It can be socially awkward sometimes if you do not believe in God. You know when everyone is "praying for Japan" or "praying for Missouri" and your just "blanking" for them. What am I supposed to say? What am I actually supposed to do?
I just consider it dishonest to say I am going to pray for something when I am not going to. I am not going to pray. I do not pray. But this does not mean that I do not think about these places. In reality, I think about these places and certain people in dire situations often. It often keeps me up at night: the chaos of this world. I worry about climate change, the hungry, the poor ,the unhappy, the sick, and everyone and anyone in between. Sometimes it consumes me. Rather than pray I try and envision some way I can help or do something truly meaningful in these situations. Of course, this is difficult in many ways. I mean I can always donate or volunteer or just give someone my time. But this often does not feel like enough in a world where countless are suffering.
I think prayer comes in when we feel like we cannot do anything else. Those who rely on prayer pray in hopes that the situation will get better when things feel very much out of our control.
For instance, my good friend Beni is currently living in Yemen. I think and worry about her safety all of the time. But I can literally do nothing about her safety on a day to day basis. It is so far out of my control aside from going to Yemen, adultnapping her, and bringing her here. What am I supposed to do? I usually tell her I am praying for her in "my atheist way." But what does that even mean?! I am still unsure. Maybe I will just start saying I am sending you "warm fuzzies." Of course, I am sure no one would take that seriously, especially the really religious folk. But that is their loss. I mean who does not want a warm fuzzy or even better- multiple warm fuzzies?
Sometimes it is tough being an atheist. But that is me. I am sure I will figure this out one day.
For now, sending you plenty of warm fuzzies!