Ok, this may seem like a ridiculous question, but I'm curious if anyone else ever does this.

First, let me state that I have never believed in the supernatural, aside from a short time around 9 years old when I saw a movie about Nostradamus that freaked me out so much I don't think I slept for a month

What I'm curious about is this: Sometimes when I am in great pain (suffering from gastro-esophageal reflux mostly) I have thought something along the lines of "If anyone is out there listening, please make my pain go away."

Of course, it's never helped, but I wonder why I even go there. I suspect it is because of growing up around people who pray for help. I know that even if my pain immediately went away I would know that it was not the work of god, so it confuses me why I would do this.

Do any of you occasionally have thoughts like this?

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I like your explanation. I still cry out for my mom even though she's been gone for 17 years.
I dont see anything wrong with it. Its simply your brain trying to reach out. I think it can have positive effects too since its a mental process (either innate or learned) that helps people project outside of themselves to gather strength and focus. I think its different if you believe in God and are doing it in comparison between being an atheist doing it since the latter is keeping things grounded. Self-suggestion can be a bolstering thing as long as people keep it level headed.
When my children are hurt or sick, I sometimes do. I know it won't work, but when it comes to my kids, I would move mountains if I thought it might help. I prayed at my dad's funeral I think just out of habit from years of praying in church. Generally, when my kids are not sick, I do not pray and find it rather silly. I have often found getting off my knees and actually doing something works far better than prayer. So if I do happen to pray for my children when they are sick, it is usually on the way to the dr's office or ER.
What I'm curious about is this: Sometimes when I am in great pain (suffering from gastro-esophageal reflux mostly) I have thought something along the lines of "If anyone is out there listening, please make my pain go away."

No. I don't pray. Tho I can recall having uttered a line similar to it but with a twist. "If anyone is out there, fuck you!" That helps and makes me feel better. :)
Praying is religious people's way of feeling like they are doing something to solve a problem without actually doing something to solve it.  It's mental masturbation really.

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