Is it okay to say I'm praying for someone? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 82 Old 12-15-2005, 12:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Red
Being respectful of others doesn't mean denying yourself. It's fine for you to pray for somone's health or probelms! I pray to my God or Goddess, you to yours.


I'd love to have a diverse group of people saying prayers for me! After all, someone is bound ot be right!

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#62 of 82 Old 12-15-2005, 01:11 AM
 
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" I'd love to have a diverse group of people saying prayers for me! After all, someone is bound ot be right!"

Sorry, gotta disagree with you there.
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#63 of 82 Old 12-15-2005, 01:16 AM
 
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Interesting topic and responses!

I believe in God, believe the 10 commandments are pretty sound, and think Jesus was a wise, good man. I think I could find things I like in any religion, as well as things I do not agree with. So, I don't consider myself Christian or anything. I like the idea of "One truth, many paths." I also explored Wicca and saw a lot of similarities (the praying) to Catholisism (which made my mom so mad!!!). One thing that stuck with me from Wicca, though, was the idea of "For the good of all and according to the free will of all." So, I no longer send good vibes/pray/meditate for something specific.

For me, the hardest posts to respond to are the ones in which someone has lost a child. Because really, there are NO WORDS. I wish I could just reach through the screen and sit there with the mamas and hug them, day and night. Anyway, those are the ones I started using "praying" for. I couldn't just say "think." But, I'm always wondering if I will offend the person by saying "praying," or coming across as cold for saying "thinking."

I did have someone (a co-worker) tell me that I was going to hell. My ex-BF (a Buddhist) actually married someone who thinks he's going to hell. Hmm. It does not offend me. It actually makes me feel sorry for those people, to have such a burden of thinking that their loved/liked ones are going to hell. I saw someone's blog in which they wrote that they were at a funeral service, and decided to hold their tongue in saying that the deceased probably went to hell (since the deceased was Catholic). But, the person also felt bad because it was a missed opportunity to convert people. Interesting.

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#64 of 82 Old 12-15-2005, 01:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Red
Being respectful of others doesn't mean denying yourself. It's fine for you to pray for somone's health or probelms! I pray to my God or Goddess, you to yours.
But what is your intention in telling an atheist that you are praying for them because of some problem or sorrow they have? Are you attempting to make them feel better or just yourself?
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#65 of 82 Old 12-15-2005, 01:38 AM
 
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Miz: I think just having someone acknowledge your loss, especially if you've had a miscarriage or stillborn, is better then nothing at all. So many people are uncomfortable with death or don't think that a pregnancy loss is the same as the loss of a grown child, that it's more hurtful to have people ignore your loss then say they're thinking of you.

And I also have experienced being told I'm going to hell for my non-belief, it's hurtful. Obviously I don't believe in hell but when it's said I always get the impression that they're saying "neener neener, I'm going somewhere great when I die and you're going to burn for not agreeing with me." I was even told this by my ex-best friend when i pressed her after she told me she thought her mormon friend was going to hell for not being a baptist like she was I've also had relatives tell me that my grandma who is the sweetest lady I know, was going to hell because she's agnostic. It's very hurtful and insulting. Especially since their own beliefs say they aren't the judge of who goes to hell and who doesn't but their god is.
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#66 of 82 Old 12-15-2005, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, some great responses here. I love MDC :

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This also got me to thinking, many people said they wouldn't mind if someone lit a candle etc. But how about if someone told you they were going to cast a magical spell for you? Or they were going to perform a ritual that included drawing a pentagram on the floor and chanting?
Personally...I'd love that. To me, prayers, thoughts, good wishes, spells...they are all good and caring, no matter how they are manifested (so long as they are GOOD prayers--I agree the "you are going to hell so I'm going to pray for your conversion" prayers are obnoxious and disrespectful).

Nankay, I see your point, but in my mind, if you are hurting and I say I'll pray for you, wouldn't it mean I'll think of you and send good vibes? Since you don't believe in prayer, wouldn't they just be caring thoughts at that point? At the same time, this is a message board. Here, I'm going to share good wishes because that's all I can do. If I know you IRL, I'm more likely to make you a casserole, and maybe say a little prayer while I'm baking If I know someone is atheist or agnostic or for whatever reason doesn't believe in prayer, I probably will say I'll keep them in my thoughts. But most of the time here I don't know.

