"Please pray for me."
Behind every requested, "Please pray for me" is deep human need that has little to do with the need for logic or "evidence" and more to do with one person reaching out to another in a time of trouble or impending loss. I would have no difficulty saying to a close friend who asks me to pray for them, "Of course I will - and I'm also here for you."
That said, it's another matter altogether if people feel the need to tell me they will pray for me. Depending on who they are, my reply could range from, "F off" to "Pray harder" to "Is the prayer meant to make you feel better or me?"
Thank you, steve2.
[. . . it has] more to do with one person reaching out to another in a time of trouble or impending loss.
Neither logic nor evidence is necessary -- good point.
In the OP I didn't mention that I asked, in return, my friend might pray for me and my family. We have a bond through a child I mentored and I sought camaraderie and sharing, which I could sense made her feel good.
Yeah, if someone offers to pray for me, I could wonder if I really appear so bad off. Oh well, take what help you can . . .
This is a fantastic thread as it's something that comes up often. By refusing to say we'll pray for someone, as agnostics or atheists, are we being like Lois Lanes father....letting our pride in our rightess get in the way of comforting a person in need? Or are ]we being hypocrites and taking the easy way out by saying yes to keep them happy, whilst in reality doing nothing?
For me, it depends on the circumstance and my relationship with the person. If I am very close to them I think I would take the time to explain my beliefs, but make sure I was there for them in body and spirit. If they were very Ill, or elderly, I would probably say to them I will do anything you ask and can I help practically too - that way allowing them to be comforted by the thought I will pray for them.
I'm sorry I'm so wishy washy Co Co, I guess Its just about putting the person first, and not letting ourselves be like the self righteous JW in LoisLanes example.
Thank you, Diogenesister, for a compassionate and Christ-like response.
Not wishy-washy at all. A different approach for a different circumstance. I simply cannot imagine Jesus being bound by petty man-made rules when giving physical and spiritual aid to needy, ailing sheep.
This isn't quite the same circumstance, but an elderly sister, of the other sheep class, told me how her feisty anointed mother handled one circumstance. Not one to brook any religious interfaith with her self-righteous Pentecostal brother, Mom refused to join in prayer with her brother at a bus depot diner. His aim, as usual, was to make a showy display of his piety. Her retort was that she wouldn't join in prayer with him because the food wasn't worth praying over.
Honest -- true story.
Mom refused to join in prayer with her brother at a bus depot diner. His aim, as usual, was to make a showy display of his piety. Her retort was that she wouldn't join in prayer with him because the food wasn't worth praying over.
A reminder - if any is needed - that "old school" JWs were noted for their blunt-faced arrogance and argumentativeness.
For those who think JW organization has gotten worse as time has passed, you really need to have spent time with the old school JWs and you'd be concluding today's breed are lily-livered and two-faced. I really don't know which is worse - but, at a pinch, I'd try to avoid both "types".
I believe in being as compassionate as I can be without compromising what I think is true. I don't pray it feels like begging a ruthless king not to kill you or torture your family and friends. However, I show my concern and offer my hopes for everything to turn out well. A lot of times you just can't make it right.
People asking you to pray for them don't need to know whether I believe in God or not, they only need to know I care, so I usually just say that I will keep them in my thoughts and hope for the best.
what LisaRose said:
They are asking because they are looking for comfort. My prayer may not be what they think prayer is. I was and still am comforted and very touched by nonJW's, I think usually Catholic, who tell me they will say a prayer for me or a loved one.
If they are older, or distressed, I just say "I will!" without going detail, and privately send positive thoughts.
In another circumstance, I would just say "Sending positive and healing thoughts your way."