“Thoughts and prayers are not enough.”
It’s the latest battle cry against the Second Amendment in this country.
As an American, I have a fundamental issue with the government infringing on the rights guaranteed us by our forefathers to keep and bear arms.
But this isn’t another gun rights argument.
Although gun control does equate to Big Brother logically, it’s not that argument that has me most concerned when it comes to the rhetoric levied.
As a Christian I have an even bigger issue with the idea that prayers are not enough.
Every time I hear the phrase “thoughts and prayers are not enough,” I consider it an assault on my religion and the religion of anyone who believes in a personal relationship with a deity.
I will tread lightly here because I believe that individuals’ relationships with their maker are highly personal. I don’t want to tell you how to worship your god any more than I want someone else trying to tell me the same.
Just know that when I tell you that my thoughts and prayers are with you, I am giving you the utmost respect. I am telling you that everything I am, everything that I believe in, everything that I consider to be real in this world is being leveraged for your cause.
To me, prayer is a personal dialogue — sometimes with words, sometimes not — that I have with God almighty. I am going, on your behalf, to the creator of all things with a request for empathy and compassion. I am asking the one being powerful enough to change the course of each individual and our society as a whole to interject.
From that perspective it is the highest honor I can give someone.
That’s not to say that everyone believes the same. It would be naïve for me to think that all people who offer thoughts and prayers are saying so with the same level of commitment and intention.
Is it possible that offering thoughts and prayers is a way of moving on without meaning to do anything? Absolutely.
But we don’t get to make the generalization.
The fact that there are outliers doesn’t cheapen the resolve of those who are believers.
If you think “thoughts and prayers” are not enough, you don’t understand what prayer really means.
My belief is that not only are prayers enough, but if the folks turning the phrase would join the rest of us in prayer, then we would have a real chance to enact change in this country. It isn’t an inanimate object that is murdering people by the dozens. It is hate and narcissism and, in many instances, mental and emotional instability.
Whether via a hijacked airplane or an assault rifle or a knife or an explosive device or a vehicle, there will always be the means to inflict death and destruction on our fellow man. The only way to stop the violence is to change hearts and heal souls. It all starts with the one entity that has the power to do so.
Prayer isn’t an empty promise. It’s the deepest, most sincere commitment one can offer.