Do we not see it all the time? The pious comments, ‘I am praying for you.’
Dear Christian/Religious/Spiritual/fill in the blanks,
I have read your texts if you are a Christian (and you are the one who is more likely to say this),
The bible tells you to pray for the sick, unbeliever, needy, hurting… But nowhere does the bible say TELL THEM YOU ARE PRAYING FOR THEM.
But you know someone does not believe, so you use your prayer like;
-a cheap/parting shot
-a guilt trip
-to goad them into a denial, an argument
-provoke a fight
-incite a reaction.
You are not being Christian. You are being
when you pray, know this, You are not doing it for me.
Even if you think you are doing it for me, you are doing it for you.
-to fulfil an obligation
-to weight in on my situaton in what you feel is the best way
-to make yourself feel good/better
-to make yourself feel responsive/reactive
-to give yourself hope
-probably to avoid doing something tangible or practical or real to help
But whatever your reasons, understand this, to me, you are not doing it for me.
Now, if you know I am an atheist and you decide to come and tell me you are praying for me, you are
and you do not sound sympathetic, you sound like an annoying person. A pharisee. Disrespectful. Vain. Vengeful.
If I am ill and you come to visit me with food, you will ask what I feel like eating. Not bring me your favorite food. That would mean the visit/gift was about you not me. If it truly is about me, you will find a way to comfort me without aggravating me in the process.
If you wanted to buy me a perfume for instance, you would buy me the kind you know I like or ask me, but you will not buy me exactly the kind you KNOW I DO NOT LIKE and yet feel i should be grateful. You can use it yourself. You cannot decide what you think is best for me, unless it isn’t about me.
So if you want to say something to make me feel good or show concern, but you, knowing fully well (there are those who do it innocently of course) come and mouth off on your religious mimicry to me, how really do you expect me to react? Be truly grateful? Bother with you? Appreciate the gesture?
When I was in the hospital, one day I was feeling especially scared and vulnerable and I was crying,.My sister Racheal, she held me and tried to comfort me. She said, ‘You see, I don’t know what to say to you now. If you were a believer, I would know what to say, I would know how to comfort you but now, I am at a loss.’
Let me tell you, that meant more to me than anything she would have said because it showed that even in her helplessness, she respected the fact that it was about me and if it was about me, she could not alienate me in the process, which is exactly what saying, ‘God will help you,’ would have done. She also fought hard to ensure that no religion was listed on my hospital records, even when the computer refused to acknowledge ‘Atheist.’ If I died tomorrow, she would fight to ensure that I was not buried as a Chriastian, even though she would be at a loss how to arrange a secular funeral. Did/would this hurt her? Yes. She is a practising Christian, but she showed me that if it is truly about me, she will respect my wishes. But would she pray for me in the privacy of her heart? Of course. But forcing your God down my throat is you trying to use my hand to masturbate and I will not allow it.
My Dad sent me a message and said he had committed me to God as I was going into the theatre. *shrug.*. He asked if I saw his text and I was like yeah, what did you want me to say?
Most people who say they are praying for you never have. They do it to
-get off on
-start a fight
-score a point
BUT HAVE THEY EVER REALLY
gone on their knees and prayed for you? Without rancour or judgement? But brimming over with love?
I know the people who truly pray for me. They don’t tell me. They just do it. But for them, it is a burden. They carry you and with love and with deep grieving of spirit, approach the mercy seat and make entreaty for you, make a case for you, break down and tear their hearts out, and then leave you be and trust that it will work. It shows in their dealings with you.
My baby sister, she was the person I most feared her finding out about my atheism. She is the most ‘godly’ person I know. But when i told her, I found out she already knew. Now, she didn’t bother to tell me she was praying for me, but i know as I know my name that she will never rest on the issue. But the love from her is overwhelming. Does this hurt me? yes. But she knows as I know that my life is my own.
The people who come and announce, even if they bothered, it would be asking God to turn me around to show how right they were. But I bet they never do. Their lives and Christianity starts and ends on Social media.
Don’t you say this isn’t true.
Once again, by all means, pray for me if you feel like it, if it helps you, if you believe. After all, my aunty recently took my picture to MFM to conduct a deliverance session or something for me when I was ill. Do I care? No. But do not inform me.
THE BIBLE DID NOT TELL YOU SO!!!