So let's just say that you are out amongst friends, and someone announces that their father will be undergoing open heart surgery or their sister-in-law has terminal cancer. Everyone else in the group says the usual "I will keep you in my prayers!" or "I'll have to add you to our prayer list at church." or "My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family." And I go: "Gee, I hope everything turns out okay. I'll be thinking of you." It always seems to fall flat.
I'd love to hear how others handle these type of situations. All suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Hi Gina & although I'm only a newbie to the site, I welcome you to the group of rational thinkers.
In regards to your best wishes situation, I agree there is not much help that can be derived from any prayer or prayers. There is a great poster I have which shows a person kneeling in prayer, with the caption below saying "How to do absolutely nothing, but still think your helping! Another I have says, Two hands working will acheive much much more than even ten thousand hands clasped in prayer.
Also you could always point out how not even the most ardent religious nutter would ever advocate praying for someone who has lost a leg or an arm for the almighty to heal them & grow another limb.
Hope this is helpful, Cheers CR ;-)
Gina, I think there is no "one general" reply to this.
Thinking about my behaviour in such situations i would say that i choose one of two "paths".
a) Very often i do not say anything at all. I try to "signal" using physical expressions that i feel with the person and that I am there if needed.
b) I limit my statement to something as short and simple as a "I am there, whenever you need me."
Sometimes not saying something or saying only very few things is better than blabla-ing around.
I have to say though that i do not have many people that I call "friends" and those that I call friends should perfectly well know that they can count on me and come to me whenever they need to.
Just my 5 (euro-)cents.