Some more responses to "I'll pray for you." from Eric Stone and Joe Zamecki

"I don't care what you do, but please keep it to yourself."


"Would you please? Right now too? On your hands and knees please. Don't be a
wuss. Do it NOW!""Great! It's pronounced 'Lexus,' and I prefer the
interior.""You're not getting my last beer." (Or insert your
favorite vice.)

"I'll think for you."

"Pray to Santa while you're at it."

"Thanks, would you go to the bathroom for me too?"

"TO me. You should be praying TO me. M'kay."

"That's okay, we can just CALL for the pizza..."

"Ahem, I am not dead yet."


 "Okay, but don't expect a

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"I'll pray for leave me alone."


"I'll sacrifice a goat for you"


"Can you go die on a cross for me instead?"


"Can you pray for me to win the lottery?"


"You don't have to pray for me, just worship me"


BTW, if God is supposed to know when you have lustful thoughts, etc., then why do theists pray out loud?  Can't God hear them if they pray without talking?

My normal response to 99% of the times this occurs is "Okay.  Thanks." 


I'm not going to be a jerk when someone is showing genuine concern for me.  Someone may bring over chicken soup when I'm sick, but I'm not going to rake them over the coals and explain how chicken soup doesn't have any healing properties.


The only exception is when someone is saying it specifically in an attempt to get under my skin about our differences in belief, ie, when someone says they'll pray for me because I'm an atheist.


That's happened to me exactly once, though.

 I think it's usually more proselytizing than genuine concern
I can't speak for what you've run into, but in my case it's normally genuine concern.  That doesn't make it any more effective in helping whatever the problem is, but I take it in the spirit it's intended.

If it's concern for my lack of believe in their sky-daddy, I may not be flippant, but I may be more than a touch blunt, probably to the effect of:


"Don't waste your time," or something to the effect of:


"Your prayers won't change my mind ... or much anything else."


I haven't had anyone offer to pray for me that I can recall, and while I'm not one to ordinarily be confrontational where it isn't necessary, I'm also not about to give any ground regarding my lack of belief.

I don't think it's inappropriate to protest or even ridicule explicitly religious activity that is directed at me whether or not it's because of my atheism, although it's been my experience that it usually occurs after one identifies oneself as an atheist.  As for the genuine concern of the religionist, couldn't you also say that the invocational prayers before government meetings, which we all object to, are also prompted in part by this motive?

Right, I've had some religious friends say they'll pray for me, and that's very different from some protester handing out religious pamphlets. Usually I think that's how they've come to adjust, and it makes them feel better though it has no effect on me. I have said "You can if you want, but I don't think it does anything."

I think so well. Not to mention making themselves look good in the eyes of others.


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