Save Your Prayers

My heart hurts this morning. I read some comments on my Facebook page on a thread about marriage equality, and people were getting into a religious discussion. That’s fine, I encourage my readers to share their thoughts, beliefs, and ideas, even if they’re different from my own.

atheist cat

The thing is, the discussion became an attack at some points, and I received several private messages from people hurt by some of the comments.

I was hurt, too.

This is the photo I posted of my son yesterday, with the caption: “I genuinely hope Levi speaks for his generation.”

vote no

A couple comments in particular really bothered me. And they came from both sides of the argument.

I don’t have a problem with people who hold strong beliefs and want to share them. I think that’s awesome. I do have a problem when people use religion, politics, or whatever else to attack someone else’s beliefs.

I also have a problem with people who make snarky comments that belittle others. The one that prompted this post? “I’ll pray for you.”

As a Christian, I pray for lots of people. I have a prayer board and once a week I update it so I don’t forget to include people that have requested I think of them. When I tell someone I’m sending up prayers for them, I do that in a loving, genuine way.

There are others that use the exact same words, but they use them as a weapon to prove their point. Being snarky about saying “I’ll pray for you” just to prove your point kind of ruins it for the rest of us. Then other hurtful statements start rolling, such as “I don’t need your prayers” “Your prayers don’t accomplish anything anyway” and other negative things.

To be honest, at this point, I’m not really sure where I’m going with this post. I’m just hurt by the lack of respect I see when discussions get heated, and the retaliation other people seem to think is necessary.

I don’t expect everyone to get along and agree. That wouldn’t be much fun.

But it would be really cool if we could all act like adults when we have conversations, whether online or off. Want to pray for someone? Great, pray. You probably don’t need to announce it if you don’t think they’d appreciate it anyway. Don’t want someone to pray for you? You can’t control what they do anyway, so a simple Thank You, Ok, or even silence would probably be a good route to take.

End rant. (For now.)

Comments

  1. Adrienne says:

    When I hear someone say “I’ll pray for you” it reminds me of the ultimate southern insult “Bless her heart”.

  2. I definitely get where you’re coming from. There are so many people out there (including a lot of “Christians”) who feel that it’s their duty to run around judging and belittling people all day. I, too, am a Christian (and a gay marriage supporter) and it burns me up when I see people trying to use Christianity as a reason to bash people. JESUS never would have said “I’ll pray for you,” especially in such a snarky way.

  3. I’m so glad you wrote this post, Jen. I’m a Christian as well. But, it makes me so sad to see people use prayer (and God) as a weapon. Pray out of love. Pray out of compassion. When you throw out ‘I’ll pray for you all” like a threat – it isn’t love; it’s condemnation. It reminds me of Matthew 6: 5-6 which says “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. […] ”

  4. Well said! I didn’t see the conversation you are talking about – but I think this pertains to MANY conversations that do happen and will continue to happen. We’re all adults, it’s time to start acting accordingly.

  5. I so agree. Angry Christians give us Loving Christians a bad name and it hurts. I think love is the answer, and while some people are more difficult to love, we are still called to love. Not to judge, but to love.

  6. Yeah, that thread was out of control. When I was told I couldn’t possibly be from the US based on my comment, I was stunned. It seems the Internet brings out the worst in people sometimes, and you’ve got to have an extremely thick hide to handle them, even on the best of days. I take what people say online for what they’re worth. Say something I don’t agree with and still respectful? I’ll happily hear your argument, and might even change my mind. Insult me because you haven’t got anything better to say? Disregarded as not worth my time or energy.

  7. Danielle says:

    I could write a book based on how I felt about yesterday’s post, but I wont. It was such a sweet photo with a great outlook on this next generation. I loved the fact that we should teach our children that life is really all about LOVE in the end. (Yes, believe what you will, but without love and acceptance in this complicated world, we lose our humanity and only gain hatred!)

    I have always said, the people who preach the most are usually the ones who need to look in the mirror and be ready to face the Lord with some serious issues in the end.

    That remark, “I will pray for you all”, was uncalled for and it made me sad to realize we still have such a long long way to go. There will ALWAYS be those people who ruin it for the rest of us. 🙁

    I still say Hooray for the good, the positive, and the accepting Christians, We will be the ones to change the world for the better….

  8. Oh man, I think that there must be something in the water that is making some people totally crazy and intolerant of other beliefs and ways of live lately. I am sorry that you got hurt by some jackal. I have gotten a crap ton of e-mails lately that just make me want quit the interweb altogether. Why do some people insist on being so hurtful to others?

  9. I hear you. I thought adults would be more mature but I’m finding more and more that they are not! Whatever happened to The Golden Rule? =/

  10. Let’s say for arguments sake that homosexuality is a sin (some believe – honestly whether it’s a sin or not is God’s call, not ours). BUT regardless, IF it’s a sin, who are we to condemn others for that sin? WE are ALL sinners. We are born sinners and will die sinners. Who is to say that homosexuality is a worse sin than the ones we commit every single day?

    Again, I’m not saying homosexuality is a sin. This is only to prove a point to those who believe it is.

    We, as a society, need to worry about our own sins and stop judging others (also a sin) and learn some respect and tolerance for others. Pray for others, yes, but you better make sure you are praying for yourself and your family too. When we’re called to face Jesus, we are not going to have to explain others sins. We’ll have to explain our own. Model Jesus life. He taught. He loved. And he never judged.

    Remember: homosexuals are also CHILDREN OF GOD and he made them that way through HIS own choice – maybe to teach tolerance. Or maybe, just maybe, he doesn’t care who you love, so long as you truly love.

  11. I think the Internet and writing in general gives people the strength/ability to hide behind a screen or paper. I often wonder if people would say the same things if they were in a face-to-face situation.

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