Offended by Prayer

Nurses General Nursing


I am curious to know if you would be offended, if at church on Sunday your Pastor got up and said a prayer for Church Mice?

I mean he prayed that the mice be strengthened and given the ability to carry out their mousey duties and to eventually render the Church unusable, so that the Parisheners would finally have to pony up the dough to pay for a new Church.


ok I am kidding here is the original post but hey if you are just now reading this thread there have been many twists and turns and I no longer say a prayer over the deceased and yes largely due to many of the points made in this thread. Also NO i would not be offended if anyone of any belief Satanist, TO Catholic said prayers or whipered chants or whatever in my ear that said it was and is an interesting thread but please read about 5-10 of the current posts prior to posting

Now The


I am curious to know if you would be offended, after death if someone were to say a prayer over you.

I would really like to hear from as many Agnostic or Atheist as possible.

I recently began saying a prayer over anyone that dies in my presence. Many times I do not know if the person had a religious preference or not. I am curious to know if people would be offended if they knew someone was going to pray over them when they die.

here is the prayer

Dear Lord not our will but yours. Into thine hands we commend the spirit of this peaceful child of God. Prepare a place for him/her Now in Your Heavenly Kingdom![/Quote]


90 Posts

"I am curious to know if you would be offended, after death if someone were to say a prayer over you."

I don't know how I could be offended if dead


I believe that is is inappropriate for anyone in the medical field to project *any* form of religious behavior, belief or attitude in front of patients who have not requested this. In fact, even if one of your patients is extremely religious (of any faith community), I believe the appropriate response is to *validate HIS OR HER

experience* w/out sharing a peep about your own. If you begin by "praying for/with somone" it isn't too far to the slippery slope of thinking you just might make decisions affecting others based on *your* personal, religious convictions.

Here is an example:

If you have an observant Jewish patient who wishes Shabbos candles be lit on Friday night, I believe this should be coordinated with that patient's synagogue. If a fundamentalist Christian wants a laying on of hands, bring on the church members. I'd be horrified to see staff participating though.

If you are treating a Unitarian, by all means convene a discussion group at the *patient's* reqest! :p

I believe the boundary between church and secular hospital has be be as solid as it's is supposed to be between church and state.

prmenrs, RN

4,565 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Infection Control.

I am not an agnostic or an atheist, but, maybe I would consider the spirit in which the prayer was offered. Also, it's a fairly simple prayer, not like High Mass and a whole rosary.

Or, I might think, what the hey, I'm dead.

gwenith, BSN, RN

3,755 Posts

Specializes in ICU.

Oh Mate!! If you prayed over me I would rise up and haunt you!!:roll:

Actually I would be upset. I chose to live my life without the traditional christian belifs and to have that observed even if meant kindly would smack of hypocrisy and whatever else I am I have promised the maker of life that I will not be a hypocrit.


627 Posts

While not agnostic or atheist (but Christian and Protestant), I would not be offended by any follower of Islam, Buddha, Wicca, or any other religion who chose to talk to their deity for long as that person loved me and/or had my best interests at heart. Someone who didn't like me during life...that I'd have a problem with.

I didn't realize I felt this way until my ex-mom-in-law became extremely ill, we thought she'd die, and this woman who had always worked against her showed up in all her makeup and expensive clothes to cry and pray over that ex-mom-in-law is better, that person is out to make her life miserable again.

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,529 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

I am agnostic/atheist (I know, I know you can't be both, but I'm in a spiritually weird place), so no please don't pray for me, especially such an obviously Christian prayer.

As above, I would consider the spirit in which you mean it. If you feel the need to pray IN SILENCE and IN PRIVATE, and if you think it makes a difference then that's what you need to do and it wouldn't bother me.

(Off topic, why do people still say "thine"? I had a patient just yesterday say "I thank thee, may the Lord bless and keep you". The only thing that bothered me was her saying "I thank thee". LOL)

Or, I might think, what the hey, I'm dead. :)


451 Posts

no, i wouln't be offended. i am dead. :rotfl:

no, seriously, i would not be offended.

i would say one as well. in fact, i have prayed to god for my patients.

in my last unit, my collegues were not paranoid about this sort of thing. we had agnostics, atheists take part in prayer. they didn't say anything, but were most respectful.

when my time comes, i hope i have a nurse like you.

this speaks volumes of who you are as a person.

may god bless you.:)

Specializes in L & D.

first, i must begin by saying that i'm an active roman catholic who prays often during the day. that said, i would not be offended if someone who had been caring for me - christian or non-christian - said a prayer for me. as far as i'm concerned, there is one god, higher power, whatever..... if someone felt the desire to say a prayer for me, i would find that comforting.

i believe that when i become a nurse, i will pray for each of my patients and their families. not aloud at work, but quietly at home. it was a few years after i began taking my daughter to her pediatrician that i realized the office has a prayer list - praying for their patients and their families. somehow, it made me feel good that they care enough to take the time to pray for us.

just my opinion......

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

97 Articles; 21,237 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

Interesting topic. I'm a christian and do pray. I work in a very large Catholic hospital (I was raised Catholic). Many, many times, I have been working with a patient in a code situation and the chaplain or priest will bring the family in to see the patient. They pray and we (the staff) just try to continue our jobs as quietly as possible. If possible, I do bow my head. I do pray at work, but silently to myself. I would not be offended by your prayer.


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

I am not religious by any means. Lord knows I am a lapsed Episcopalian.....a bad one. My quest is spirituality and inner peace. However---I would be HONORED if people prayed for me! I just hope they would not wait til I am *TOAST* to do it! It's kinda like the barn door shutting after the horses have gone, ya know???? Have a good day now.


627 Posts

(Off topic, why do people still say "thine"? I had a patient just yesterday say "I thank thee, may the Lord bless and keep you". The only thing that bothered me was her saying "I thank thee". LOL)

Maybe your pt was Amish? Don't they still use "thee" and "thine"? Or maybe she was a Middle Ages reenactor? Otherwise, I don't know, always sounds a little odd to me too.


138 Posts

i am a mix of a buncha things. christian, jewish.. even wiccan. i would completely welcome all and any prayer. for myself. (not other pts). what really freaks me out, though, is the idea of someone washing my body after i am dead. i just want then to cremate me and be done with it (after my family says goodbye to me). does anyone know if a person can request specifically not to be washed? i just don't want people to have to look at my dead, naked body. also if i am cremated i do not want to have to be naked. yuck! also, if anyone cares, there is a book out there, jessica mitford's the american way of death. it talks about what "they" so to people after they are dead-- draining out body fluids, embalming... i kind of like the traditional jewish burial, where they drill holes in the bottom of a simple pine box, so you can get decomposed (nice and clean!) right away. gosh-- maybe i should look into all this now! and get the paperwork. except i also thought i might like to go to the body farm also-- so they can use my body to help solve crimes in the future. but anyway-- i like prayer, figure i need all the help i can get. (smile).

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