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I'm Praying For You


Markkasan
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In some of my conversations with acquiantences who still go to my former church, the topic of my deconversion crops up quite a lot. They ask me, "You haven't been in church for a while. Why is that?" or something more subtle but with basicaly the same meaning. Earlier on in my career as an infidel, I was kind of reluctant to reveal my nonbelief, so I said neutral things like "I've been busy" or "I haven't found the time." That would usually chase them off, but then they would ask me the same thing three weeks later. So, I started saying "I'm not a Christian anymore." Eventually, of course, after I told three people EVERYONE knew about it, from the viral spread of information that's endemic to churches. These same friends who I hung out with in youth group started to treat me like I had terminal cancer or some contagion that would infect them if they came too close to me. I resented it, but it didn't really bother me. Let them be bigots, i thought. I live for the moment, and they live for an imaginary afterlife. My ego was secure.

 

However, one acquiantence thinks of me as her pet project. She wants to be the one who reels be back into the fold, so to speak. I'm sure most of you know what kind of person i'm talking about. Overly-friendly, insidious, eager, insensitive to what you're thinking, etc. Anyway, we were talking, and she mentioned that my youth pastor is "Praying for me." That phrase, which I heard so often as an Xtian and thought nothing of it, irritated me to no end. I felt insulted, actually. I'm not sure why. Then, to make it worse, she added, "And I'm praying for you too." She patted me on the shoulder, actually patted me on the shoulder, like I was an autistic savant who had trouble tying my own shoes. I snapped back, "Really? Do I look like I need praying for?" She answered some cookie-cutter answer about me being lost and such, but I wanted nothing of it.

 

I'm thinking back and I'm not sure why I felt so irritated and offended when I heard "I'm praying for you" or "You're in the pastor's prayers."

 

What's your reaction when somebody says something similiar to you? Do you laugh at them? Do you get angry? Or do you just ignore it?

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If a Xian says they'll pray for me (usually when I speak of a problematic situation), I just thank them and go on with my life. In that instance, a Xian saying he or she will pray for me is just a nice gesture, and I'd be an asshole to bitch about it.

 

But, if a Xian says they'll pray for me to return to the fold, it's another story. I tell them I do not want that, or at least tell them to not tell me about it, because I'm not interested in hearing about their subversive spirtual attempts to reconvert me. In that instance, though the Xian may not realize it, it's rude and aggravating to have to listen to a cultist tell you they're trying to use their magic on you to make you change your mind.

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At this point I would be offended at those "holier-than-thou" remarks like "I'll pray for you". My gut reaction would be, I don't need, or want, your silly prayers, but I restrain myself, and simply but coldly thank them for their courtesies. It usually doesn't take long to forget about it. Thank goodness for selective memory...

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well .. during the process of my deconversion i had people say they were praying for me, now that i am 'fully deconverted' so to speak, i don't really get people say that. I did have a friend of mine send me an email that was blatantly trying to get me back to Jeezus, but I responded in a way that made it obvious i was not coming back.

 

If I had someone like that person you are talking about trying to lead me back into the fold and getting their pastor to pray, i would probably get irritated, but i would probably understand where they were coming from. :shrug:

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Yeah, it's irritating, but I've found that asking them not to pray for me only worsens the situation, so I just nod and change the subject.

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It depends on the context and who's saying it whether I get offended or not. If I'm going through a really rough time, my Christian friends will sometimes say they are praying for me. I know that they mean it as a translation of "I'm worried about you and I want you to be happy."

 

In this kind of context where some aquaintance is trying to convert me and they are "praying for me" to return to the fold, it's really annoying. In that case it translates to "You poor, pitiful, stupid creature! Satan hit you in the head with a stupid brick, didn't he? You big silly, you can't go thinking for yourself, only god can do that! We're going to stand over here and hope the wizard gives you a brain and shows you how wrong you are."

 

In their minds, they are actually doing something good and are incapable of seeing how stupid it is. It kind of reminds me of my dog whenever there was a thunderstorm. He'd hide under the covers and bark at it. It wouldn't matter how much I told him and reassured him it was fine, he had to tell the big scary noises off.

 

Tell them you'll flip a coin for them or something. Forgot who said it and what thread it was on, but it seems like a good a comeback as any.

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You know what's funny? The fact that they say they'll pray that you'll return to the fold and you not returning to the fold. Why isn't "God" answering the prayers? Still, they believe with the excuse, "Maybe it's not time yet for you to return." Roll eyes, roll eyes!!!

 

If "God" said in the Bible that he wanted everyone to be saved, why wouldn't he bring people to him? -Crickets- Bingo! Because he's either an uncaring selfish bastard that's less of a "God" than he is less of a "man" or because he simply doesn't exist!

 

I had Christians say to me that "God" always wins or that "God" is in control of my fate. No he's not. He doesn't always win. He's certainly not in control of my fate either. I'm in control of my life. I wiggle my own fingers, not the puppeteer. I have no strings attached on my shoulders! The other thing is, the whole "pray for you" thing seems like words over actions anyway. A lot of Christians that I knew back when I was a Christian said they'd always "pray for me" but never did. I know it's a large assumption on my part, but I just knew the nature of their personalities. They were neglectful types that wouldn't even keep promises. Knowing that, I just feel like I hate it when they say "I'll pray for you" just because they say those annoying words rather than knowing that they won't. Them not praying is a good thing.

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You know what's funny? The fact that they say they'll pray that you'll return to the fold and you not returning to the fold. ...

 

That's why I think it would be funny if each and every time they say they're praying for you, you respond with something like, "Oh yeah? How's that going? I haven't heard from your god yet, so you must not be praying hard enough. Or maybe you're doing it wrong. Keep trying."

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