Thoughts & Prayers?

Charleston, SC church shooting. Nine dead.
My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

Las Vegas massacre of fifty-eight innocent people at a country music concert.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Sutherland Springs, Texas church shooting. Twenty-seven dead.
My thoughts and prayers are with all in the community ravaged by this tragedy.

What does it mean to pray? Does it matter? If it does, why does nothing seem to change?

Prayer does matter; it can move mountains, change hearts and minds and souls. But….prayer without action is less than it can be, less than we are each called to do, less than what is needed in our world.

Action is needed and act we must…or truly nothing will ever change. Lives will continue to be lost, senselessly. People will continue to grieve the loss of innocent loved ones, and we will be left on the sidelines shaking our heads saying….

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

thoughts and prayersSo what can caring people do? We can discern, carefully, how God is calling us to act. We can keep up with legislation and contact our representatives. We can email them when relevant bills come up and urge others to do the same. We can educate ourselves on the complexities of the issue. We can go to meetings, join groups, witness to others, and more.

On a more personal level, many in our country are feeling overwhelmed, unable to absorb yet one more senseless tragedy. Our presence and friendship matter, especially now. We can be a listening presence, a loving friend who says, “I’m here. Let’s get together.” No act of kindness or caring is too small. Your presence can and does make a difference.

And in the final analysis, yes, we can pray. Not only for victims, families, and communities, but for ourselves that we, too, may not let the darkness overwhelm us. That we may have the wisdom to act.

Prayer and action. Together. Try it.

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