A letter to the editor in our local newspaper made me sad. It said, “…thoughts and prayers do not stop high-powered weapons. Enough thoughts and prayers, that has not worked.” What made me sad is that the term “thoughts and prayers” has become meaningless. People reject it as something that doesn’t “work” and imply that nothing is being done for them. That really makes me sad.
I often tell people they are in my thoughts and prayers. I mean that literally. I say it because I’m concerned about the person or persons. Nothing I can say can ease the pain of those who lost someone precious. All I know to do is to mention that person to Almighty God, that He ease the pain of those I pray for. So in their behalf, I bring my request before the Great Comforter and trust in Him to grant my request. As a Christian, I’m humbled that God listens to me. My faith and the Bible says that He does. When I’m in need of it, I love knowing that others lift my name up to God in prayer and am comforted by knowing God has heard my name. I love that others think of me. I feel less alone. When I say you’re in my thoughts and prayers, I’m doing for you what I’d want done for me.
One of the victims of the Florida school violence said that “thoughts and prayers” are a cover for doing nothing. That’s a big accusation that makes me sad too. I suppose she sees legislators and leaders in our country offering their thoughts and prayers, then continue to argue about everything instead of working together. I understand her frustration, but it makes me sad that she’s lost faith in prayer. Prayer is powerful and should be used for everything. Always.
I will continue to keep people in my thoughts and prayers. It’s not a cover for inaction; it’s a petition to The One who is in control. Along with praying for people who need my prayers, I pray for our country. I pray that our leaders will work for the common good, and that good sense will prevail over chaos. We need to be kind to each other, remember those who need our prayers, and go out in our communities and work toward peace.