I was raised w/o religion and was not baptized. My mother had some religion but did not feel like people were born w/ original sin so therefore did not need to be baptized. My MIL has said that she prays for my soul. I’m not really comfortable with that knowledge. Obviously I can force her to stop and I’m sure prayer like this happens for non specific people all the time. She’s known me for 20 years. She knows I’m a good guy. I feel like she feels that we aren’t equals. Or else why pray. Please explain it to someone who is very unreligious and also why should I care what she does in the privacy if her own church.
Well, do you want to go to hell?
I was raised religious, and stopped believing in my teens. My parents and I have mostly agreed not to discuss it, but every now and then my mom reminds me that she is praying for me. So I can sympathize. Most religious people may be well-meaning when they are praying for someone, or preaching to them, but you can’t get it through their heads with a jackhammer that they are being incredibly condescending, in that they are claiming to know more than you about what the ‘answers’ are, and how you should live your life.
My best advice is to accept the good intention, ignore the subconscious smugness inherent in the sentiment, and tell your MIL “I appreciate your concern, but I don’t think we should discuss religion, because I don’t share your beliefs, but I don’t want to argue with you.”
I always respond “And I’m casting health spells for your unicorn.” It helps them realize just how what they’re saying is interpreted by you.
I would imagine she is praying for you to see the light and accept JC as your personal savior and be baptised in his name. All her praying will not get you into heaven unless she is a morman, they have special rules. And yes I would also imagine she believes herself superior to you and all non christians since you have not done the above.
Why you should care? Depending on the church, it isn’t all that private as some people make a point of asking for redemption prayers from the congregation quite loudly and they name names. More than likely hundreds of people are praying for you. Can you feel them? I didn’t think so.
This. She believes that no matter how good someone is, if they don’t accept Jesus as their savior, they’re going to hell.
She’s not praying for you because you’re not equals. She’s praying for you because she believes that knowing Jesus would lead you to an even richer and more rewarding life, and she wants you to experience that because she loves you. It is not some kind of judgement on your character. You should be appreciative that she loves you and wants you to be happy, even if you consider it pointless.
Getting offended or insulted because someone prays for you is something I’ve never really understood. It’s like responding to “Have a nice day” with “Why should you care how my day goes? :dubious:”
Yea, another vote for “take it in the spirit in which its intended”. From her perspective she’s trying to help you because she cares about you. From your perspective it doesn’t do you any good, but then, it doesn’t do any harm either. I’d just thank her for the thought and leave it at that.
For the same reason why many Jewish people are pissed that Mormons are giving them posthumous baptisms. What the Christians in these cases are doing is trying to co-opt an identity, one that may have even lead to their death, in order to support the real or imagined belief that there are more of them out there than there really are. In the Mormon baptism’s case, it affects those Jews that are still living, like insulting the dead and by extension, those who share the same beliefs. Its a move to weaken Judaism in life and that has actual consequences
With the prayer thing, it annoys me on 2 levels. On one hand, its the persistent belief that they are right and I am wrong, and that future interactions will be clouded with this asymmetry in power. Make no mistake, praying for someone is trying to have a power over them, even if that power isn’t from you but from god. On the other hand, it annoys me that allowing such a thing to go unchallenged is somehow enforcing or enabling it, so I usually try to dissuade people from doing it. It would be better if they acknowledged their praying does nothing and stopped
There’s really nothing you can do about it. The most you could maybe accomplish is to get her to stop talking about it in front of you.
Prayers are like presents. They are given not for the benefit of the receiver but for the giver. It’s not about you. It’s about her. Why would you rob you mother in law of the comfort she experiences in giving prayers to one she cares about?
“I’m praying for your soul”
“I’m sure you mean well, bless your heart!”
I think you should tell her that your religion specifies that those who are prayed for will go to hell for eternity. So, by praying for you, she’s condemning you to hell according to your own dogma. Tell her that you’ll perform a ritual self-cleansing to protect yourself, but she has to let you know if she prays for you again so that you can repeat it.
I mean, hey, it’s no more nonsensical than what she’s doing, right?
I’m sure my sister is probably praying for my soul, at least from time to time, but she has the good sense and discretion not to tell me about it. I believe that her intentions are much as Skammer has described, because she doesn’t claim to know very much about religion except how her “personal relationship” with Jesus and/or God makes her feel.
But if she did tell me about it, my response would be something like “Oh.” And then change the subject. I think telling me about it, especially more than once, would make it feel more like nagging and superiority, than not telling me about it.
Don’t you suppose she prays for her own soul, too?
I can’t speak for your MIL or what she, specifically, believes, but it’s pretty standard Christian belief that everyone needs the grace of God, and that in that sense, we are all equals.
which wouldn’t annoy you if it weren’t for your persistent belief that you are right and they are wrong.
A women praying for a son-in-law who she cares for is a much different dynamic than an organized effort by a religious community to pray for/posthumously baptized members of another religious community whom they have no relationship with. I share your distaste for the Mormon practice, and efforts by other groups to co-opt outsiders into their religion. I’ll admit I’m giving MIL the benefit of the doubt here, but there is no reason to believe her motives are not pure.
People pray for you because they want good things for you.
Telling you about it is a weaselly way of pointing out what they don’t like about you while hiding behind Jesus. You could try telling your MIL that you are praying for Jesus to convince her to mind her own business.
You shouldn’t mind it unless she brings it up again. There’s intent and there’s implication. You can show appreciation for the intent but at the same time remind her of the implication of her gesture. If she does bring it up again, you should tell her that you don’t share her beliefs and much as you appreciate her intent you find the gesture condescending.
The fact that MIL is praying for diggerwam means one thing; the fact that MIL told diggerwam she is praying for him may very well mean something quite different, possibly something weaselly or passive-aggressive; but without knowing the context in which she told him this, I wouldn’t venture to say what it in fact does mean.