File this under, questions I get asked a lot. For non-religious, but well meaning people like Humanists, the question is, how to respond to well meaning religious people who say religious things that don't make sense to an atheist.
In this case, the question is, how to respond when someone says, "I'll pray for you."
First - let me refer you to a post from 2014 - where I address the problem of "forced" prayer. https://sumogirl.com/sumowp/advice-group-prayer/
And this - also from 2014 - http://humanisthappiness.blogspot.com/2014/11/my-heart-is-with-you.html
This one from 2009 - http://humanisthappiness.blogspot.com/2009/08/ill-pray-for-you.html
As I said, this comes up. A lot. It's an ongoing problem.
Now for the question I was asked. And yes, I do accept questions you want me to answer and give you feedback on. Just be aware, it will be turned into a blog post though I will change names to protect the innocent when I do so.
I would love it if you would address this concern in your messages sometime...
I am surrounded by friends who are quite religious, who pray a lot and study their Bibles a lot. They talk about it quite a bit and I am not pushy about my beliefs... no problem. BUT when someone sends a text to the group about an illness in the family (for example) my friends start texting comments like: "I'll keep you in my prayers." And when they get better some of them take credit for the healing. BUT my question - I need a response that sounds caring but isn't a lie. I can't honestly say I'll pray for them since I don't believe it does a bit of good. However, I think knowing friends are praying for you is comforting in itself. Any way... if you can give ideas of a humanist way to respond to such texts, or in person, I'd be grateful.
If there's a class that you have that addresses this question, let me know and I'll take it! I am on your mailing list and enjoy reading your posts. B. R. - Retired Elementary Teacher and ex-Presbyterian current-Humanist
I’ve never had anyone get mad that I’m not praying for them. As you said, it's comforting for people to know you care and are in solidarity with them. So, I tend to say, I’ll keep you in my thoughts and I hope you get better soon.
And alternate is - I'm so sorry this is happening. I'm hoping for the best for you. Or some variation on that.