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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.

By Shelton8
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I would say I will be holding you close in my heart.


Likely she just wants to share her worry with her loved ones? Give her a call now as well as Thursday to check on the results, I'd ignore the prayer request.

AmiSue Level 8 Sep 17, 2018

"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 smile009.gif


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.

GreatNani Level 8 Sep 17, 2018

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

This response works very well also.


Your family is in my thoughts. Have faith in the wisdom of the doctors.

Acseeley Level 5 Sep 17, 2018

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."

SukiSue Level 8 Sep 17, 2018

I always say, "sending love your way, and hoping for a speedy recovery."

Tecolote Level 7 Sep 17, 2018

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.


My experience is that people say things like that without a literal context. They want to make an announcement, and seek out positive thoughts, but in many cases use the term "pray" in a generic sense like we use "Kleenex" to mean all facial tissues. I was on a mailing list for fans of a certain band, and list members were always making such announcement with a request for "vibes". No difference. But I agree with Do Not Believe that and actual offer of supportive tasks is more meaningful.

Byrdsfan Level 8 Sep 17, 2018

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


I tell them to go towards the light and let natural selection do it’s part. They’ll never ask me to pray for them again.


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 smile001.gif

ipdg77 Level 8 Sep 17, 2018

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

Mooolah Level 8 Sep 17, 2018

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.

KKGator Level 9 Sep 17, 2018

I donno how to do it, but I can ask someone who can


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.

Kriptikos Level 6 Sep 17, 2018

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."


genessa Level 8 Sep 17, 2018

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.'

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