
It sounds like you have a habit.

I don't have GERD and don't know what it's like but, I hope, wish, and have dreams. As soon as I catch myself attempting to get the attention of a higher being I then try to re-channel that energy to something real and pro-active.
It is such an odd sight for me to see someone praying to a god that doesn't exist. On the other hand I do sometimes meditate and studies do show that it does effect the same areas of the brain that praying does. I find it helps to center, relax or heighten my awareness. I assume that praying does the same thing.
No, I never pray.

But humans are strange creatures. When we're in intense pain or stress we are consumed with finding relief and comfort, so we'll resort to almost anything. Desperation drives us mad. I have suffered for some years with back/hip pain that literally drive me 'bat-shit-crazy' and desperation, unfortunately, I know well.

I think, this is why we hear so many 'desperation conversions' within religion...through very dark times people will latch on to and force themselves to even believe in fairy tales if it offers some relief, if it offers some human connection to compassion and care (pseudo or otherwise). Religions recognize this and have turned human misery and vulnerabilities into their currency. They offer magical escapism and commiseration in frightening times in exchange for your individuality and rational self. They're insidious.

Here's what helped me early on; When this happens, just remember it's, most likely, your desperation (pain) calling out to the money-changers. So, just gently remind it that it's only through reality (e.g., doctors, medication, eating habits) that you will experience healing and not in the giving up of your 'self' to some magical cult belief. Do this enough and eventually your mind will give up the ghost, so to speak.

Sorry to be so long winded but I had this same habit (many years ago) and it really used to bug me. But once I understood the psychology behind it, it disappeared. So, just passing it along.

~Bats ;)
i'm gonna quote you on that 2nd paragraph Bats. It's perfect. You know, i wan't into prayer in my life Except when times were tough for me. And when nothing happend, and while i was getting myself over my problems -or it was some other person (who actually physically exists!) helping me to do this- i realized that it was all just smoke and mirrors. A delusion to give us something to focus on and provide emptry hope. It is like Prey-ing, becasue it does weaken you mentally, even if it may help you socially. That's what religious institutions Do count on, as is echoed several times in the commentary on this post.

I'm not against saying things to the effect of "Fuck you God!" on occasion though. It only seems proper to do so sometimes, even if it is innacurate. I'm sure though that this sentiment carries well over from all peoples- religious or not, actually.

Whether freindly or antagonistic, prayer hearkens back to the pagan days when the gods could be Coerced. Just think of Yehweh and Abhraham arguing about Sodom and Gomorrah. Pure paganism. But how does this work when religious institutions claim to be answering to an Omnipotent God? "It's bullshit. It's all bullshit and it's bad for ya."
Not really... but I think is a habit. Everyone in my family pray (they're all catholics) so when we are talking on the phone, at the end of a conversation they usually say "god bless you" and I answer back... or before I go out, my mom makes something like a cross with her fingers on my forehead and I let her because I like to think of it as a way to express love.
Haven't prayed since July 4, 2002.

I was very suicidal at the time, and prayed so so so hard for someone to save me and when nothing happened, I had a self realization and I started to take responsibility for my own actions. Its kinda funny, I felt like praying betrayed me, so I haven't even prayed by accident.
Yes. I thank god every day that I am an atheist : )

Nah, just kidding. I never pray. Used to all the time though as a child. But then I grew up.

Watching adults pray always feels just like watching little kids play telephone. Some kids really seem to believe there is someone at the other end. But then they eventually grow up and realize it was all just a made up game for entertainment. Maybe religion is just a form of stunted intellectual development.
Praying is a display of self-delusion. One is praying to 'gods' that exist only in one's brain, because there are none anywhere else.

Watching from outside the god-believers world as atheists do, one sees it as baseless grovelling and prostrating.

All the muslims do it. Even the Queen of England and her family do it which amuses me no end. Most Japanese are among the more sensible peoples of the globe.
I prey to have food on the table...Oh I am sorry, that was a different kind of pray.
No,unless you call:"Goddammit make it stop!" praying.
I don't and never will. Even when I was a child I was completely unable to understand how prayer was supposed to work. I mean really, at least with Santa Claus I would sit on his lap and tell him directly what I wanted. Praying just seemed bogus.

In a stressful situation or during a particularly unpleasant or hard task I will repeat the Bene Gesserit "Litany against fear" from Dune. Helps me to focus by repeating it over and over. Been doing this since I was a freshman in High school.




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