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“I’ll Pray for You”

Not to long ago, I had a pretty lengthy conversation with a Christian that I had met. The conversation was going pretty well and we were both enjoying the discussion. I had thought that I had finally gotten him to understand that he really shouldn’t be trying to convert everyone he meets. It is intolerant and rude. So here we were at the end of this conversation and as he was walking away, he turned to me and said, “I’ll pray for you.”

With those four words, he just reversed all the progress that I though he had made. While I understand that he meant that was a good bye greeting, it actually is a pretty intolerant and rude statement. Did it “offend” me?  No, it disappointed me. Even though he could not convince me of his supernatural world using the tools of reason and logic, he wishes to take an “action” that he believes will force me to agree with him. While I don’t think God exists and I don’t think his prayer will do anything at all, he desire is still there.

To him, prayer is an action even though in reality the action doesn’t actually do anything except convince the person praying that they are doing something. Nevertheless, he believed that he was taking an action to force me to believe.

At the beginning of our discussion, he expressed the opinion that beliefs can and will be forced upon the unbeliever. He quoted Romans 14:11 “For it is written, [As] I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” I had thought that our discussion had made him more tolerant, but I was wrong. I still don’t know what to say as a response to the “I’ll pray for you,” attack. A simple “no thanks,” doesn’t quite work and “I’ll reason for you,” only conveys what is and not what ought to be. So I am open to suggestions.

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