When someone comments that they will pray for you, what do you say back? Even when I was a pretending christian I felt awkward when people said they would pray for me....

Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer. - Anonymous

and another one I am pseudo-quoting since I can't find a reference at the moment........

Helping hands are far more useful than praying ones.

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Agreed. Overt rudeness only reinforces the Theist's negative stereotype of us. Although if they are being rude in their passive-aggressive desire to pray me into being what they want me to be, I will bite back with an equivalent amount of sarcasm.

As what seems to be the general consensus on this thread, most of those who pray for you are genuine and honestly think they're helping and doing the right thing.
So sorry to hear that Jezzy. Pisses me off that one person's grief is another person's opportunity to recruit into the cult. But like you say, most of them mean well. Don't even realize they're doing more harm than good.
Mostly the people who say this to me are family members. I just say "ok" and let it go. They are too far away to be able to actually DO anything for me when I need something, (except for an occasional cheque) and praying for me makes them feel better.
If I'm really annoyed, I suggest that they should rather estimate the amount of time they will spend praying for me, then work overtime for that amount of time instead and give me the proceeds, as that way I'll actually get some benefit from their actions...
But only if I'm really annoyed. Otherwise I say 'why not read some Darwin instead' or 'why not think about why the ancient Greeks believed in Zeus instead'...
I'm in the UK so the Bible-bashers are a lot less intense but recently groups of mormon missionaries have been appearing in my local town centre trying to recruit. Seeing a couple of them trying to get the attention of the as usual uninterested locals I walked past slowly for a bit of fun. The two quite sweet American guys asked if I wanted to learn more about God and be saved. I responded quite politely that I'm an atheist. One of the guys responded that God was calling to me. I repeated that I don't believe in the existence of God and that if he did that as a gay guy I don't think I'd really be what he's looking for. They both looked shocked by my response. The other guy said that he would pray for me. I said "That would be a waste of all of our time" and walked off feeling fantastic.

There are new missionaries every couple of months and I always do my best to get stopped now.
"I will think rationally for you" or "Quetzalcoatl sends you snakey kissy wissies" (depending on my mood)

They may think they are being good intentioned, but they are still shoving it in my face, so I shall respond accordingly
If the "I'll pray for you" is rude, I tell them
"I'll tell Satan to be gentle in/on/with you."
Just to fu*k with their heads.

If it's out of concern, I thank them.
I feel like printing my own fliers giving a logical explanation for the basis of religion and handing them out when the JW's knock on my door. A trade for a trade. I'll let my kids read their flier if they let their kids read mine.
A trade for a trade. I'll let my kids read their flier if they let their kids read mine.

Therein lies the real challenge. Whenever a customer bible-thumps me at work (which happens a lot, almost as if they know I have to be heavily censored in what I can say back to them), I let them know when I'll be off work, and invite them to meet me at a cafe to discuss the matter further. "And we both get equal time to talk."

No one has taken me up on it yet.

Even better I think to issue your trade: How much time do you want with my kids? You can have it, provided I get the same amount of time with your kids."
It's very creepy when people say that they will pray for me. I suspect they have their own interests in mind - they would like to hear me saying I'll pray for them too. Ha-ha! I usually reply: "Mhh", or something else equally polite and meaningful.
I just say "thanks, but that's not needed," and sometimes quote that first quote of yours. But, I only use that quote when they are saying it as a way of hostility.
I work in a public school...We have a group of mothers and teachers who meet in the building before school and they pray for various teachers. I've gotten little notes in my school mailbox letting me know they were praying for me. gives me the willies.....

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