I'm so glad I've never experienced the "you are going to hell" stuff. I know my closest friend in grade school's parents disliked me partially because I'm Catholic (they are born again) but at least they never told me I was going to hell. Ugh...how nasty.

Mom to Liz (14) and Dillon (3) and Mitchell FINALLY born 7/11/10!
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#67 of 82 Old 12-15-2005, 12:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wednesday
I am an atheist and pretty touchy about religion, as it happens, but "I'll pray for you" has never bothered me.

The exception is when the person means they are praying for me to repent or find jesus or whatever. That is a little offensive. But if they mean they are praying for me because of illness or other difficult circumstances, hey, go for it. I take it as, "I'll be thinking of you."
Seconding what she said. If it's meant in a nice, positive-thoughts way, that's how I'll take it. But if the person is saying it in a patronizing, "you're-going-to-hell" way, I'm going to be offended.
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#68 of 82 Old 12-15-2005, 12:42 PM
 
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Case in point: I have an interview today, it's life altering and terrifying for me. Because of our economic situation, I am stressed beyond my limit.

My mother emails me a bible saying and "Powerful thoughts and prayers today for your interview." It's just like her Christmas gifts to me. She figures out what she would like for herself and gives it to me. Now, she quotes the bible, which I have an extremely low opinion of, and she says she'll pray for me.

Obviously, most people here pray and have no understanding why my mother's lack of empathy at this moment is disturbing to me rather than comforting. No one will address the issue that saying your praying for an atheist is meant to comfort yourself, not the atheist.
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#69 of 82 Old 12-15-2005, 12:57 PM
 
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Oh I understand on a message board you can't bake a casserole..LOL and I do recognized the good intentions..I really do. I know you mean well and all...BUT that being said it still bugs me. What can I say?
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#70 of 82 Old 12-15-2005, 01:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kirsten
... She also prays we'll not hit traffic on our way home, or for me to do well on my college finals (years ago) - to me, that is offensive too. My thought on it is that if there IS a god, praying for light traffic is like prayer spam. Do you really want to fill up god's in box with crap like that?? ...
LOL at the prayer spam...I've often thought that too. That's like when our swim team used to pray we'd do well at a meet. Um, how about we just do well 'cause we worked hard? And doesn't "influencing" the meet through prayer kind of take away free will?

edit: Now I'm reminded of a SNL or MadTV sketch where a reporter is interviewing a losing basketball team. The reporter says, "What went wrong tonight?"
The player goes, "Well, that team was HOGGING JESUS!"
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#71 of 82 Old 12-15-2005, 03:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FreeThinkinMama
This also got me to thinking, many people said they wouldn't mind if someone lit a candle etc. But how about if someone told you they were going to cast a magical spell for you? Or they were going to perform a ritual that included drawing a pentagram on the floor and chanting?
I'd be happy that they were trying to help me in their own way and were thinking of me/my family. They can draw whatever they like on the ground, chant, paint themselves, make potions light candles, whatever. As long as they're not trying to get me to do it or harming anyone else in doing so, and their intentions are good, then I'd be happy.

By "good intentions" I mean if they were praying for my cousin Brian in Iraq, and their prayer included that they hoped that violence on the US's part would prevent violence on Iraqs part, thus "saving" my cousin, then I would be highly offended and disgusted. Or if someone were applying for a job and did a spell so that another employee got fired or ill in order for that to be possible, same thing.

Kelly

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#72 of 82 Old 12-15-2005, 03:34 PM
 
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I'm glad this thread was started. I won't use "praying" anymore because I wouldn't want to risk offending someone-- esp. at a rough time in that person's life.

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#73 of 82 Old 12-15-2005, 05:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RubyWild
Case in point: I have an interview today, it's life altering and terrifying for me. Because of our economic situation, I am stressed beyond my limit.

My mother emails me a bible saying and "Powerful thoughts and prayers today for your interview." It's just like her Christmas gifts to me. She figures out what she would like for herself and gives it to me. Now, she quotes the bible, which I have an extremely low opinion of, and she says she'll pray for me.

Obviously, most people here pray and have no understanding why my mother's lack of empathy at this moment is disturbing to me rather than comforting. No one will address the issue that saying your praying for an atheist is meant to comfort yourself, not the atheist.
I understand.

