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Coworkers Like to Pray at Work

Rantings of a Single Girl: The Circle

Here's a post from OnSugar blog Rantings of a Single Girl.

At work, we are a pretty close unit.  Lately, one of my coworkers has been going through a very, very hard time.  So the solution that everyone else has come up with is a daily prayer circle.  Which makes me uncomfortable.

It's not the prayer circle itself.  I think it's wonderful that I work with people who care enough about each other that we try to lift each other up when we can.  It's just, I feel out place in the prayer circle.  I've mention before that my beliefs on God and so on are a bit rocky at this point in my life.  Everyone else in my work group are steadfast Christians.

Like steadfast, come-to-Jesus-now, Bible-Belt-raised, nothing-else-is-acceptable Christians.  And there is nothing wrong with that.  I wish I could be as steadfast in my faith.  Yet no one at work knows how I sit on the fence when it comes to religion and faith.  (I've generally found that keeping that fact to myself in certain circles is better for all involved.)  So naturally, I am expected to be a part of the prayer circle.

Get the rest after the jump.

Like I said, I don't mind.  It's just I feel strange while everyone is praying to God, I'm sitting there thinking, am I ruining their prayer by being in the circle?  Does my skeptacism ruin the entire purpose of what they are trying to accomplish?  I do believe in higher powers.  Heck, maybe I even believe in the same God as every other Christian... and I just don't feel it yet.  All I know is that while I'm in the prayer circle, I think good thoughts for my coworker that is having the hard time right now.  I truly want things to improve for her.

But am I the negative force when people are trying to be good, holy, and uplifting?  Or is it possible that while I may not be praying the same prayer to the same person as everyone else, that my good wishes and thoughts will still serve their purpose?  Faith is so tricky... then again, I guess it wouldn't be called faith if it wasn't.  It'd be called sureness or something silly like that.

