Once again, the call for "thoughts and prayers" in the face of horrible events has fallen on increasingly cynical and weary ears. There is power in prayer only in conjunction with right action. Praying for outcomes without working to achieve those outcomes is tantamount to doing nothing.
When I was a kid, I would pray to have things happen to for me: get a girl to like me, not fail a math test, score a goal in hockey. None of those prayers were answered, and if they were, I probably didn't notice. In these days, people feel more and more powerless over the events unfolding around them. I don't think this is unusual or new, but I think we're all trying to drink from a firehose of information and it's overwhelming. So, when the next national tragedy gets thrown in our face from every angle, we reach for what sounds like it should work: thoughts and prayers.
Thoughts and prayers by themselves are as effective as sitting in a car and not putting a key in the ignition.
A few sayings that remind me of this:
- Move a muscle, change a thought.
- Right action leads to right thinking.
- Pray and row the boat.
- God helps those who help themselves.
- God blesses effort.
- Faith without works is dead.
You get the idea. This isn't new thinking. It is worth repeating and reminding. Onward