Recently I had a rough patch I went through. I was not alone in this rough spot, although we all got there by different means. At one point, someone wanted to pray.
I'm an atheist, so I chose to leave the room out of respect for those who wanted to pray and respect for myself as I really didn't want to be there when the did it.
Later, over a snack and coffee, two people sat with me and another person who also left the room to ask us why we left. She had her own reasons, which I won't go into, but I explained mine.
Overall, we managed a civil conversation about it, for which I was grateful, as sometimes those conversations take a nasty turn. We were all concerned with making sure we didn't offend each other and made it clear it was a discussion based on curiosity, not animosity.
The next day, one of those people, after listening to me talk about my physical pain, asked me if he could pray for me to get better.
I said yes.
He held my hand and prayed. When he was done, he asked me how come I let him do that for me, knowing that I don't believe.
I looked at him and simply said, "You wanted to pray for me because you wanted me to feel better. I let you pray for me because I knew it would make you feel better."
He thought about it for a moment and said, "Your right, praying for you did make me feel better. Thank you for understanding that."
I replied, "Thank you for asking me first."
I know he was sincere in his wanting me to not hurt anymore, but was powerless to end my pain, which made him sad. His praying for me didn't hurt me any, but made him feel like he was able to do something for me that I could not do myself, thereby making his self feel better. He did not ask me to believe in his views, nor did I ask him not to believe in them, and he was respectful enough of my views to ask for my permission first rather than to force it upon me.
Sometimes something as simple as that can make someone feel good about things again.