Haha, your an atheist with a yen for joie de vivre! Nothing wrong with that. True, you could be talking to yourself in a healthy way, but do that again and get back to me with the Who is going to handle those hopes/wishes. You don't need to talk to yourself to know what they are, so you are voicing it aloud to garner the attention of cosmic forces or God, whatever. Keep disagreeing with me while God listens to you.
Praise doesn't necessarily mean belief. Congregations do all kinds of activities in church-like settings that are more for the people than for their God.
Just admit, you never believed that's why it's no longer apart of your life. Once you believe, once you and God have tested one another, there's no take backs, you never stop believing for that is impossible. You may grow weary in your relationship with God, but disbelief becomes simply a word that cannot be applied to you.
You don't know me, so professing to understand me, and to know my actions and history better than I do, without even questioning me, makes me understand you to be a bullying, sanctimonious 'know-nothing', who makes me want to turn away from whatever it is you are spiritually quaffing, rather than express a healthy interest.
I can tell you, I did truly believe... but clearly that's wasted on you. You'll believe whatever nonsense it is you want to believe, despite what people share with you, as shown by the fact that, having known me for five minutes, you claim to know me better than I know myself.
I really don't think you deserve an explanation because it's wasted on you, but knowing this to be a public post and in case others may wonder, I lost my faith because I grew up, and I grew a brain, and I saw (in my teens) that I was responsible for what happened to me, not Him. Then, somewhere in adulthood, I realised He wasn't actually here. We were making him up for various reasons. It didn't make me want Him NOT to be here. If He were real, He'd be fantastic. So would Dr. Doolittle. Could you imagine that? A man who could speak to animals?!
Loss of faith was all rather disappointing, for a while, never confusing, until I got on with life and just forgot about it. I grew in confidence and the ability to think and I'm happy. I care about others. I do good. I love religion and what it offers to many people. I hate what it does to others, like you: turning them into 'in yer face bullies', who shake a spiritual fist in your face, as they talk of saving you.
I don't think I'm atheist, either. I'm ready to receive God if/when He actually lives up to any promise other people seem to have made on His behalf, or *IF* He actually bothers to show up. If anything, I'm either 'a doubter' or an 'I don't really give a monkey's arse'-er.
I have no evidence of God in my life, I never did, I just accepted what I was told for love of my parents. I stopped when I developed love for myself and those around me. I remember being persuaded about the veracity and love of God, by my parents. I was totally hooked but then I was convinced teacups and teapots could talk, too, having watched and loved, 'Beauty and the Beast' as much as I loved God.
My respect, and sometimes love, for religion comes from a place of respect and love for people, for in their joy, we see glimpses of the true magnificence Life has to offer.
You can pity me, but continue to tell me who I am, and I'll have to continue to put your stubborn, bullying arse back in its potty. God may well be listening to me *IF, AND ONLY IF*, there *IS* a God, but given that you are a believer, He's clearly and very definitely listening to your graceless banter, too. He's probably shaking His head and wondering how many lines he's going to have to give you, before you learn to be a good little Christian, that respects others and doesn't bully, in order to pass your exams, to earn a place in Heaven.
Not that I'm an expert, like you... but I do recognise grace, beauty in thought and behaviour, and I think that, *IF* there's a Heaven, there's a very slim chance... communion wafer thin... that you'll make it there. And I've only known you five minutes.