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.
Welcome Gena, your answer does not falls flat it's honest. People deal with these situations differently and many who say they will pray for the person and family never do it.
how about "oh my, i'm so excited for him! i'm sure he's been waiting for the day he'll get to meet the heavenly father and that day may be near."
How about: "What blood type is he? Maybe I could give a unit." Translation: doing something POSITIVE ... which is one hell of a lot more than prayer!
other options include, just leaving out the word prayers and say "My thoughts are with you and your family." or "My heart goes out to (or is with) you and your family." Maybe 'thoughts and wishes' or 'thoughts and hopes'... If you know anything about the surgeon, you could add that they do good work, if that is true...
The thing about it is, there really is no right thing to say, even if you have gone trough it yourself, though that helps to relate, it's all just lip service anyway. Just show that you care, and will be there for them if they need you. That's what friends are for. =D
Gina, their talk of prayers helps them conceal their emotions.
They are unable to express their humanity. You are condemned to express yours.
Do it; they will learn from your doing so and maybe see some of atheism's value.
I was unable to express mine and did not visit a friend who was in the hospital.
If I could change the past, I would change that.