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PandoraBoxx's avatar

When people say "I'll pray for you," do they actually do it?

Asked by PandoraBoxx (17946 points ) January 17th, 2010

Do people actually pray for others when they say they will? Does it really have any meaning, or is a way to convey empathy?

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25 Answers

Flo_Nightengale's avatar

I feel people have the intent do such a thing. Maybe sometimes they forget. Initially the intent is there and that would be good enough for me.

Axemusica's avatar

Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

haha, I never really thought of the saying as an option to imply empathy or any other reason. I don’t believe in prayer, so for someone to say such is entirely moot IMO.

janbb's avatar

I hope not!

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I don’t know if anyone prays for me or not. They say they do…I dunno. But I sure do for my friends & family. Some I single out when I go to bed at night,. There’s so many people I know who need prayers & help.

Sandydog's avatar

Maybe they should really say “I’ll be thinking about you”,prayer and thoughts to me are the same thing.

ucme's avatar

They’re obviously meaning well & that’s to their credit. Wouldn’t do any good anyway, we’re all in charge of our own destiny.

Zen_Again's avatar

Nope. It’s a figure of speech. I hope.

Brenna_o's avatar

I know many people who pray for people weather the person says they will pray or not (including myself). So many people now days are doing “wrong” stuff so he christians step up and pray for people if we feel led to… Well most of us do anyways..

simone54's avatar

Does it matter? It’s the idea that they are thinking of you when you need help. It doesn’t matter if they actually get on their knees and have pretend conversation with someone who isn’t really there.

Supacase's avatar

Not really. I usually say they are in my thoughts, but I know some very religious people who would so much rather hear that I will pray for them. My point is to let them know I care and I don’t think it is worth upsetting them with the details of how I do it.

Chikipi's avatar

I do when I say I will. I try to stick to my word. It might be a day or two later, but it’s better late than never.

scotsbloke's avatar

@simone54 I’m glad I wasnt the only person thinking that.

augustlan's avatar

Back when I was the praying kind, I did pray for specific people. I very rarely told them about it, though. Now that I’m no longer of that persuasion, I say I’m sending good thoughts and/or positive energy in their direction.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

No, I personally don’t think it matters, but I think people sometimes use it as a cop-out for doing something constructive or actually helpful. Sometimes there’s nothing they can do to help a situation, other times, it’s an avoidance tactic for becoming involved. Saying “Good luck with that” sounds like a bit of a smart-ass, but “I’ll pray for you” is really saying the same thing.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Whoa! So many negative answers.

ucme's avatar

@jbfletcherfan On the contrary, I did say that it would be a well meaning act. Negativity is relative, if I or anyone else chooses not to believe in prayer & therefore “god.” Then that for me is a positive act of intent.

Nullo's avatar

Some do, some don’t. I’d say that most of the people that say it mean it, though they may or may not follow through with it.

answerjill's avatar

I think it depends on the situation. I would not tell a non-religious person that I was praying for him or her. I would just say that they are in my thoughts. (If they are sick, I might add them to my prayers anyway, but I would not want them to feel like I was forcing some kind of religion down their throat.) If I am talking to a religious person who is sick or loves someone who is ill, for example, then I might tell him/her that I will give the name of the sick person when they say the “prayer for the sick” at synagogue.

ultimateego's avatar

people ask me to do it all the time. and do you know what i tell them? yes, you guessed correctly. i tell them NO

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Some do, some may not. Some people may be praying for you that never told you they started.

YARNLADY's avatar

My Aunt told me that just the mere act of saying “I’ll pray for you” is a prayer, in and of itself, and in addition to that most people who pray add a generic “to all who are in need” to their regular prayers.

mattbrowne's avatar

It’s a metaphor for: I do care about you and you are very important to me.

flo's avatar

I think if they say it too many people, they are not likely to mention everyone to God by name. They will probably say “Please God be good to all the people I told that I will pray for them”. I think like you said it is to convey sympathy more than anything.

Lorenita's avatar

I always do :)

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