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Is praying for someone(even when it's not requested for you to do so) a "gift"?

Is prayer something that can be considered a gift you give to someone? And if so, does this mean that person is required to say thank you? OR does this mean the person can refuse said " gift"?

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sahmamax2

Asked by sahmamax2 at 7:39 PM on Dec. 27, 2012 in Religious Debate

Level 36 (83,053 Credits)
Answers (34)
  • Rude as hell and hardly a gift. Thank you for presuming to know what it is best for me and begging some deity to do it on my behalf without even giving me a say in the matter. Some present.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 12:33 AM on Dec. 28, 2012

  • I found myself in intensive care this summer. Just before they took me up to the ward, the woman who had the other bed in my room told me that she would pray for me. I am an atheist. I was deeply touched that this woman that I hardly knew would do this for me and, yes, I considered (and still do) a gift.
    winterglow

    Answer by winterglow at 4:57 AM on Dec. 28, 2012

  • I think it depends. Someone can pray for someone else and it be a sincere, respectful, honest gesture - like praying for sickness or praying for a safe journey. But usually when someone prays that way they don't make a show of it or anything.

    There's the other way, too, the condescending, showy way of it where people act like someone NEEDS prayer, and no, that's not a gift to anyone but a way to feed the ego of the one praying.

    Prayer is meant, IMO, to be something to build people up, to uplift others. I may have different beliefs about the results of prayer, like whether it would actually cause God to intervene in something, but I do feel that prayer IS meant to be considerate, and not arrogant or belittling, etc.
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 9:45 AM on Dec. 28, 2012

  • For example, my opinion is that I can accept well wishes and support from anyone of any faith, no matter how they word it, as long as I know it's genuinely intended. Lighting a candle, saying a prayer, just wishing well, etc, etc, I can respect all of it and appreciate it as long as I know the one offering the encouragement is being respectful. But I can also be put off by prayers or words of those even within my own faith if I know that the person is being condescending or saying it as a put down instead of an encouragement.
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 9:48 AM on Dec. 28, 2012

  • Ahh, I miss the question a little. I'm not sure it's a gift so much. Perhaps in a way, if you know that your words brought them peace or comfort. But especially if they don't even know about it, no, I wouldn't really say...
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 9:50 AM on Dec. 28, 2012

  • Just before they took me up to the ward, the woman who had the other bed in my room told me that she would pray for me. I am an atheist. I was deeply touched that this woman that I hardly knew would do this for me and, yes, I considered (and still do) a gift.
    *****************
    in that situation I would find it to be very thoughtful as well. A gift? Not so much though, IMO.
    sahmamax2

    Comment by sahmamax2 (original poster) at 10:41 AM on Dec. 28, 2012

  • MamaK88

    Answer by MamaK88 at 11:04 AM on Dec. 28, 2012

  • MamaK88

    Answer by MamaK88 at 11:08 AM on Dec. 28, 2012

  • I understand that some people do genuinely, deeply believe that prayer does good. Some of my friends believe this - I know these women very well, and I know that when they say "I'll pray for you" it's not a "I want to look like a good person without actually doing anything" trick. They really do believe that their prayer will help me (or whoever) and they choose to tell me of their prayer because they hope it will give me hope or make me feel better (even though they know I don't believe.. they hope it will help). So I do say "thank you" - it's a kindness that deserves my kindness in return.

    But is this kind of prayer a "gift"? Well yes, but only in the same way that a warm hug when you are sad can be a gift.
    Sebbiemama

    Answer by Sebbiemama at 3:26 PM on Dec. 28, 2012

  • Is it a gift? No. An act of kindness? Maybe. But even then, I find it to be a bit presumptuous to think the person receiving the prayer will be grateful. It could, in some religions, be seen as very disrespectful.
    anime_mom619

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 5:24 PM on Dec. 28, 2012

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