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It happened again.  A Christian acquaintance, upon learning I am now agnostic, said she would pray for me.  This has happened several times through the years and each time I have not responded.  I have though of responding by saying something like,  "And I will pray that you might develop an open mind."

 

Feedback please as to how you respond to these situations.

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Depends entirely on how far you are willing to offend or upset them but something like:

 

"Thanks, but I'd prefer you pray for the staving children around the world to have plenty of food "

 

might make them think about stuff without you specifically saying prayers don't work.

 

Of course if you don't care about long term affects on the relationship you could say

 

"I'll believe in prayer when you can pray amputated limbs into existence"

 

This is of course making the point far more aggressively and potentially damaging to relationships... probably more of a thing to say to random Christians. 

 

Or you could be real diplomatic and simply say Thanks. Or Thanks, I'll let you know if God speaks to me.

 

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Thanks for the suggestions.  So far it has been people who I know fairly well, but not close friends.   I tell myself I shouldn't offend them, but would like to prompt their thinking.  Oh, what the heck.  A part of me wants to tactfully offend them!  I also thought about simply saying,  "Thanks.  And I will pray for you."  And see where it goes from there.  Prayer doesn't have to be to a deity.  It can be a sincere, or urgent request, petition or hope.  If they don't understand that, and ask for an explanation, maybe about who I would pray to, I can explain, and say I am sincerely hoping they might have a more open mind to different views.

 

Maybe I am thin skinned, but I can't help but feel insulted when someone who has only scratched the surface of religion, after I have told them I prayed to find truth and studied religion for 30 years, tells me they will pray for me when I tell them I am now agnostic.  I really have mixed feelings and have to keep reminding myself they were brain washed and are in deep denial.  Jesus, if he really existed, really knew what he was talking about when he called his followers sheep.  Too many people will follow "hero's" around like lost sheep.   LOL, Trump also figured this out.

 

I need to stop this rambling and get to bed.  It's been a long day.

Anyone else have thoughts on this subject?

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As former Christians we are aware, or should be, that is just what Christians do. They must take every opportunity to promote & confirm their beliefs. They firmly believe that makes Jesus happy & they might get a brownie point on their good and bad chart.

 

I usually don't say anything I just smile and nod. 

 

 

 

 

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Nod and smile. Yes. But, mostly, I ignore them.

 

I often wonder if this approach gives them the impression that I am contemplating what they have said but, in the end, I really don't care anymore if that's what they think.

 

I have attempted to counter their superstition by using logic/reason/history/science. This only goes well with those who enjoy these types of discussions. For anyone else it seems pointless. The real challenge, at this point, is separating the two groups. 

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"If it will make you feel better, by all means, you have my blessing."

 

Rather a confusing response for them.

 

Of course my response varies with the individual. Some are harmless and irrelevant to me, others need a smack upside the head. 

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How about:

 

"Thanks for the thought.  Instead, I would prefer if you would spend that time doing a kindness to someone else, such as helping an old person in or out of their car, talking to a homeless person for a moment or smiling at a young child in the store."

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19 hours ago, florduh said:

"If it will make you feel better, by all means, you have my blessing."

 

I especially like that suggestion!  Thanks for all your responses, and listening to my rant.  

 

I just bought a book that addresses these religious/moral thinking issues.  Looking forward to reading,  MORAL ANIMAL, by Robert Wright.

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When Christians tell me they're going to pray for me or I hear them make a comment about praying for someone whose been in an accident or fell ill, I usually respond with something like "well thank you, but if you really want to help how about actually doing something, maybe cook them a meal.  You know, really go out of your way for a change"

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Sometimes I go with a flat "thank you" and a smile. I mean... it's kind of disingenuous of them to use the pretense of prayer as a veiled criticism... but it doesn't do any harm to me as a person and in a lot of ways it's their horribly awkward way of saying "We care about you". Also it's exhausting to correct or attempt to enlighten every person's passing weird semi-blessing.

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On 7/15/2018 at 2:34 PM, Weezer said:

It happened again.  A Christian acquaintance, upon learning I am now agnostic, said she would pray for me.  This has happened several times through the years and each time I have not responded.  I have though of responding by saying something like,  "And I will pray that you might develop an open mind."

 

Feedback please as to how you respond to these situations.

You can't, they're going to pray regardless of what you say. I'd say in response

 

"I don't know how you can pray thing's away, I'd rather do something than sit on my arse and pray"

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On 7/19/2018 at 7:49 PM, theanticrash said:

"I don't know how you can pray thing's away, I'd rather do something than sit on my arse and pray"

There is a saying, "Two hands working gets more done than 12 hands praying."

 

I had a very serious medical diagnosis which I revealed to some close family. They said they'd pray for me. I said what they could do is vote for politicians who support stem cell research, which their brand of Christianity opposes. I got a rather cold stare in return. I probably should have just said, "Thank you for your concern."

 

When dealing with those you don't care about offending (i.e. street preachers), some folks say, "And I'll think for you."

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On 7/15/2018 at 12:34 AM, Weezer said:

It happened again.  A Christian acquaintance, upon learning I am now agnostic, said she would pray for me.  This has happened several times through the years and each time I have not responded.  I have though of responding by saying something like,  "And I will pray that you might develop an open mind."

 

Feedback please as to how you respond to these situations.


Just nod your head and say okay.  Once this acquaintance realizes how futile that prayer was, it will only serve to slightly compromise their own faith.  Sometimes you don't have to do anything except carry on as usual. 

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On 7/22/2018 at 10:02 PM, RealityCheck said:


Just nod your head and say okay.  Once this acquaintance realizes how futile that prayer was, it will only serve to slightly compromise their own faith.  Sometimes you don't have to do anything except carry on as usual. 


 ^ This is what I do. I usually just "take the high road" and say thanks. I am super nice and polite and usually say I appreciate the sentiment. 

 

 

Then I put a hex on them later.

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"Those who believe in the power of prayer would have no reason to announce their prayers. The fact that you feel compelled to tell me that you're praying for me makes me question how much you yourself really trust the efficacy of prayer."

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Acquaintances: “I appreciate your kind gesture.” 

Friends and family: “That is your prerogative- I respect your beliefs too.” 

Close friends: “Please pray for another free taco day at T.B. while you’re at it!” 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/25/2018 at 1:21 PM, Citsonga said:

"Those who believe in the power of prayer would have no reason to announce their prayers. The fact that you feel compelled to tell me that you're praying for me makes me question how much you yourself really trust the efficacy 

 

 

Also, in a sense it is a "put down."  They feel superior in knowledge.  Which is a laugh.  Most atheist, agnostics, etc know more about the bible than the average christian.

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  • 1 month later...
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Godling:  "I'll pray for you, Prof."

 

Me:  "Thanks, Godling, and I'll think for you."

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