"In many cases, when a person says they'll pray for someone or that someone is in their prayers, 1) they don't, or 2) they do to make themselves feel as though they've contributed towards helping a cause." This person then goes on to call the act of praying for others as a selfish ego boost.
I have a problem with this. As a Christian, I am called to uplift others in prayers. The very act of telling others that you are praying for them, if you are sincere about it, shows to those whom you pray for that they are thought about. Sometimes, it is the only thing one can do. I can't often physically assist others through a troubling time, or be with someone going through surgery, but I can let them know I am thinking about them and lift prayers to God to guide them.
Now I know that not everyone follows there same spiritual path, but to claim that something as simple as offering a prayer up to some supreme being is an act of a selfish ego-boosting individual bothers me greatly. Yes, there are some who do it just to make themselves feel better, but I have met some very strong prayer warriors of many different walks of faith who do pray as a selfless act to aid in the well being of others.
And since I have chosen to walk the way of the Christian, I leave you with these words:
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances....." ~ 1 Thessalonians 5.16-18a (NRSV)