In Defense of “Thoughts and Prayers”…
It is also common practice now to mock those who do so.
The argument is that ‘thoughts and prayers” accomplish nothing on their own and unless you are actively involved in doing something that addresses the tragedy, you are basically wasting cyber space and air.
God, they say, (if there is one) doesn’t involve Himself in earthly matters, and prayers alone accomplish nothing.
I must object.
The recent tragedies (the hurricanes and the massacre) happened far from where I live.
In an age where the internet has shrunken our world while raising our awareness of tragedy everywhere, most things that happen will be beyond my reach and beyond my ability to help.
What I can do is pray.
Why am I praying and what am I praying for?
I pray because I believe there is a God and that He is involved with His creation.
I pray because I believe that in some way that tragedies affect Him more profoundly than than they do us.
I pray because I believe that prayer may make a difference in some way that is as inexplicable as the tragedies themselves.
I pray because in making the volitional choice to do so, I am connecting both to God and the broken and recognizing both my utter dependence on Him and my obligation to care for my neighbor.
I pray because I care and I care because I pray.
I’m praying for whatever God decides reflects His presence and character in the situation…I’m too small to be giving God orders and too ignorant to know what they should be.
We should do all we can here to represent Christ to the world…and when we are unable to anything, to take the world to Christ in prayer.
In any case, we should do all we can to encourage people to hear their better angels…even if we don’t believe in angels (or God) at all…