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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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I just say, "thank you for your good intentions". Or if someone asks me to pray for them I simply say, "I don't pray". That usually opens the floodgates, lol. But either way I remain respectful to their religion.
By the way. Just three years ago when I was a Christian I never prayed for anyone or prayed for myself. I said who am I to judge what is best for me or you. Only God knows that. Pray that God's will be done, which it will so why pray FOR anything. I think this kind of thinking eventually allowed me to reason the non-existence of God.
I came across this earlier today when I mentioned that I was going to be layed off for a couple of weeks. The guy told me that he would keep me in his prayers. I told him "thanks but I talked to spongebob and he said he's gonna hook me up." He was kind of confused. I probably should have been a little nicer to him but it kind of just flew out of my mouth. I told him i was jk and that I had to go. I think I need to learn some patience with the people who are really just trying to be nice. Stop having those knee jerk reactions.
I mentally flick them off, and sometimes I do it physically.
Then I ask, "Why? What has prayer ever REALLY done? Have you ever prayed for a cancer kid to get cured? Do you know how often the prayer actually helps? 0%. That's how much. If you actually gave two shits about me you'd actually do something instead of praying to your imaginary friend for me to start believing."
But, if you aren't a totally douchebag, then I recommend just saying thank you.
I have that exact same problem, especially when I am asked to help pray for someone. And if someone says they'll pray for me, I just smile and say "Okay, thanks", I mean it's nice to know someone's thinking of me and cares. But when I'm asked to pray for someone, I usually just say that I'll keep them in my thoughts, hinting to them that I don't pray/believe in their God
I argued that MRSA was proof of microevolution on facebook and got a reply from my aunt's friend that it wasn't "evolution its sin" and that she now knows what to pray for. >.X I really didn't know how to reply to that, so I didn't. I just feel odd and walk away when people announce they need to pray for me. They're usually being loud about it, anyway, to make sure that they appear holier-than-thou. >.X
It depends. Most people who have said it to me have said it out of good intentions or honest caring so I say thank you even if I don't agree with it. But the intentions were sincere and from the heart.

BUT sometimes people say it as a form of judgement and disdain because you don't believe in god and to THOSE I usually retort back with something. Usually some comment along the lines of "No, thank you, I don't need it", "I prefer to think instead of praying" or my all time favorite "Praying is like sitting in a rocking chair, It'll give you something to do but it won't get you anywhere".
I generally just change the topic or say thank you because it is often with good intentions. I find it sweet that someone will take the time in their day to include me in their thoughts, even if it's in a prayer to an invisible man. One of my closest friends who is strongly xtian often says that she will pray for me when I tell her I'm having a bad day or if I have a difficult test coming up. She does not know I am an atheist, and I think she feels it's her way of telling me that she cares.

Of course if someone says that they will pray for me because they think that what I am doing and what I believe is wrong then I get annoyed, and I might say that their prayers mean nothing to me.
How about this: Thanks, and I'll be sure to donate money to the next research project on delusional diseases."
I'm gonna have to borrow that aimee. If that's ok with you of course.
I get to borrow it after you!
My response: I know that you mean well but I'd prefer that you not [pray for me].

It's polite so I don't fall into the trap of being an atheist jerk. However, it also gets the point across that I don't want to be prayed for. I rarely get anyone asking me why since it's usually said in passing but when I do get asked I tell them that I am an atheist. The only time I would be hesitant about telling someone I'm an atheist is at my job. I am a preschool teacher and parents are amazingly picky about what their children are exposed to at that age and I know that most families of the children I work with are religious and I usually don't know the parents well enough to gauge what their reaction might be. If my livelihood didn't depend on those parents I wouldn't care what their reaction might be.


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