After a few quick searches with the terms “pastor” and “atheist,” he discovered that a cottage industry of atheist outreach groups had grown up in the past few years. Within days, he joined an online network called the Clergy Project, created for clerics who no longer believe in God and want to communicate anonymously through a secure Web site.
Early in the article it mentioned that he couldn't pray for a parishioner in difficulty. This is typical of converts of every sort. Many atheists resent prayers and resent being asked to pray.
As a life long atheist, with many good friends who are devout, I have learned both to pray and recieve prayers without hypocricy. I learned this when a devout Catholic friend was in a profoundly tragic situation and asked me for help in the form of prayer. He knew I was an atheist but also had been to performances where I had sung catholic prayers. He said "Please pray for me. God even listens to atheist prayers. They are special for God since he gets so few of them."
I chose appropriate prayers for all involved and sang them as devoutly and meaningfully as I could. Certainly as far as I was concerned I was singing into a void, but a void which contained my friend's God. Where is the hypocricy here?