I hate doing this here, but I can't think of a better venue to get some thoughtful responses to something that has made me curious for a long time. In October, my dad died. One of the chemo drugs that was destroying his tumor also destroyed his lungs. Later that evening, I posted a brief message on Facebook to let my friends and extended family know, and to share information about the visitation service. And as expected, a lot of people sent condolences. One of the most common themes among the comments was variations of "I'll pray for you/your family." I've seen these sorts of posts every time somebody posts something tragic, whether it is a personal family tragedy or a bigger news story, and it's always made me wonder about the people who say it. Do they immediately go pray? Or do they pray later, like before bed, or the next time they go to church? Or do they just say the words because it's the expected thing to do, and then just move on without actually praying? And how does this praying work? Is it quick and quiet, prolonged and thoughtful, out loud? Now, there are a few friends/family members of mine who I am quite sure did pray for my dad/me/my family. But a lot of others, especially those who are at best friendly acquaintances left over from high school and college....I'm just skeptical. I didn't want to post anything on Facebook because it would look ungrateful, and I don't really intend it to be. I'm sure everyone felt bad and wanted to say the right thing, and a lot of people messed that up big time, even though their hearts were in the right place. (I swear I was about to punch every single person who said "It's so sad you lost your dad" at the visitation. I've been anger-grieving pretty hard.) And I know Facebook lends itself toward short, thoughtless impulse-posting. So I guess I'd just like to hear from the religious types on the board about prayer. How do you pray, and what about? How often?