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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I came across this earlier today when I mentioned that I was going to be layed off for a couple of weeks. The guy told me that he would keep me in his prayers. I told him "thanks but I talked to spongebob and he said he's gonna hook me up." He was kind of confused. I probably should have been a little nicer to him but it kind of just flew out of my mouth. I told him i was jk and that I had to go. I think I need to learn some patience with the people who are really just trying to be nice. Stop having those knee jerk reactions.
I mentally flick them off, and sometimes I do it physically.
Then I ask, "Why? What has prayer ever REALLY done? Have you ever prayed for a cancer kid to get cured? Do you know how often the prayer actually helps? 0%. That's how much. If you actually gave two shits about me you'd actually do something instead of praying to your imaginary friend for me to start believing."
But, if you aren't a totally douchebag, then I recommend just saying thank you.
I have that exact same problem, especially when I am asked to help pray for someone. And if someone says they'll pray for me, I just smile and say "Okay, thanks", I mean it's nice to know someone's thinking of me and cares. But when I'm asked to pray for someone, I usually just say that I'll keep them in my thoughts, hinting to them that I don't pray/believe in their God
I argued that MRSA was proof of microevolution on facebook and got a reply from my aunt's friend that it wasn't "evolution its sin" and that she now knows what to pray for. >.X I really didn't know how to reply to that, so I didn't. I just feel odd and walk away when people announce they need to pray for me. They're usually being loud about it, anyway, to make sure that they appear holier-than-thou. >.X
It depends. Most people who have said it to me have said it out of good intentions or honest caring so I say thank you even if I don't agree with it. But the intentions were sincere and from the heart.

BUT sometimes people say it as a form of judgement and disdain because you don't believe in god and to THOSE I usually retort back with something. Usually some comment along the lines of "No, thank you, I don't need it", "I prefer to think instead of praying" or my all time favorite "Praying is like sitting in a rocking chair, It'll give you something to do but it won't get you anywhere".
I generally just change the topic or say thank you because it is often with good intentions. I find it sweet that someone will take the time in their day to include me in their thoughts, even if it's in a prayer to an invisible man. One of my closest friends who is strongly xtian often says that she will pray for me when I tell her I'm having a bad day or if I have a difficult test coming up. She does not know I am an atheist, and I think she feels it's her way of telling me that she cares.

Of course if someone says that they will pray for me because they think that what I am doing and what I believe is wrong then I get annoyed, and I might say that their prayers mean nothing to me.
How about this: Thanks, and I'll be sure to donate money to the next research project on delusional diseases."
I'm gonna have to borrow that aimee. If that's ok with you of course.
I get to borrow it after you!
My response: I know that you mean well but I'd prefer that you not [pray for me].

It's polite so I don't fall into the trap of being an atheist jerk. However, it also gets the point across that I don't want to be prayed for. I rarely get anyone asking me why since it's usually said in passing but when I do get asked I tell them that I am an atheist. The only time I would be hesitant about telling someone I'm an atheist is at my job. I am a preschool teacher and parents are amazingly picky about what their children are exposed to at that age and I know that most families of the children I work with are religious and I usually don't know the parents well enough to gauge what their reaction might be. If my livelihood didn't depend on those parents I wouldn't care what their reaction might be.
They will claim that they mean well but they are only patting themselves on the back for being superior and patronizing you. They need to know that the remark is NOT taken well. They will feel a little sadness when the inquisition tortures you (the catholic office of the inquisition is still active and would love to help you confess if they could) but they will be assured that it is for your own good. Check out the recent stupid remarks from the vatican's own chief exorcist.

We are safe now because religion has been driven back. Help keep it that way.
I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt on the issue before I jump down their throat. I don't like it when people jump down my throat for something I thought was honestly rather innocuous so I try not to do that to other people.

Also, this should go without saying but if I'm reasonably sure a person saying "I'll pray for you" doesn't really mean well then I revise my response to "I'd prefer that you don't."



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