"I'll Pray for You"

Below is a sampling of possible response options sent in by Brights. Look over the listings and select your favorite(s) to use. Variations in nonverbal communication could vary the meaning considerably.

Note: The replies are only loosely categorized. A contributor's name appears if the suggested reply was a single instance. Absence of a name indicates receipt of multiple suggestions (along much the same lines).

Simplest positive

(reception of / gratitude for kind intent)

  • It is a comfort that you will be thinking of me.
  • That’s reassuring, thanks.
  • Thank you for thinking of me.
  • Thank you, it is nice to know that.
  • Thank you for your good wishes.
  • (smiling) Please do. I'm flattered. (Marvin)
  • Thanks. I appreciate you are keeping me in your thoughts. (Dustin)

Reciprocity

(return of good wishes)

  • I wish you the best as well.
  • All the best to you!
  • The general affection is mutual.
  • Sending our love and good thoughts your way.
  • And I also wish you well. (Linda)
  • I'll/we'll keep you in our thoughts and hearts. (Bill)

A gentle rebuff

("but" = evaluative judgment)

  • Ohhhhkayyyy (puckered lips and hesitation)
  • Uhhhhh…okay
  • Thank you, but that won't be necessary.
  • Thanks, but I can handle this on my own.
  • Fine, but I'm not religious at all.
  • Very sweet of you, but not necessary. (Gerard)
  • Thank you, John, but you know I'm a bright. (Tony)
  • Thank you-but actually I'm an atheist. (Reginald)

Slightly edifying, or somewhat “corrective”

  • Thanks for the lovely intent!
  • Thank you; the human mind is a powerful tool. (Jeff)
  • There could be some use in thinking positively. (Lania)
  • …and I hope that does you some good! (John)
  • Sorry, I don't believe in spells. (Gregory)
  • ...and may self-honesty be your creed. (Graham)
  • You know, I wish more [people] would study the work of Joseph Campbell

Humor/Left Field

(perhaps best accompanied by a chuckle; listed here without attribution)

  • You are not praying hard enough. Pray harder because it's not working.
  • "Oh, please don't! If there's anyone up there, I really don't want to draw his attention!"
  • I wouldn't tell God what to do, if you know what's good for you....
  • Thanks, but I think God is busy helping sports celebrities win important games right now.
  • Thanks. And may Vishnu give you four thumbs up on his tenth descent!
  • YUCK!! Get it off me! It buuuuuurrrrrrrrrnnnnnnnssssss!!" (And then I go wash.)
  • Not necessary, but would you ask Him to spare 50,000 volts for Donald Trump's hair?

Barbed Responses

Some folks turn away from friendliness, even from cordiality, when acknowledging the “praying for you” message. They take the route of being testy, perhaps even brazen, in their replies, and abandon a civil demeanor. Responses such as (“And I’ll think for you,” “Please, don’t waste your time,” and “Instead of praying, why not do something useful”) are examples of ways to get across rather clearly that one places no value in the efficacy of offered prayers. However, given limited resources at Brights’ Central, such replies are not seen as helpful to the aim of the Toolbox - offering assistance to Brights who are earnestly seeking ways to interact in fruitful ways with their fellow citizens.

Comments on the "I'll Pray for You" Subject

My response would be “It is a comfort that you will be thinking of me”. I have in fact been touched by Christians saying prayers for me, not because a god might answer them but because it is a sign of their concern for me.

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