In Defense of “Thoughts and Prayers”…

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43 Responses

  1. Eric says:

    One spokesperson I read who disparaged “thoughts and prayers” I read as being in a James 2:16 way: Don’t just say “I wish you well” when you actually have the power to act – your words ring hollow in that case. I assume he meant the government (who were just offering condolences) ought to legislate restrict guns and thereby reduce the chance of tragedies like the present one.

    But for the rest of us, hearing about tragedy in another state or country, are powerless to do anything ourselves, but we call on a powerful God who works everywhere.

  2. Jean says:

    Good word Michael!

  3. Michael says:

    Eric,

    I completely agree with those who invoke James…but not with those who simply mock a heart.

  4. Michael says:

    Thank you, Jean!

  5. richard says:

    thank you for this, Michael. you echoed my thoughts. recently been in discussions that also stated that prayer must be followed by action in one way or another. Sometimes all one can do or should do is pray.

  6. Michael says:

    Richard,

    Thank you for reading and letting me know you’re there.

  7. dusty says:

    Michael, i Love this…thank you!

    I pray because. …

  8. dusty says:

    My words are never empty when i say it i mean it…..i pray when i say i am

    God is big enough to make use of my simple prayers……

  9. John 20:29 says:

    Add another thank you here… I was thinking of dusty’s service here as I read…
    Thinking also of the prayer thread and the mystery of humanity’s prayers – trapped here on earth praying to the unseen one true God so many prayers seem to go off into the air unanswered… But…
    Revelation 8:1-6 or there about tells us where our prayers go and when God, in His wisdom, unleashes His answer… trust God and be thankful that there’s still time to pray
    or so it seems to me… tonight

  10. Michael says:

    Thank you Dusty and Em…

  11. Outside T. Fold says:

    I see people highlighting certain members of congress who receive lots of funding from the National Rifle Association. Just like the last mass shooting, and the one before that, those NRA-funded congressmen offer statements of their “thoughts and prayers.” At least one person online is calling for the congressmen to return their NRA blood money.

    So I see this as an even stronger position than the James one. They are in a position to act, but they’ve been bought, so all they offer are words “thoughts and prayers” which sound sincere but are, in fact, hollow.

    Incidentally, this week in the House of Representatives there’s a bill up for a vote that would legalize silencers. Just think of how effective last night’s massacre would have been had people not been able to hear the gunshots and react to get out of the way. There’d be a kill rate in the thousands or multiples of thousands. The NRA-paid-for Thoughts and Prayers Caucus is backing the bill.

  12. John 20:29 says:

    Couple of items missed, perhaps in the confusion of yesterday’s massacre – the “gun” used wasn’t legal to own and irrrgardless of the wisdom of a silencer, it would have had little effect on this thing

  13. Jean says:

    Em,

    Who missed anything? And despite what your talking points are feeding you, you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

    (1) What do you know about the gun? Was it a legal assault rifle, which was illegally modified? Or was it an OEM illegal machine gun, purchase from a prior owner who obtained it legally? Do you know the details?

    (2) Were all the magazines legal to purchase?

    (3) Were the many thousands of high velocity rounds legal to purchase?

    (4) What would the effect of a silencer have been? Would the location of the room be harder to determine if the flash of the muzzle was dampened? Would the crowd have reacted slower if the sound of the muzzle bursts would have been dampened? Just how can you say a silencer would have had little effect?

  14. Josh the Baptist says:

    Out of everything in the world that confuses, the one thing I’m not confused about is prayer. We need more of it. I need to pray more, for sure. I think churches have abandoned prayer en masse, and perhaps we’re seeing the effects.

    Maybe not, but again, the one thing I am sure of is that I need to spend more time before the Lord.

    Good post Michael.

  15. Duane Arnold says:

    Jean

    Give me an AR-15 and $25 and I can have it converted to full automatic in a day. If you want a .50 cal. tripod mounted machine gun… or the belt fed ammunition, they are available. If you set up a video camera outside of most gun shows, you would be horrified.

    The NRA has blood on its hands. Until there is the will to change the situation, this will go on and on.

    I pray… but how do you pray about what has become normal? It makes me want to weep..

  16. Jean says:

    Duane,

    The silencer bill making it’s way through Congress tells me that as a nation we’re still in moral descent and a long way from repentance.

