My patient was a young family man who was very afraid about what had happened to him.
We went down for a scan and he was terrified.
Visibly emotional, he asked if anyone was a Christian who could pray for him out loud.
One person said they were and said they were praying for him silently.
He kept asking for someone to put hands on him and pray out loud.
This seemed to make everyone in the room initially uncomfortable.
I'm pretty sure I was the only ex Evangelical Christian turned Humanist Atheists in the room.
That being said, I saw my role as nurse to care for my patient.
I put my hand over his heart and said, "Dear heavenly father, (patient name can't be disclosed per HIPAA) is very anxious about this scan. Please help him overcome his anxiety, give him peace and help him to be brave right now. Give him a positive outcome to the scan so that he will be able to return to his wife and children who love him and miss him dearly. In your name we pray. Amen."
He thanked me and he became visibly more calm.
The scan was unremarkable.
He knew I wasn't a believer because he'd asked me earlier in the day but when we got back to the room later in the day he asked if he could pray for me.
I said, "Of course."
I received his prayer as his way of showing his appreciation for me.
I just want all my non-believer friends to know that saying a prayer doesn't make you a believer any more than reciting a poem makes you a poet and receiving a prayer doesn't make you a believer any more than listening to music makes you a musician.
I also want my friends who put their faith in a God to know what Atheists are capable of incredible acts of caring and love.
People often ask Atheists where they get there morals because we don't have a book to tell us what's right and what's wrong.
For Humanist Atheists it's quite simple.
Moral principals are tested by their consequences.
In this case I saw the consequence of saying a prayer.
Reduction of Anxiety
The Demonstration of Caring
No negative consequences occurred as a result of this Atheist saying this prayer.