The biggest complaint atheists have about prayer — at least when it comes to praying for something as opposed to mere meditation — is that it makes you think you’re doing something useful when you’re totally not.
Catholic blogger Meg Hunter-Kilmer has a list of 50 ways people can talk to God. I’m not calling attention to it because she’s advocating for prayer (a Catholic is acting Catholic? Shocking!), but because some of her examples are so obviously useless for the task they’re trying to accomplish.
Close your eyes and just repeat the name of Jesus.
Our God is a good God… a good, egomaniacal God who wants you to repeat his Son’s name ad nauseam. (Which, by the way, is kind of hard to do. Try it.)
Hold a crucifix while you pray.