Sometimes I remember a writer, I can’t recall who, describing a friend who though atheist, sometimes goes into a church and prays.
The writer had noticed this about his friend and was perplexed: How, or why, is he praying, if he does not believe in a god to pray to?
His friend explained that although he does not believe a god exists, he still likes to pray, because he finds the act of praying makes him feel somehow better. The mater of how the writer’s friend prays, however, was not addressed, and I’ve been curious about it for years.
Was it prayer in the most literal, or perhaps I should say strictest, sense of the word?
Was he, that is, asking for something? Or was he reciting a series of specific prayers? Was it prayer as a sort of unplanned conversation? Or was it rather a more wordless prayer, contemplative, simply resting the mind in or on something (and what?), or even sitting thoughtlessly inside a church building?
Of course it could have been something else, and may well have been more than one sort of praying. I still have no answers to those wonderings.
What about you? Do you have any knowledge, whether firsthand or indirectly, of prayer by atheists within theistic settings?
Besides writing, SeekerFive creates visual art and designs under his Leaf Town brand. Some of these can be seen on Instagram @leaftowndesigns, instagram.com/leaftowndesigns. Currently he is emphasizing face mask designs.