I recently miscarried, and many, many people told me that I was in their prayers. I actually appreciated that--was ok with that.

BUT--one person from work (who knows I am not Christian) gave me a card in which he copied 4 (four!) bible verses relating to babies' souls being "saved" from the womb, and then included his own comments about how I would see my baby in heaven. This was very, very upsetting to me. I am emotionally raw right now, and I don't know what I believe about this baby (did it have a soul? will it's soul be present in a future baby?)--I am trying to sort that out in a way that has meaning to me--and to have his beliefs thrust upon me (even though I know he meant it to be thoughful and comforting) was traumatic.
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#74 of 82 Old 12-15-2005, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by RubyWild
Case in point: I have an interview today, it's life altering and terrifying for me. Because of our economic situation, I am stressed beyond my limit.

My mother emails me a bible saying and "Powerful thoughts and prayers today for your interview." It's just like her Christmas gifts to me. She figures out what she would like for herself and gives it to me. Now, she quotes the bible, which I have an extremely low opinion of, and she says she'll pray for me.

Obviously, most people here pray and have no understanding why my mother's lack of empathy at this moment is disturbing to me rather than comforting. No one will address the issue that saying your praying for an atheist is meant to comfort yourself, not the atheist.
If I know someone is an atheist, I don't think I would say I'm praying for them. It would feel weird and fake and kind of mean. I do think your mom is being disrespectful. I'm more thinking of here, not IRL. I'm asking an honest question, not attacking you personally, because I'm truly wanting to respect you and not be offensive or be perceived as intolerant. And I'm actually wanting to comfort the person who needs it. If I want comfort for myself, I can pray for me.

If I had no idea you were an atheist, and you said you were having a rough time, and I replied that I hoped everything would get better soon and that I was praying for you, would you be offended? Because if you would, then that's something I wouldn't want to do, and in that case I don't want to do here at all unless I happen to know the person is Christian or if they specifically ask for prayers.

I agree with Miz...I would feel terrible if I offended or hurt someone, especially at a trying time in their life. If me saying on MDC that I'm praying for someone would hurt or upset them, I'm not going to do it.

Thank you And I really hope your interview went (goes?) well! :

Mom to Liz (14) and Dillon (3) and Mitchell FINALLY born 7/11/10!
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#75 of 82 Old 12-15-2005, 06:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rebeccalizzie
That's exactly what it would be--a brief prayer for support or caring. I don't think I necessarily have the direct hotline to the great beyond (don't I wish ), so I wouldn't ever pray for anyone to change their personal beliefs. I just want to make sure whoever I said it to wouldn't feel disrespected.

If I do put it in one of my messages, I'll just make sure I clarify my meaning.

Thanks again!

So, f you don't think you have a "direct hotline" so to speak, why pray?
I am a Christian, so just take this as a challenge to your faith Said in love. The Bible says we are to come bodly before the throne of grace.....

I am a christian, and I believe I have access through prayer to all good things God has for me. I believe He hears me, and answers.
I also think you need to be discerning when saying you are praying for someone, yet not to the point of being so afraid of what they will think when you say it.

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#76 of 82 Old 12-15-2005, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Leilalu
So, f you don't think you have a "direct hotline" so to speak, why pray?
I am a Christian, so just take this as a challenge to your faith Said in love. The Bible says we are to come bodly before the throne of grace.....

I am a christian, and I believe I have access through prayer to all good things God has for me. I believe He hears me, and answers.
I also think you need to be discerning when saying you are praying for someone, yet not to the point of being so afraid of what they will think when you say it.
When I said I don't think I have a direct hotline, I meant I don't think my faith is or should be the only faith for everyone. I do *think* my prayers are heard by God, but I think there is a chance I'm wrong, and the one true religion is Buddhism or something totally different. I figure if I approach everyone in a spirit of love and tolerance, and respect everyone else's beliefs, maybe Buddha or whoever will look more kindly on me for being in the wrong religion. I really hope that makes sense...I can't seem to explain it.

I also think many Christians tend to not worry or care about anyone else's beliefs. Since everyone else is "wrong", who cares what they think? So I'd rather go overboard being over-respectful, because I feel like I have to over compensate for all the disrespectful "I'm praying for you because you are going to hell" Christians.