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I waited 12 hours to process this before saying anything here, but this thread is good in making a point. I had a co worker killed last night at the concert. There were 4 from our office which is only 25 people.
    The guy was 39 yrs old, I have worked with him 15 yrs on and off and worked with his mother 20 yrs ago. He has a 2nd home here in Lake Havasu, he helped my find my home here and we raced our boats up and down the lake.
    I have thoughts, but I have no prayers. I never understood what you were supposed to do when someone says “pray for the family” – pray what? Obviously not protection – that has already been taken away. What do you pray for – their comfort? Their comfort has already been taken away.

    I just found out in the past hour from my daughter who is an RN that 2 of her co workers’ husbands were in Las Vegas and both were shot and wounded.

    Pray for what? One reason I am a Lutheran – you are allowed to be cynical because we are trained that if you want to know God’s plan or what he is thinking – look at the cross.

  18. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    This is laughable. So far I have heard only Donald Trump say this is pure evil, meaning the shooter- everyone else wants to blame the gun.

    I am not saying guns should not be restricted, but come on – no one here want to say the guy did a bad act? I haven’t heard it so the answer must be no.

  19. John 20:29 says:

    Jean, I’m not impressed with your argument, either… ?
    the gun was illegal, modified or not, so why would one think that passing a law against gun ownership will stop these people who go off the deep end for whatever reason?
    And, yes, I did get my information on the affect of a silencer on these weapons from a “gun expert” on TV… I’ve never personally shot one…
    used to have fun running around the neighborhood with my cap pistol playing with my boy cousins, tho… We actually pointed them at each other – gasp
    Being testosterone challenged, I can’t say for certain, but I suspect that making gun ownership illegal will not stop this sort of mayhem –
    While neither alternative appeals, I think that id rrather have someone shooting at me than coming up beside me with a knife or a bomb belt strapped on… there’s an insanity virus spreading that, IMV, is not dependent on guns for its outbreak…I
    just taking advantage of Michael’s turf again – just saying … again

  20. Michael says:

    MLD,

    First, let me offer condolences on the losses.
    I have already written how I pray…because I have to speak with God about these things.
    I will also say that this was an unspeakably evil act.

  21. John 20:29 says:

    MLD, you lift the grieving up to the Throne of God… every prayer helps – am sorry to hear that this hit close to home for you folks
    And you are correct, these acts are pure evil

  22. Jean says:

    I’m skeptical too. When someone says “this is pure evil”, I wonder what his point is. Is that supposed to make me feel better, as in “this guy is highly unusual, so don’t be afraid of something similar happening”?

    I don’t know anyone who doesn’t think the guy was evil. When evil impacts friends, family or co-workers, the event takes on a personal dimension. MLD, you have my condolences.

    Almost daily, we are told of evil perpetrated at home and abroad. The methods and casualty levels vary from one event to another, but the evil is widespread.

    The Lord’s Prayer contains godly petitions in these circumstances as well as do the Psalms. As a royal priesthood, Christians are also called to intercede for our neighbors.

    As citizens of America, we have a duty to call on government to protect its citizens from evil in accordance with the Constitution.

  23. Outside T. Fold says:

    Martin Luther’s Disciple—

    I am so sorry to read the news about your co-worker. So deeply sorry. Same for the wounded husbands of your your daughter’s co-workers.

  24. John 20:29 says:

    I’m not sure that the government can protect us from evil… I think the model prayer pleads with God to deliver us from it (as opposed to asking to not be led into temptation, which implies that we can resist sin, if we will ) because we haven’t the ability to deliver ourselves from evil – just my dimestore theology ?

  25. SJ says:

    Automatic weapons can be bought and sold legally. Lots of money and more legal requirements.
    Supressors (or silencers) only lower the sound by 20-30 decibels. It is safe to say that many medium to larger calibers would still require the dawning of hearing protection with the use of a suppressor. Supressors are legal to purchase in most states with some paperwork and a $200 tax stamp.

    Additionally, you have the audible crack of the projectile breaking the sound barrier once sent down range. Guns are not silent with the use of a supressors.

  26. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    In this thread I see more blame being placed on the NRA than on the shooter. That speaks volumes that this tragedy is really nothing more than the next step of a political agenda as we saw this morning with Hillary and the CBS lawyer.
    Later in the day the astronaut was blaming congress for the shooting.
    How do you comfort the survivors and the families if you can’t even say “that bastard did this” – without having to compete with alternative bad guys?

  27. John 20:29 says:

    MLD, I d byon’t want to jinx your thots here tonight, but they sound like clear tho long to me

  28. John 20:29 says:

    #27 – This tablet got me again… whoever thot they understood artificial intelligence when they designed this thing didn’t have any real intelligence

  29. Captain Kevin says:

    Thank you for this, Michael!

