||[Oct. 17th, 2010|01:35 pm]
The Question Club
If you are an atheist/agnostic/non-praying person, does it bug you when people ask you to pray for them or their loved ones?|
Like, a few friends of mine have just been through pretty shitty labor/deliveries, my uncle has been diagnosed with liver cancer and my husband's uncle has prostate cancer. I keep getting Facebook messages, texts, emails, phone calls, etc. keeping me updated of their situations and the person I'm talking to (my mom, husband's mom, other friends/family) always end it with "Keep him/her/the baby/whatever in your prayers!" I hate to sound like an asshole, but I don't pray. I don't believe in God and I think prayer is kind of a weird concept. I love these people very much and I absolutely hope for the best outcome for them, but I feel like a fraud saying "Ok, I'll pray!" when I absolutely won't. It's very awkward. I'm not annoyed, I just don't know what to say to convey that I want things to be OK without using the "prayer" word or insinuating that I'm going to do something like that. I also don't want to be all shitty and say "I don't pray!" to people who are keeping me updated about those I care about. I'm also 2500 miles away from all of them. Any advice?
ETA: I thought I made it pretty clear that I wasn't mad about it, that it just makes me very uncomfortable. Also, I just get the impression that a majority of the people I'm talking to want to hear the "prayer" word. I'm from, erm, "Real America" and these people take these things (like the War on Christmas) pretty seriously. I usually just say "I'll keep [whoever] in my thoughts", but that's always followed by a weird-ish pause and whoever talking to says "...oooookay" like they're miffed that I didn't say "prayer." They know I'm not religious.