A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Give me all your money or you’re geography!” (bank robbery joke) (6/24)
“A tragedy is a ship full of bankers sinking. A catastrophe is when they can all swim” (6/24)
“You said you had between ten and fifteen million dollars in the bank” (joke) (6/24)
“Cell phones keep getting thinner and smarter…people the opposite” (6/24)
“Before you diagnose yourself with depression, first make sure you’re not surrounded by assholes” (6/24)
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Entry from May 08, 2016
“Worrying is like praying for something that you don’t want to happen”

"Worrying is like praying for something that you don’t want to happen” is saying that has been printed on many images. The origin of the saying is unknown, but it became popular in the 2000s.

“Worrying is like praying for something negative to happen” was cited in a 2000 book. “‘Worry is like praying for your worst fears to happen,’ Burnham quotes the Hopi Indian Grandfather David,” a 2002 article reported on a current book. “We know that worrying is like praying for what we do not want” was cited in December 2002. “Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want to have happen” was cited in 2003.

American actor Robert Downey Jr. has been credited with “Worrying is like praying for something that you don’t want to happen” since at least July 2012, when this was posted on Twitter.


Google Books
She Talks with Angels:
A Psychic-Mediums Guide Into the Spirit World

By Michelle Whitedove
Fort Lauderdale, FL: Whitedove Press
2000
Pg. 130:
Worrying is like praying for something negative to happen.

29 November 2002, The Reporter (Fond du Lac, WI), “Discover ‘The Path of Prayer’” by Lee Reinsch, pg. C1:
In her new book, “The Path of Prayer: Reflections on Prayer and True Stories of How it Affects Our Lives,” (Viking Compass, September 2002). Sophy Burnham says if we harness our positive energy, everyone, even an atheist, can use prayer as a helpful tool to create good health and happiness.
(...)
“Worry is like praying for your worst fears to happen,” Burnham quotes the Hopi Indian Grandfather David.

Weed Wanderings—Herbal Medicine with Susun Weed (December 2002)
Dear Friends of Life and Peace
by Donna Henes, Urban Shaman
(...)
We can shrink in fear and wallow in our worries — just close down. OR we can be radical optimists and use this time to work toward the expansion, openness and love that we all know in our heart of hearts is possible. We know that worrying is like praying for what we do not want.

Google Books
Born To Heal:
The Life Story Of Holistic Pioneer Gladys Taylor McGarey, M.D.

By Analea McGarey
Scottsdale, AZ: Inkwell Productions
2003
Pg. 285:
... she would remember her own mother and how Beth would refuse to worry, saying, “Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want to have happen.”

Google Groups: alt.life.sucks
Who.
BasketCase
8/22/03
(...)
Worrying is like praying for something you don’t want.
( and you usually get the fucker. )

Google Groups: alt.life.sucks
Liberation (moksha)
BasketCase
11/12/03
Laughter the most loftiest of emotions containing its own opposite excess laughter weeps excess weeping laughs is anything to serious not to be laughed at can’t you see the cosmic joke played out every day on you my friend and me too beneath all this human confusion and misery this should have done and wish I had and maybe it’ll come to pass and all the worry it entails do you know that worrying is like praying for something you don’t want ...

Google Groups: alt.life.sucks
Respect Fer Some Girlies
BasketCase
1/13/04
(...)
Worrying is like praying for something you don’t want.

1 April 2007, Argus Leader (Sioux Fallas, SD), “Millions turn to `The Secret’ for life’s solutions” by Janna Farley, pg. 1:
And then she watched “The Secret” DVD and learned more about the concept. “Worrying is like praying for something that you don’t want to happen,” she says.

Google Books
FIND YOUR HAPPY:
An Inspirational Guide to Loving Life to Its Fullest

By Shannon Kaiser
Bloomington, IN: Balboa Press
2012
Pg. 35:
A great quote I came across by an unknown author is, “Worrying is like praying for what we don’t want.” Yuck, who wants to do that?

Twitter
Daniela PI.
‏@JDaniela__92
Worrying is like praying for something that you don’t want to happen. -Robert Downey Jr.
1:03 AM - 15 Jul 2012

reddit—Shower Thoughts
Worrying is like praying for something that you don’t want to happen
submitted May 15, 2015 by i_am_an_ad

Calling Dreams
30 Awesome Robert Downey Jr. Quotes
Updated on 28 February, 2016
(...)
1. “Worrying is like praying for something that you don’t want to happen.” – Robert Downey Jr.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Sunday, May 08, 2016 • Permalink