  30. Steve says:

    MLD,

    My condolences go out to you. I agree it was pure evil and I’m not blaming the NRA but something isn’t adding up for me. I find it hard to believe that this guy acted alone. I’m sure more information will come out but can we trust the information we get from the FBI as always being true? Could he have been set up? Could this be a conspiracy or something much bigger than a crazed shooter acting alone? This probably doesn’t matter much in comforting the families but as a nation it seems things are getting much worse.

  31. Dan from Georgia says:

    MLD,

    Wow, that’s tough. Don’t know what to say.

  32. Xenia says:

    We all receive a lot of prayer requests that come our way and if we rely on our memories, we won’t act on most of them. My husband and I have come up with a way to pray for everyone in ours lives that gets everyone prayed for at least once a week. (We have morning prayers over here, in keeping w/ EO tradition.)

    We made up a list of all the prayer requests and all our family members, neighbors, friends, co-workers, Internet acquaintances, clergy, etc. It’s a few hundred people, too many to mention in prayer each day. We divided the list into six separate lists and we pray for 1/6 of our list each day of the week, not counting Sunday. We have a daily list for close family members and friends and a separate list for sick folk. (We also have similar lists for those who have reposed [died] but that’s for us people who pray for the souls of the departed.) No one gets erased from the lists although a few get moved to the list of the Reposed. As a result, we are still mentioning the Abedini family in prayer once a week, for example. We add names as time goes on so the lists are getting longer, but our resolve to pray for people has strengthened over the years so it doesn’t matter.

    So we read off the names on the daily list, pausing to say a few more words to the Lord if we come to someone with special needs that day.

    Except for the Prayers for the Dead, which you children of the Reformation may omit, this method seems adaptable for all Christians.

  33. John 20:29 says:

    re my #27 post yesterday, i did not type “MLD, I d byon’t want to jinx your thots here tonight, but they sound like clear tho long to me”
    now that i’m on a real machine with a real keyboard and no auto correct, what i said was,
    MLD, i don’t want to jinx your thotss here tonight, but they sound like clear thinking to me… sigh
    praying for a good, God blest Tues. for all the PhxPeeps – the posters and the lurkers 🙂

  34. John 20:29 says:

    re my #27 post yesterday, i did not type “MLD, I d byon’t want to jinx your thots here tonight, but they sound like clear tho long to me”
    now that i’m on a real machine with a real keyboard and no auto correct, what i said was,
    MLD, i don’t want to jinx your thots here tonight, but they sound like clear thinking to me… sigh
    praying for a good, God blest Tues. for all the PhxPeeps – the posters and the lurkers 🙂

  35. John 20:29 says:

    i give up … LOL

  36. filbertz says:

    the blame game is alive and well because the perpetrator is dead and one cannot extract the proverbial pound of flesh from a dead man. So the rage needs to land somewhere. There is enough blame to go around, but before one points a finger toward one side of the aisle, there is enough action/inaction on the other side to balance it out. Ultimately, it is a human issue that dates back to Adam. When all the guns are removed, the sin-sick soul will lash out with knives, acid, explosives, even rocks. Outlaw the NRA. Outlaw ISIS. Outlaw murder. Just don’t expect compliance.

    I learned from my son’s death never to diss an offer of condolence, “thought” or prayer. I’m not the crass, jaded soul I used to be.

  37. Josh the Baptist says:

    Good word, filbertz.

  38. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    There should be no more blame. For the left, the suspect is not dead but has been captured and is in custody … the weapon.

  39. Jean says:

    What an irony when the left wants law and order, and the right says, “no” this is the new normal; when the left is pro life, and the right is pro murder equipment. Meanwhile, more funerals.

  40. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean – what is the law & order? Why after every shooting do you want to take away the guns of those who did not break the law and shoot people?

    Why not have appropriate law & order? Use a weapon in the commission of any crime and you get the death penalty.

  41. Jean says:

    MLD,

    Law & order is a society in which people have the freedom to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is not anarchy. In my opinion, it is not in the public interest (and not required for Constitutional liberty) for civilians to be armed with military equipment, including modifications to shoot automatic.

    Deterrence is a part of the equation, but is not effective to stop the mass killings we have been witnessing.

  42. Josh the Baptist says:

    Come on guys. Left and right? really?

  43. Michael says:

    Before we go any farther in this discussion I refer all to the code of conduct…

    Gun control is almost impossible to rationally discuss in the current climate.

    While I am opposed to most gun control, I hardly can blame advocates of it for thinking something can and should be done about the gun violence in this country.

    Perhaps there can be…but not in the current climate.

    Everything now breaks down to left or right…and the middle ends up a target.

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