Relative asks you to pray
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26-03-2014, 06:41 AM
Relative asks you to pray
So my wife's aunt has a pig's heart valve. It's not working right and she needs to go in for a very risky double heart valve surgery. My father in laws tells me this in a text and at the end types Pray.

We don't have the best relationship since I'm not a Christian and he's born again. Do you think I need to respond to this. We have never discussed my atheism.

How do others handle similar situations when people ask you to pray?
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26-03-2014, 06:51 AM
RE: Relative asks you to pray
I respond that I'm "sending positve thoughts" their way, and hoping all comes out well.

Really ends up being the same thing without invoking a god or religion.

If bullshit were music some people would be a brass band.
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26-03-2014, 06:54 AM
RE: Relative asks you to pray
(26-03-2014 06:41 AM)proplayer44 Wrote:  So my wife's aunt has a pig's heart valve. It's not working right and she needs to go in for a very risky double heart valve surgery. My father in laws tells me this in a text and at the end types Pray.

We don't have the best relationship since I'm not a Christian and he's born again. Do you think I need to respond to this. We have never discussed my atheism.

How do others handle similar situations when people ask you to pray?

If I'm a guest in someone's home and they want to hold hands before dinner and pray, I have no problem with it. If someone tells me to get on my knees and beg Jesus for forgiveness before dinner, I'm heading to Chipotle. I don't tolerate emotional blackmail tactics; you have to determine your own personal boundaries. I personally consider prayer to be worthless for anything other than personal meditation, and minor relief for guilt caused by not being able to do anything about a situation. If your father in law is taking advantage of the situation to push prayer on you, I wouldn't write back. If he genuinely just wants support, then write back some supporting words.

If Jesus died for our sins, why is there still sin? If man was created from dust, why is there still dust? If Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?
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26-03-2014, 07:01 AM
RE: Relative asks you to pray
(26-03-2014 06:41 AM)proplayer44 Wrote:  So my wife's aunt has a pig's heart valve. It's not working right and she needs to go in for a very risky double heart valve surgery. My father in laws tells me this in a text and at the end types Pray.

We don't have the best relationship since I'm not a Christian and he's born again. Do you think I need to respond to this. We have never discussed my atheism.

How do others handle similar situations when people ask you to pray?

If I am near family who asks "pray" I quietly bow my head (not eye closing) and I show respect for their feelings (not necessarily their religion). If i'd had received that in a text message I'd have ignored it completely.
But that's just me.

When I want your opinion I'll read your entrails.
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26-03-2014, 07:04 AM
RE: Relative asks you to pray
Personally I would just ignore it and pretend that it was never said. If he believes in the power of prayer then he'll be wanting as many people to pray as possible and you don't want to be in a position where he'll think that you have been churlish. If you are in a face to face conversation and he asks you to pray, try to change the subject somehow.
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26-03-2014, 07:05 AM
RE: Relative asks you to pray
I let them pray and sit silently. Thankfully my family is all highly educated Catholics so it goes no further.

In the case of said text I simply wouldn't respond or say they're in your thoughts or something.
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26-03-2014, 07:14 AM
RE: Relative asks you to pray
I'd personally go with War Horse's suggestion, just saying "I'll be sending positive thoughts" without mentioning his prayer request, maybe followed by "let me know if I can be of any help". It's non-confrontational, while showing your care and concern. It's not exactly the time to discuss your view on prayer with him or otherwise start an argument Smile Completely ignoring the text also seems cold, it demands some response.
I don't think it's quite fair of him to ask an atheist to pray, it makes it seem like you don't care properly if you don't pray, but sometimes it's best to give people some leanway and show them you can be caring without a god.
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26-03-2014, 07:22 AM
RE: Relative asks you to pray
I wasn't suggesting ignoring the text, just the bit appended at the end which said 'pray'. You can still show concern about what's going on and say things like 'thinking about her'. Unless he sits you down and specifically asks you to your face to pray in which case then you can ask how sincere would it be considering that you are an atheist.
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26-03-2014, 07:31 AM
RE: Relative asks you to pray
(26-03-2014 07:14 AM)LadyDay Wrote:  I'd personally go with War Horse's suggestion, just saying "I'll be sending positive thoughts" without mentioning his prayer request, maybe followed by "let me know if I can be of any help". It's non-confrontational, while showing your care and concern. It's not exactly the time to discuss your view on prayer with him or otherwise start an argument Smile Completely ignoring the text also seems cold, it demands some response.
I don't think it's quite fair of him to ask an atheist to pray, it makes it seem like you don't care properly if you don't pray, but sometimes it's best to give people some leanway and show them you can be caring without a god.


Yanno you're right. Actually I typed wrongly. I didn't mean ignore the text completely - I meant ignore the request for prayer completely.
Just didn't get it said right. WOW I came off Cold......... Sadcryface my bad

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26-03-2014, 07:37 AM
RE: Relative asks you to pray
When religion is long dead, we will still call hoping for someone's recovery "Praying"

We still say
"Dial" a phone number when we clearly don't
4 corners of the earth /ends of the earth (Revelation 7:1 / Acts 1:8)
Turn on a light (electric lights don't need to be turned)

I say don't be an Asstheist and just pray (hope), without the hand signs and bible quoting bullshit.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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