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I'll pray for you (2) Thu, Jun 30, 2005
I've been noticing this sneaky little insult coming up among Christians.  When they see someone doing something sinful, they say, "I'll pray for you."  But it usually comes out with a tone that implies that prayer is the only thing that could possibly help the person, since they're otherwise totally helpless.  The Christian answer to this is that yes, of course prayer is the only thing that can help people; people are otherwise helpless on their own.  But that's not what I'm talking about.  This statement usually comes after they see something terrible that's out of their control and they say it sort of as an insult.  Or maybe they don't mean it that way.  But that's definitely how the receiver takes it.  I saw it at a Bible study once.  A guy was saying how he didn't really feel the need to go to church, and another person spouted out, "I'll pray for you."  That guy never came to the Bible study again.  And I saw it at the Billy Graham crusade as I was walking past the protesters holding signs that spoke out against Billy.  A guy in the crowd yelled out "I'll pray for you" as he walked by.  But he didn't mean it in a nice way.  He meant, "You're obviously wrong even though you don't realize it, so I'll pray that God will open your eyes to your error."  I'm sure the guy holding the sign wasn't too happy that somebody would be praying for him. #religion

Comments:
Jessica Sat, Jan 27, 2007
I completely agree with you. I'm often talking about these things on my blog. I accidently deleted it though :( But nevertheless I do have it still going.

computerguycj Fri, May 11, 2007
I very recently de-converted from Christianity after being a believer for over 20 years, so I can see both sides of this issue. As a Christian I not only heard others misuse "I'll pray for you", but I also misused it myself. To the Christian "I'll pray for you" is often a sign of support and encouragement, but depending on the circumstances it can even seem insensitive or degrading to believers. To the non-believer it is almost always seen as an insensitive and degrading comment. It also can display to the non-believer that you are a shallow and/or ignorant individual. I, of course, understand that the intention of phrase is generally not meant to be negative, but I am the exception to the rule among non-believers. Saying nothing at all is much better than saying "I'll pray for you" if your intent is to show a non-believer God's love.


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