How To Pray If You’re An Atheist

Even though I am questioning everything I ever thought I knew about God, I am having trouble letting go of the idea that there is some kind of power in prayer. Maybe there is a God, maybe there isn’t. I don’t know. I have had many, many prayers that it seemed were never answered (or were answered “No” which I do not think makes sense). However, I have seen positive things happen after prayer. Maybe they would have happened anyway. Or, maybe there is a power in thinking and feeling and believing in a certain direction. I googled “prayer for atheists” just to see what was out there. Of course, I found hundreds of well-meaning (I hope) prayers written for Christians to pray for their poor sad atheist loved ones. And I found this post, a port in a storm, an oasis in the desert. While it has its detractors in the comments, I find it to be very helpful, if for no other reason than to confirm what I feel: something is going on when we spill it honestly. Regardless of where I end up, I don’t need to apologize to anyone for holding onto something called prayer.

http://thoughtcatalog.com/jerry-dewitt/2013/07/how-to-pray-if-youre-an-atheist/

Thought Catalog

My mother just called to give me some very bad news — a young relative had died early this morning. He was a man whose entire life was one series of life-threatening situations after another. He was born with severe birth defects. So, although his untimely death came as no real surprise, it was still shocking and heartbreaking to our family. He had overcome so many seemingly impossible health challenges that one more “medical miracle” didn’t seem out of the question.

For over twenty-five years I faced similar soul-shattering scenarios, but I had always believed that my relationship with God and my communications with him (through prayer) would carry us through any situation, no matter how painful.

But then I became an atheist.

So what does an ex-believer do when praying to a God you no longer believe in is not an option?

Admittedly, even though “nothing fails like prayer”…

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One thought on “How To Pray If You’re An Atheist

  1. Even though I believe there is some sort of god out there I do not believe that prayer changes anything. And I don’t believe that it is faith or lack of faith. When my mom was actively dying she was 100% convinced that she would receive a healing. She was in palliative care at this point and was going to die there. Up until the tumors blocked her stomach and the nurses shoved a tube down her throat and then drugged her to unconsciousness she thought she was going to be healed. Yes. Prayer and faith don’t work. Am I bitter? You bet I am.

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