When (if ever) did you stop praying?
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29-11-2012, 07:24 PM
When (if ever) did you stop praying?
This may sound odd, but when bad things happen I still find myself reaching for that old security blanket of prayer. There is a current medical situation in my husband's family. It's a 6 yo girl and it could be something deadly. I find I want to pray to calm myself and try to work things out, not really to petition a deity for help. I have only called myself an atheist for a short time, I was a theist for almost 30 years. Does this urge ever stop?
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29-11-2012, 10:10 PM
RE: When (if ever) did you stop praying?
It's okay. Just pray with your eyes wide open. Smile

Atheism for ex-believers is a process. De-converting doesn't happen over night.

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29-11-2012, 10:31 PM
RE: When (if ever) did you stop praying?
I actually don't know when the last time it is I prayed; I just didn't notice when I stopped. Like kpax said, it doesn't happen overnight. Some things are so ingrained in ourselves, it becomes instinctive to react certain ways. Don't be hard on yourself if you catch yourself. You're not harming others; you're doing something to calm yourself and it's a coping strategy. It may change over time, it may change over a much longer time. You're not being a 'bad atheist' or something. You're dealing with a heavy situation. My hope for you is that things turn out okay.

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29-11-2012, 10:37 PM
RE: When (if ever) did you stop praying?
Is it weird that I don't remember?
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29-11-2012, 10:50 PM
RE: When (if ever) did you stop praying?
(29-11-2012 10:37 PM)Logisch Wrote:  Is it weird that I don't remember?
No. Same here.

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29-11-2012, 10:59 PM
RE: When (if ever) did you stop praying?
I stopped when I realised I was talking to myself.

It meant one of two things:

1) There was no god to listen to me
or
2) I was god

Although there was a high probability that the latter is true, I decided on the former.

So, there, kneeling in church, I opened my eyes as everyone else was chanting away.

No thunderbolts.

DLJ alone in the universe at age 10.5

Missbeth,
I still have those moments when I need "to calm myself and try to work things out", and yes, that still occasionally involves talking to myself.


The difference is that I know it's just me who is listening...
... and answering.

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30-11-2012, 02:31 AM (This post was last modified: 30-11-2012 03:59 AM by Vera.)
RE: When (if ever) did you stop praying?
When I realised it had long since turned into an OCD kind of deal. The sad thing is, I've been under a lot of stress recently, so I've been catching myself (with frightening regularity), trying to "pray" in my mind. Or, rather, feeling the urge to say grace before I eat and other stuff I used to do. The thing is, they had stopped meaning much, even when I was religious, so now I have no problem seeing them for what they are - OCD compulsions. So I laugh at myself, shake my head and move on. At least I stopped the whole nonsense with the sign of the cross in its tracks (that had turned into a compulsion of its own, and a darn difficult to rid of one at that).

EDIT: But yeah, the desire to pray at difficult times persists for a while. To me it's not a sign of doubt, so much as it is a ritual (hence the OCD side of it in my case), a superstition that helps you calm down (which is what all superstitions do). I've recently had several serious health problems in my family and I'm proud to say that I didn't feel the urge to resort to praying. But I've been an atheist for longer than you. I say, if it helps calm you down, go for it, at least for the time being.

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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30-11-2012, 03:00 AM
RE: When (if ever) did you stop praying?
After I had finally stopped believing...just in case...I spent a few weeks intentionally praying for God to open the skies and prove that he exists etc...I made a deal that if he didn't, then it was goodbye...then after a few weeks I told Him it had been good knowing him and that I was leaving. That was about 6 months ago, haven't prayed since then and don't see any reason to. Whenever my Christian friends and family pray, I now just see it as them trying to care and love in the way they know best.
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30-11-2012, 03:04 AM
RE: When (if ever) did you stop praying?
(30-11-2012 03:00 AM)amav.eram Wrote:  After I had finally stopped believing...just in case...I spent a few weeks intentionally praying for God to open the skies and prove that he exists etc...I made a deal that if he didn't, then it was goodbye...then after a few weeks I told Him it had been good knowing him and that I was leaving. That was about 6 months ago, haven't prayed since then and don't see any reason to. Whenever my Christian friends and family pray, I now just see it as them trying to care and love in the way they know best.
Oh, I prayed to god to not let me lose my faith for quite some time. (I'm obviously a stubborn - and slow on the uptake - b**ch). I think that's how it turned into a meaningless compulsion. For which I thank him Laughat

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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30-11-2012, 04:16 AM
RE: When (if ever) did you stop praying?
stopped praying after my mother died...

my prayers were ignored.. so .. what was the point.. God was a lie.. Jesus was a lie.. fuck them..
and those fucking assholes have the nerve to say .. " it's God's way of testing my faith.." test my faith by killing my mother....... really? REALLY? feed that bullshit to me?

Fuck you.


....... ya know.. a bit of advise to this supposed God that might or might not exist.... you don't gain love from your children by beating on them... they hate you in the end.... ..... dick.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -- Voltaire
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