On a cross-country flight some years ago, we hit severe turbulence. The gentleman in the seat next to me who had been insisting vehemently that he was an atheist shouted out loud, “God help us.”
Yes, even atheists pray because the image of God is implanted in us. Independent studies have showed that we yearn to know God. It’s the way we’re wired. So to be an atheist takes a stubborn refusal to acknowledge that which deep down we all know to be true.
I have, in fact, never met an atheist. When a person professes to be one, I ask him to offer me the proof that God does not exist. I’ve never had anyone successfully respond to that question. Most retreat and say they’re really agnostics. I then ask them if they have examined every religion exhaustively. Their answer is usually no. I explain they cannot be agnostics unless they are sure that God can’t be known.
There are no atheists. There are simply people whose pride overwhelms their innate knowledge.