When someone comments that they will pray for you, what do you say back? Even when I was a pretending christian I felt awkward when people said they would pray for me....

Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer. - Anonymous

and another one I am pseudo-quoting since I can't find a reference at the moment........

Helping hands are far more useful than praying ones.

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As an ICU/ER RN I get lots of folks wanting me to pray with them. I often participate as I see it as a harmless (albiet useless) gesture, that helps the family of a dying loved one.
When people say they will pray for me I say thanks and leave it at that...as they don't know me, or they'd never offer.

I love the annonymous quote!
I live in the south and am a member of the local Woman's club full of a bunch of the good ole' southern ladies. Only 2 members (both from NY as I am) know I am an Atheist. When someone offers to pray for me I say thanks. My better half has told his Aunt when she has said it "OK- if it makes you feel any better about yourself-do it!"
It all depends on how they say it to me. If it a genuine well wishing I take it as such. Like if I say my mom is really ill, and someone says that they will pray she gets better, I thank them and move on.

If I tell someone about my lack of beliefs and they say they'll pray for me, I remind them that such action would be pointless. :P
I'm with most everyone else; for the most part I just say thank you and move on. I take it as the nice sentiment that they usually mean it to be. Now if they are being smarta$$ about it, where in I tell someone that I am not a christian and then they tell me they will pray for me, well i dont like that so much sometimes I might say something, other times I just let it go. My parents have known for sometime that I am atheist but they still say lets pray when we eat dinner together and I just bow my head and wait for them to finish at first I thought why should I indulge them in any way. But I came to realize that its part of who they are and they have accepted me as non christian so I must accept them and not cause a stink everytime I'm put in a religous situation. Part of that conclusion came from the fact that I am an atheist but do not think it defines me. It is but a small part of who I am. Unfortunately we live (well me anyway, KY is all about church) in a society where it is impossible to live a life that isnt in some way affected by religion.
"Helping hands are far more useful than praying ones." is right on the money! I usually say something like "Listen: since praying is a total waste of time, why don't you do something that actually creates positive results, like tutoring inner city children or cleaning up a park."
I tell them I don't need their prayer...I just need their money.

Actually, I don't worry too much about it. If they want to pray for me, let them pray for me as long as they aren't pushing their crap on to me I'm fine.
It's happened a couple of times, and I'm never sure how to answer it.

If they know you're an unbeliever, the one thing you MUST do is realize they're insulting you. There can be no more condescending thing to say than the equivalent of "I don't respect your beliefs, so I'll just do as I see fit, you poor misguided thing."
Heh. Another thing I do, come to think of it, is when a person says "Bless you!" when I sneeze, I sometimes say "No, thanks - I'm a Sneeze Atheist!"
Talking to your imaginary friend only helps you; not me. Have a nice day.

Best one so far! Though I do still like "I'll think for you" and Dennett's "sacrificing a goat" - now a more entertaining collection of retorts - thanks!
Hahaha, we call this Christian-Lite.
I can't remember anyone ever saying they would pray for me.

But if they did I'd ask how they think it would help, and if they tell me god will answer their prayers I'd tell them about the research that have proved that praying does no good at all.
I recently had an exam coming up and my aunt said "i will pray for you". I replied "thanks, i'll need all the luck i can get".
I've said this a few times to family - i dont know if they get it, but it makes me feel better :)




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