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Did You Feel Uncomfortable During Prayer?


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When I was in my late teens and still going to church I always remember feeling uncomfortable

during prayer. I don't really know what it was maybe just my gut feeling telling me that it was

bullshit and didn't work. I remember one time I was actually asked to pray out loud in front

of the whole church. My heart sank into my stomach and I attempted. It was probably worse

than Ben Stiller's prayer in "Meet the Parents."

 

Anyway, recently I went to a friend's wedding and during prayer I was just staring off into space.

The woman next to me noticed this and decided to wave her hand in front of my face and instructed

me to bow my head and clasp my hands. I couldn't believe it! Here I am just minding my own

business and this lady thinks it's ok to force me to pray. I didn't say anything just turned away

so I wouldn't cause a scene. It really upset me and ruined my mood for the remainder of the evening.

I never said anything but I wanted to give her a piece of my mind. I'm just too damn considerate!

 

Anyone have a similar uncomfortable experience with prayer?

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Wow. That is incredible! She must have been a member of the prayer police. You know, the special ones allowed to look around during prayer and check for non-compliance with prayer regulations.

 

I now do what you do since my deconversion. Good for you for not bending to myth manipulation!

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You could always have said in a quiet voice, but loud enough to carry a few feet,, "Ma'am, just because our eyes are closed it doesn't mean we can't smell your farts."

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You could always have said in a quiet voice, but loud enough to carry a few feet,, "Ma'am, just because our eyes are closed it doesn't mean we can't smell your farts."

 

I farted in church once and the people behind me moved. lmao_99.gif

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I used to attend early morning prayer meetings at my church and sometimes my friend would have to pray me through to belief again so I could enjoy the meeting. I think I was a Christian Atheist for a long time. Also have stood by and felt nothing during a Charismatic praise and worship service while everyone else was having a great time worshiping god.

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Yeah that's one of the main reasons I don't believe in god. I never "felt" anything.

I was totally open to having a religious experience it just never happened. When

people that say they feel the holy spirit it's probably no different than the emotional

feeling one gets from watching a good film or listening to a beautiful piece of

music. It's all controlled by their brain.

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I actually stopped praying awhile before I deconverted because it felt so awkward. I never knew what I was supposed to be praying about (because all-knowing god already knows everything), and I found it really difficult to carry on a conversation by myself. Was I supposed to imagine the second half? And I never knew what to look for in response. A feeling? A whisper? A miracle? I was never absolutely convinced that it was gawd, so I just stopped. 

The only real benefit I got was organizing my thoughts, but I do that better without prayer anyway. 

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Ask her "Why?" Then if she answers that, ask her "Why?" again. Keep asking "Why?" until she runs out of answers and/or leaves  you alone in a huff. :)

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I hated praying in public. When I was about 10 or 11 years old, I went to a christian summer camp for the week. I remember a counselor asking me to pray during the devotional time before bed. Everyone bowed their heads, & waited on me to start. I froze...I couldn't think of anything to say. I think the counselor ended up praying that night. I felt terrible about this for a long time, and I tried my best to avoid any type of group setting where this would happen again. If someone wanted prayer volunteers, I would avoid eye contact with them at all cost, or excuse myself to the bathroom. biggrin.png

 

I ended up being called on a couple of times to pray at our last church, and I managed to get through it without sounding too stupid. (I think) Looking back on things like this, it's no wonder I deconverted so quickly after my husband did. I never "felt" anything either.

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As a teenager, prayer time in church was my favorite part.  Some of those prayers were fairly long and I enjoyed the naps.

 

 

That's why I'm glad my wife is a Quaker!!

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Guest r3alchild

Praying in front of people at church is like testimony day for the mormons. Its robot building for your belief system.

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If her head was bowed in prayer, how did she know yours wasn't.   Nosy, self-righteous bitch.    

 

Whenever I'm in a situation like that, I always look around to see if anyone else is looking around too and might be feeling the same way I am.

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As a kid I would always be bored, but feel guilty about being bored and attempt to be reverent instead...then after I deconverted (but at 14, hadn't made it public knowledge and still went to church with family) I took up people-watching instead. It's kind of fun to be the only one "awake" in a room when nobody else is looking...

 

One interesting thing was that while I was in a fundamentalist Christian college for a year, one of my professors would pray with his eyes open. Instead of just closing my eyes like everyone else and pretending to be religious, I'd just watch him the entire time...like, with eye contact and everything. It wasn't even awkward. Actually it was sort of fun xD

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If her head was bowed in prayer, how did she know your wasn't.   Nosy, self-righteous bitch.    

 

Whenever I'm in a situation like that, I always look around to see if anyone else is looking around too and might be feeling the same way I am.

 

We need a symbolic gesture that represents 'hypocrite!' for these types of situations.  Perhaps instead of the middle finger we can give a pinky wag just to let the offending party know we are on to them. 

 

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I always felt like such a failure because I got easily bored praying alone, and I lived in fear of being called on to pray in groups.  HATED IT!!

 

And then, of course, I never had any prayers answered or witnessed any divine intervention.  People would claim the most pitiful little things as "answered prayer".  I thought god must be very small if that's the best he could do.  Plus, I was always trying to understand how he supposedly answered someone's prayer for a new job, but didn't answer the prayers for starving and/or dying children across the world. 

 

Anyway, on the day I realized/acknowledged that I was no longer a believer, one of my very first thoughts was - I NEVER have to pray again!  It made me so happy!! 

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Before I was "on-fire" for god, I hated being in situations where I might be called upon to pray. Like youth meetings, etc. But then when I got serious for god and started praying every day and being around others in a prayer room, I soon learned how to pray fundamentalist-style. Just took practice. Then I wasn't really bothered about being asked to pray for the offering, pray over a service etc.

But then in the six months leading up to my deconversion, I started finding it extremely difficult to pray. I lost all motivation. I was realizing that none of my prayers ever made a difference beyond sheer coincidence, and that any tangible evidence of god continued to elude me. The thought of praying my usual routine prayers made me feel like an idiot. As though I was a fool that had been duped all this time, and I was the last person in on the joke. 

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Praying in public often made me feel a little weird, but I liked praying in private. If god knows everything and loves me and all that, then I don't have to hide anything. I can put into words all that stuff that is socially unacceptable to say out loud. Well, ok, that was the good side of prayer, when I could have the freedom to be honest with myself. I also did a lot of begging god to take over for me since I was doing such a bad job at life, and he refused, so when I stopped praying I was finally forced to be responsible for my own life.

 

I can actually still pull off a convincing public prayer if I feel like it. I've got a few of the stock phrases to use, and then fill in the blanks with a few semi-honest statements about how I'm feeling and what I want. I can "pray" for good things for other people, for comfort, etc, because I do want those things for them even if I don't think any deity is going to help out. But I try to avoid doing that as much as possible, because it's a different kind of uncomfortable when I don't believe any of it.

 

When other people are praying, then it's totally nap time. The churches I was raised in always treated prayer as a somewhat solemn thing, so they make great soothing background noise. The biggest difference when I stopped believing was that I stopped feeling guilty about ignoring the content of the prayers.

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     Praying in public is just a way for everyone to hear your shit if you don't censor yourself (this is why I think they love to have prayer circles with little kids who'll blurt out family secrets).

 

          mwc

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