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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That is not unusual at all for Religious persons to be so condescending to those who don't "believe."
If its said to annoy you or in a condesending way then something along the lines of
'I really don't think some halfwit whispering to a ficticious sky fairy in the hope of being granted three wishes is going to be much use' usualy does the trick.
Oh I love it!
I feel awkward too when people say things like they will pray for me. Most people still think I'm a Christian so I am still at the just go along with it stage. They mean well. Especially when there is nothing else they can do. If someone you know is sick and dying all they can do is pray.
Recently a card went around at work for a mother that I work with whose little girl was really sick and it seemed she would die because the doctors didn't know what was wrong. I had such a hard time because I didn't know what to say. I wish that I could have prayed, wouldn't have mattered. It would make me feel like I was doing something though, if I were still a believer anyway.
You can still always offer your support and your empathy.

Just because you aren't praying for a miracle that will bring the girl back to perfect health doesn't mean you can't do something to help in one form or another. :)
With this exact situation a few years back, we knew what my coworkers son had and I made a donation to a research foundation in his honor. He sai ibwas the only one to do so and personally thanked me fo it later and linked them to his sons website for others to do the same.

Being a person of action is appreciated in most situations, I think. Even in the face of cultural/religious/habitual formalities.
Well i work at a grocery store in a little redneck town and everyone and i mean everyone is a christian. so i get alot of "ill pray for you" and "have a blessed day" and "you should come to my church" etc. depending on my mood and the persons attitude depends on my remark.

If im in a bad mood ill either look at them like they are stupid, or say im an atheist, or a no thanks im good. That kind of thing.

If im in a good mood and i like the person ill nod politley and say "thank you" or something of the sort.

But to each there own. It depends on how nice or mean you are.
I'm with most everyone else. I say "Thank you..". There is no need to be an "Athiest Jerk" about it.

I will often tell christian friends "Our thoughts will be with you." when they have something going in. I see no difference and it is courteous.
It depends on the context it's used, but for the most part I think the person that says it means well. I generally say "thank you" and go about my business. If I'm in a bad mood and I hear it, I might give a response of "And I'll actually do something useful" or "I'll think for you."
I usually say thanks. But if they know I am Atheist, I usually come up with a come back, like "you know it won't do anything, right?"
I consider it nice gesture.
Both of my parents have died within the past ten years and I often think that people who have not been through painful trauma have no idea what to say. "I will keep your family in my prayers" etc. is one of the most common things that people tend to come up with.

Obviously, there is not one thing you can say that will actually help.

Even though I am an atheist, it really doesn't bother me - it doesn't call my identity into question to accept a genuine offer of kindness from another.

Of course, genuine is the operative word there.
Right, if it's sincere, I just smile. I don't find it offensive.

But when a person tells me this right after they realize that I'm an atheist, I find it annoying. But I still act civil. I don't say 'thank you' or anything else that would encourage it since I don't want to be flooded with invitations to their next prayer meeting. XD




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