This has been a recurring thought of mine since I was a child, when I got
kicked out of Sunday school. The priests told my parents I was "possessed"
because I wouldn't stop laughing and cracking jokes. Even at that early
age, the absurdities that were being shovelled down my throat seemed just
that - absurd. But I digress.
The concept of prayer to me has always reeked of what the superstitious refer to as "black magic" - the invocation of supernatural forces to alter some part of reality to suit the wishes of the party or parties doing the praying. A quote from Wikipedia
is particularly pertinent -
As a term, "black magic" is normally used to describe a form of ritual that some group or person does not approve of.
Many of the godless here often mention loved ones, friends or associates praying for them. I doubt any one of us would consent to this. As such, I think prayer sits very firmly within the concept of black magic.
Try this argument on the next nutjob that knows what's best for you.