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How do you respond when a loved one asks you to pray for them? This is an actual group text from my sister to me and my siblings asking us to pray for her husband.

Hi there, I want you all to know that Chris has been experiencing health issues with his lung and now possibly with his heart. Thursday he is having a procedure to find out more. Please pray for a positive outcome. I love you all.

Shelton 8 Sep 17

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I would say I will be holding you close in my heart.


"I'm sorry to hear that. Keep me updated." Then you don't have to lie. If you're close enough, I'd throw in a "let me know if there's anything I can do" as well.

Remi Level 7 Sep 17, 2018

I would ask if there was anything I could actually do to help. Such as, clean their house, do laundry, make a meal, visit the hospital?

That's a great response...I'll have to remember that...good thinking.

@phoenixone1 Thank you

Yes, that's perfect.

@JimG thank you, Jim.

@Donotbelieve 😉


Just had the same situation with a friend having some medical troubles. She asked that I keep her in my thoughts even though I don't believe. So I said yes and keep the follow-up messages coming on a regular basis.

If you want someone to believe that they don't need god, show don't tell. There is no excuse for trying to turn someone's grief into an opportunity to convert. That's the way religion preys on people and you have to be better than that.

Excellent point...


Call her. Check in and let her know you hope it all goes well. No need to mention prayer.


Say something along the lines of "you're in my thoughts". That's what I do.

This response works very well also.


I would just say sure thing. It doesn't seem like this would be a situation where it is prudent or necessary or sensitive to make an issue of differing beliefs.


I just tell them I'm thinking about them and maybe send good wishes.

lerlo Level 8 Sep 17, 2018

I always say, "sending love and light."


If it isn't a direct conversation with me I ignore it. Otherwise I tell people flat out that I don't pray.


It’s just a plea for support. We don’t have to get caught up in what we think someone means by it. I always say “ sending vibes” . Just so the person is aware of the support. I don’t have any conversation in my head that “ I don’t pray so I can’t support the request or I will support them but not like that.


I would say I'm thinking of them. Which is true. I don't pray.


I ignore the prayer part. It's not the time to make a stink. Say that you are sorry about the health issues. You hope for the best for them. They are in your thoughts.


For me, if faced with this, the reply would be 'He's in my thoughts'. It shows I care and it isn't confrontational in any way 🙂


I do not respond. They were not requesting a response.


I just went through this recently. I told the truth. I said, "I don't pray. But, I will
keep good thoughts for you, which is the exact same thing."
I'm not really sure how the other person felt about it, but they haven't asked
me to do it since.

I do not have to respect religious beliefs, but I can still respect the individual.
That is also a two-way street. If you want respect, you have to give it, too.
You can't expect anyone else to respect your (general) religious beliefs, if you
are unwilling to respect that others may not share them, or believe anything.


I just say okay and send a positive intention out into the universe, hoping for the best for them. It doesn’t matter that I don’t believe.


I usually say that I hope the doctors are amazing and are able to help.


I don't think one has to assert themselves at that point. As others have suggested, one can provide support in such a situation without betraying themselves: He is in my thoughts, I remain hopeful, wishing him only the best in care. I've experienced even being in a prayer circle. While I bowed my head, I was thinking about my "to do" list for the day. The religious or religion controls your mind only if you let them or it.


i have been asked for prayers, not by family but by friends. i always say "i don't pray, but i will be thinking about you, and i hope for the very best."



When this happens, in my mind, I just replace the word 'prayer' with 'think positive thoughts for....' As these sorts of events are not the time for dialetics... And say something like, 'Hi (insert name). Hoping for the best for (insert name). I'm here if you need me.'


I respond with "He will be in my thoughts."

Deb57 Level 8 Sep 26, 2018

Sometimes, if the request was due to a medical procedure, I will follow up afterwards with my hope that all went well. That's the beauty of genuine concern as apposed to just responding with "Praying." I can prove they really have been in my thoughts.


I usually say "healing thoughts coming your way" and "good juju".


All of my best thoughts and wishes are headed your way.


I really don’t understand why this is considered “silly request” by some. It’s ok if they want to believe in something, just like it’s ok for us to not to believe.

I’d say “I’ll keep you in my thoughts and please let me know if there’s anything I can do. I’m here for you and Chris, love you both” if I had a family/siblings. I hope Chris will get well soon!

And to anyone else... Just because we are different shouldn’t mean we should turn our back to each other’s that don’t think like us. And this is not straight to you Shelton - I read your additional comments and keep it your way... but some of the comments here... smh... really people? Is being an asshole to someone when they most need love and support taught by your family or is it just in your nature? Yeah we don’t believe in the same thing but rubbing it in someone’s face when they’re mentally/emotionally broken is just straight assholism.


I would just respond that "I'm thinking of you in this difficult time".

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