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bellydancinmary bellydancinmary 6 years
I think just as long as your co-worker knows that you're there to listen and to be a friend, your participation in a prayer circle shouldn't matter. I don't think prayer at the workplace is appropriate anyways.
sassy_chick sassy_chick 6 years
They used to do this at the school where I used to work, and I never participated because I found it very very uncomfortable and a tad inappropriate in a public school. They also had it in the middle of the school, so you couldn't walk down the halls without walking directly through it. Maybe if it had been in a classroom, I could have avoided it, but I was very very uncomfortable.
stephley stephley 6 years
What would happen if you told your co-workers you felt uncomfortable in the circle- would it change how you were treated at work?
Pistil Pistil 6 years
It would make me uncomfortable, but I don't see the harm in just being there. And it might feel a little hoaky, and simply thinking positive thoughts won't move mountains, but no matter what happens, she'll be so much better off with the support of her friends than without. That's where the power lies.
mrsld mrsld 6 years
Jereldan - we are quite aware of what prayer is. But if you don't believe in God who are you directing your question to? So if she is sitting in a prayer circle the only thing she can do is send positive thoughts.
Natalie-Love Natalie-Love 6 years
Hmm, I know the feeling. I'm an atheist and when I was with Christians who prayed, I wasn't sure what to do, you don't want to disrespect their faith by voicing your doubts (or in my vase, disbelief) It might sound pessimistic, but I don't think praying helps. Perhaps if she knows about it she will be happy, but I honestly don't believe the universe turns different and changes to make life better for you if you ask it to. A lot of horrible things wouldn't have happened if that was effective... Therefore I highly doubt you are harming anything. If I was you I would find your own way to help her. Instead of praying to some force to change the situation, I would talk to her, ask if you can do anything to help, try to see if there is anything you can do.
Natalie-Love Natalie-Love 6 years
Hmm, I know the feeling. I'm an atheist and when I was with Christians who prayed, I wasn't sure what to do, you don't want to disrespect their faith by voicing your doubts (or in my vase, disbelief)It might sound pessimistic, but I don't think praying helps. Perhaps if she knows about it she will be happy, but I honestly don't believe the universe turns different and changes to make life better for you if you ask it to. A lot of horrible things wouldn't have happened if that was effective...Therefore I highly doubt you are harming anything. If I was you I would find your own way to help her. Instead of praying to some force to change the situation, I would talk to her, ask if you can do anything to help, try to see if there is anything you can do.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
i think it's very kind and open minded of you to participate at all. If you feel uncomfortable because you are not religious, that's one issue. If you feel uncomfortable becuse you think you are somehow "ruining their prayer," I guarantee you that you're not. Whether or not this is appropriate for work is another question, but if you are okay with it happening i would personally let it slide since it seems to be very important for your coworkers.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
i think it's very kind and open minded of you to participate at all. If you feel uncomfortable because you are not religious, that's one issue. If you feel uncomfortable becuse you think you are somehow "ruining their prayer," I guarantee you that you're not. Whether or not this is appropriate for work is another question, but if you are okay with it happening i would personally let it slide since it seems to be very important for your coworkers.
skigurl skigurl 6 years
I'm Catholic and sometimes I pray privately, but I don't think religion has a place in the workplace, so I would also feel uncomfortable doing this. It's nice that everybody is so caring and that you are all so close, but a daily prayer circle is a little much - it's a little too frequent and it's a little too culty for my liking. However, if you like it, then sending positive thoughts into the universe is all you can do! That's more or less what praying is all about, anyway.
snarkypants snarkypants 6 years
i would totally feel uncomfortable. it's nice that everybody is so caring, but i'm not about the whole prayer circle thing.
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 6 years
Now, I am by far the most anti-theist (oh yes, we've surpassed mere atheism over here) person ever but to be honest, I really like the concept of a prayer circle. Of course, I don't think it works or anything like that, but I do recognize that it could be extremely comforting & a stress-easing experience that can strengthen the relationships of the people you "pray" with. I think it has the same value as meditating in Yoga -- which took me AGES to get used to, let alone appreciate (how do I become one with the universe anyway? BULLSHIT). It might just be a twitch left over from my mormon days though. I always found prayer a really uplifting part of my life, and even now when things go to hell it's like a reflex that I want to fall back on (though I usually don't, but maybe that's something I need to work on since I have found it so beneficial in the past -- what harm is there really in talking to a God that doesn't exist? None. He can't freakin' hear you so it's impossible to say the wrong thing! AMIRITE?? ha!) Do whatever makes you feel most comfortable. I would participate and not feel guilty about sharing the same beliefs as the rest of the circle. Your skepticism or doubt can't interfere with any prayer wavelengths, and the real power of prayer has always lain in the calm & comfort it provides to the pray-er (or pray-ee) and that's a shared goal you have with your co-workers!
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 6 years
Now, I am by far the most anti-theist (oh yes, we've surpassed mere atheism over here) person ever but to be honest, I really like the concept of a prayer circle. Of course, I don't think it works or anything like that, but I do recognize that it could be extremely comforting & a stress-easing experience that can strengthen the relationships of the people you "pray" with. I think it has the same value as meditating in Yoga -- which took me AGES to get used to, let alone appreciate (how do I become one with the universe anyway? BULLSHIT). It might just be a twitch left over from my mormon days though. I always found prayer a really uplifting part of my life, and even now when things go to hell it's like a reflex that I want to fall back on (though I usually don't, but maybe that's something I need to work on since I have found it so beneficial in the past -- what harm is there really in talking to a God that doesn't exist? None. He can't freakin' hear you so it's impossible to say the wrong thing! AMIRITE?? ha!)Do whatever makes you feel most comfortable. I would participate and not feel guilty about sharing the same beliefs as the rest of the circle. Your skepticism or doubt can't interfere with any prayer wavelengths, and the real power of prayer has always lain in the calm & comfort it provides to the pray-er (or pray-ee) and that's a shared goal you have with your co-workers!
MartiniLush MartiniLush 6 years
:hug: mrsld!
MartiniLush MartiniLush 6 years
:hug: mrsld!
mrsld mrsld 6 years
Martini is far more eliquent then I.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 6 years
I agree with mrsld - even if you are just sitting there sending positive, uplifting thoughts her way, you are doing all you need to do! :) I can tell you that having grown up multi-faith, and having family that is all over the map when it comes to faith and religion, it isn't "how" you pray or what particular manifestation or idea of "God" you are praying to, it is all in your intention for the recipient.
mrsld mrsld 6 years
It doesn't matter if you pray or not! What matters is that you are thinking positive thoughts for your friend. Power of positive thinking! If it makes her feel better and supported in her time of need then you have accomplished the goal.
mrsld mrsld 6 years
It doesn't matter if you pray or not! What matters is that you are thinking positive thoughts for your friend. Power of positive thinking! If it makes her feel better and supported in her time of need then you have accomplished the goal.
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