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#77 of 82 Old 12-16-2005, 07:16 PM
 
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Well, I think you have a very differnt veiw of Christianity than what the Bible says. I don't know what you really mean by not caring about others beliefs. I care about others, and their beliefs, and I believe in Heaven and Hell.I don't hate anyone. Jesus didn't, but that doesn't mean I agree with everyone.Jesus went around all the time offending religious folk. I have certain beleifs , according to the what the Bible says. You have to pick what you beleive and stick to it. Being wish-washy in any faith will get you nowhere.You will forever be at a standstill and not progress in your faith in which you believe. I say, if you are going to do something, go for it with everything you have.Including faith. It seems like you want to please others. I say, worry about yourself in this case, and find out for sure.
Why believe in something you are not certain of?
Why not find out for sure?

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#78 of 82 Old 12-17-2005, 02:21 AM
 
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Intent speaks volumes to me, so no, I would not be offended if I were sharing my sadness/troubles and you offered prayers. And I think it's very thoughtful of you to ask.

I also totally get what others' are saying about being offered prayers when there's no question about what you think of praying. The examples I'm seeing here sound like passive aggressive behaviour, to me. (sunnmama... I'm so sorry for your loss. And how absolutely horrible that your co-worker would do that to you!)

Leilalu... I know this is a digression from the point of the thread, but I don't see how choosing the path of following Christ while being open to the possibility that it's not the only truth out there is a problem. Sounds pretty enlightened, to me. And how exactly is she supposed to 'find out for sure'? I figure none of us are getting that 'a-ha!' moment until after we're dead.

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#79 of 82 Old 12-17-2005, 05:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rebeccalizzie
If I had no idea you were an atheist, and you said you were having a rough time, and I replied that I hoped everything would get better soon and that I was praying for you, would you be offended?
I'm not sure. I don't think I'd be offended. No. I don't think so, but I wouldn't feel comforted. I'd feel like I was even more separate from that person because of their assumption that doesn't fit me.
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#80 of 82 Old 12-17-2005, 05:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sunnmama
I understand.

I recently miscarried, and many, many people told me that I was in their prayers. I actually appreciated that--was ok with that.

BUT--one person from work (who knows I am not Christian) gave me a card in which he copied 4 (four!) bible verses relating to babies' souls being "saved" from the womb, and then included his own comments about how I would see my baby in heaven. This was very, very upsetting to me. I am emotionally raw right now, and I don't know what I believe about this baby (did it have a soul? will it's soul be present in a future baby?)--I am trying to sort that out in a way that has meaning to me--and to have his beliefs thrust upon me (even though I know he meant it to be thoughful and comforting) was traumatic.
Oh, I'm sorry for all of that. What a hard thing to go through. Your post is meaningful to me because you said that you understood and I see that you really do.
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#81 of 82 Old 12-17-2005, 06:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KoalaMama
Intent speaks volumes to me, so no, I would not be offended if I were sharing my sadness/troubles and you offered prayers. And I think it's very thoughtful of you to ask.

I also totally get what others' are saying about being offered prayers when there's no question about what you think of praying. The examples I'm seeing here sound like passive aggressive behaviour, to me. (sunnmama... I'm so sorry for your loss. And how absolutely horrible that your co-worker would do that to you!)

Leilalu... I know this is a digression from the point of the thread, but I don't see how choosing the path of following Christ while being open to the possibility that it's not the only truth out there is a problem. Sounds pretty enlightened, to me. And how exactly is she supposed to 'find out for sure'? I figure none of us are getting that 'a-ha!' moment until after we're dead.
You can find truth in many places. Some buddhist teachings have a volume of truth. One thing though, Buddha never gauranteed eternal life if you follow his teachings. Only Jesus has been able to gaurantee that. I have assurance in my beliefs through Faith. I know ahead of time that I have eternal life. And I am confident in my beliefs.So I guess I disagree that one can't ever really know for sure I agree, finding truth in different things can be enlightening. But Jesus said he was The Way, the Truth, and the Life. So I tend to trust his teachings in the word.

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#82 of 82 Old 12-17-2005, 09:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Leilalu
...But Jesus said he was The Way, the Truth, and the Life. So I tend to trust his teachings in the word.
Pretty much all of the religions say that about themselves.
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